Any type of animal attack can be catastrophic and result in physical and emotional trauma. The aftermath of a dog bite may be painful, require extensive medical treatment, and leave behind significant scarring and disfigurement. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog attack, you may wish to consult an Altoona dog bite lawyer about your various legal options.
In many cases, insurance policies for homeowners and renters who own the dog that bit you can provide coverage for your injuries. As a result, you may have significant recourse in seeking compensation for your losses. An experienced personal injury lawyer could assess your situation and determine the most effective course of action in your case.
Common Injuries from Dog Bites
Many dog bites are severe enough that they require medical treatment, and some are so significant that they require reconstructive surgery. Due to the nature of reconstruction following a dog bite, individuals may need multiple surgeries over a lengthy period of time. These surgeries and treatment tend to be invasive, and the recovery is often painful.
Also, dog bites can result in deep wounds, which can result in scarring and disfigurement. Deep bites may also cause nerve damage, which may be permanent and may drastically impair the movement and function of some parts of the body. Dog bites are also particularly prone to infection, which can cause further complications.
Dog Bite Claims in Altoona
Pennsylvania law allows a personal injury plaintiff to make a recovery if it is shown that the dog owner was negligent. For example, if dog owners failed to follow animal control laws, they could be liable, such as if they:
- Failed to keep the dog on a leash
- Knew that the dog was dangerous, but failed to warn others
- Recognized that the dog might bite without provocation, but did not restrain or keep the dog away from others
As part of proving negligence, plaintiffs must show that the dog owners knew or should have known that the dog may cause injury based on its past aggressive behavior. The injured persons need not prove that the dog bit someone in the past, but any evidence of prior unprovoked aggression by the dog could support a claim for damages. In this situation, a dog bite lawyer in Altoona may be able to help.
Damages in Dog Bite Cases
If, however, individuals suffer severe injuries as a result of a dog bite, the dog owner will automatically face liability for damages. Typically, severe injuries are those that cause permanent impairment or disfigurement. Damages, in this case, can include not only medical expenses, but compensation for emotional trauma and pain and suffering.
In some cases, dogs are designated as “dangerous dogs” under state law. This designation usually applies because the dogs attacked someone without provocation or injured or killed another domestic animal. When a dog qualifies as dangerous, then it is irrelevant whether the dog owner had the dog adequately restrained or signs posted. As a dog bite attorney in Altoona may attest, the dog owner is automatically liable for the injuries resulting from a dog bite in this situation.
Call an Altoona Dog Bite Attorney for Representation
Unfortunately, dogs are sometimes poorly trained, raised to be overly aggressive, or have violent tendencies. All too often, these dogs can cause catastrophic injuries, which may necessitate personal injury claims. If the negligence of a dog’s owners led to the dog bite that caused you injuries, contact an Altoona dog bite lawyer at Marcus & Mack for counsel and guidance.