When you walk down the street and see a dog, what are your first thoughts? If you are like most of us, you think that nothing is wrong and continue walking. However, we know that dog attacks are much more common than most people realize.
At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., we understand that you may need help if you have been attacked by a dog. If a dog owner’s negligence contributed to the attack, we want to ensure that you receive fair compensation. When you need a Philadelphia dog attack attorney, contact us today.
Dog Bites Are Not Uncommon In Philadelphia And Throughout The Us
Would it surprise you to learn that there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites each year in the US?
That number may not seem so high when you consider that there are nearly 90 million pet dogs in the country. While not all of those dog bites are serious, many of them are. According to the CDC:
- Around 1 in 5 people bitten by a dog need to seek medical attention.
- The elderly and children are at higher risk of many injuries in an attack.
We commonly see a range of injuries from dog attacks. Dogs have very powerful jaws. When they bite, they can inflict massive soft tissue damage. It is not uncommon for dog attacks to leave a person disfigured or with serious damage to veins, arteries, muscles, and tendons. Often, these dog bites become infected, leading to further medical costs for victims.
In serious dog attacks, surgery is often required to restore a victim’s appearance and functionality at the attack area. While this is costly, many people do not consider the hidden costs of dog attacks, particularly the emotional and psychological damage that is inflicted.
How Do Philadelphia Dog Bites Happen?
We know that not all cases of dog attacks are a dog owner’s fault. However, there are times when their negligence or carelessness contributes directly to an attack. This can include:
- Taking a dog off of its leash despite municipal leash laws that are in place.
- Not properly securing a dog at their home. This can include leaving the fence and doors open.
- Allowing a dog that is known to be aggressive to interact with other people or pets.
In the aftermath of an attack, always notify law enforcement or animal control. This will document what happened and you may find out that the dog has had prior incidents.
Injuries Caused By Dog Bites In Philadelphia
The vast majority of dog bites will not result in severe injuries, but that is not always the case. Some of the most common types of injuries that we help clients within these cases include the following:
- Puncture wounds: Even if a dog bite does not bleed profusely, puncture wounds caused by teeth can be dangerous and must be treated immediately. These wounds can go deep inside of the flesh, making them particularly prone to infection.
- Infections: Dog bites regularly cause severe infections. These bites can introduce soil, waste, bacterial, and other materials into a person’s body.
- Severed veins, arteries, muscles, or tendons: Severe dog bites, particularly when the dog latches on and does not let go, can lead to severed veins, arteries, muscles, or tendons. This can cause long-lasting injuries and extensive healing times for victims.
- Scarring and disfigurement: It is not uncommon for dog bite victims to be permanently scarred or disfigured due to the incident. This is particularly true when a dog bite occurs in the facial area.
- Nerve damage: Deeper dog bite wounds, particularly those to the face, neck, arms, or legs, can cause nerve damage and lead to mobility issues in chronic pain.
- Emotional and psychological injuries: It is not uncommon for dog bite victims to experience significant emotional and psychological trauma following the incident.
It is crucial that dog bite victims receive medical care immediately following an attack. Even if a dog bite seems relatively minor, victims should let a doctor conduct an evaluation and determine whether any treatment is necessary. Not only does going to a doctor right after a dog bite in Philadelphia occurs to ensure the victim’s well-being, but it also establishes a solid link between the incident and the injuries for insurance carriers.
Time Frame To File A Dog Bite Injury Claim In Philadelphia
Dog bite injury victims in Philadelphia have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the person who is allegedly responsible for their injury. The Pennsylvania personal injury statute of limitations is two years from the date an injury occurs. This means that a dog bite victim will have a two-year window with which to file a lawsuit against an alleged negligent dog owner in order to recover compensation. Failing to file a lawsuit within this time frame will result in the victim being unable to gain compensation for their losses.
However, we want to point out that the Pennsylvania statute of limitations for personal injury claims has nothing to do with any deadlines imposed by insurance carriers involved in the case. Dog bite victims often recover compensation through settlements with a person’s homeowners insurance. Typically, these claims must be made very soon after the injury occurs, or the insurance carrier could delay or deny the claim.
Contact Our Philadelphia Dog Bite Attorney Today
We know that a dog attack is the last thing you thought you would have to deal with. If you or a loved one have been injured due to the negligence of a dog’s owner, please seek legal assistance immediately. At Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., we understand that these cases can become complex. That will not stop us from recovering the compensation you deserve, including coverage for:
- All of your medical expenses
- Lost income if you cannot work
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of enjoyment of life damages
- Possible punitive damages