Top-Ranked Erie, Pennsylvania, Dog Bite Injury Attorneys

If You Have Sustained Injuries in an Erie, Pennsylvania, Dog Bite Accident That Was Not Your Fault, The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. Could Help You Secure the Compensation You Need to Recover from Your Injuries.

Brown DogDogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years. While people across the entire world own pets, few countries devote the same time, energy, and resources toward their four-legged friends as the United States of America. Researchers believe that about 40% of all American households own at least one dog, with Pennsylvania proving no exception to the trend. However loved dogs may undoubtedly be, their behavior is not always predictable. Dogs bite an estimated 4.5 million Americans annually, with attacks sending 800,000 people to the emergency room each year. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dog bite victims are disproportionately young. Contrary to popular belief, children are most frequently injured by familiar animals—often their own dog, a friend’s, or a relative’s.

While some dogs are naturally and incorrigibly aggressive, experts believe that most dog bites are preventable. Nevertheless, a dog bite—no matter how minor—is always cause for concern. Since even household pets can carry dangerous bacteria in their mouths, physicians recommend that dog bite victims seek immediate medical attention, especially if the dog breaks their skin.

The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s experienced team of attorneys understands that a dog bite injury can present more than a financial challenge—an attack can leave a victim physically injured, psychologically traumatized, and unable to live a healthy, independent life. Since founding our firm in 2005, Jed Dietrich, Esq., has provided unparalleled personal injury service to our clients across Erie and Western Pennsylvania. Please send us a message online or call us at 814-839-3939 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

The Most Common Causes of Dog Attacks

Puppy getting a health checkWhile certain dogs have a reputation for violence, any size or breed of dog can bite without provocation or warning, putting adults and children at risk. However, children and elderly adults face an increased risk of suffering serious injuries in dog attacks. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  1. An estimated 1 out of 5 people who are bitten by dogs require medical attention;
  2. Children are much more likely to be attacked by dogs than adults;
  3. Children are much more likely to suffer severe injuries in a dog attack; and
  4. Most dog bites affecting young children occur in familiar settings and when interacting with familiar dogs.

While dogs bite for a variety of reasons, the American Veterinary Medical Association believes that attacks are more likely to occur when dogs feel stressed or threatened. Otherwise, placid, well-behaved dogs might bite if:

  1. The dog perceives a threat to itself, its territory, or its loved ones;
  2. The dog is startled or frightened;
  3. The dog believes that a valuable possession, such as a favorite toy, is in danger of being taken;
  4. The dog is sick, ill, or otherwise suffering from cognitive decline; or
  5. The dog is over-excited during play and inadvertently escalates from friendly nips to potentially dangerous bites.

Under most circumstances, the risk of suffering a dog bite can be mitigated through proper training and socialization. For example, the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that dog owners minimize aggressive behavior by sterilizing their pets and ensuring that they are vaccinated against diseases such as rabies.

However, not every dog responds well to training, especially if they are placed in a new environment or exposed to strangers. Since dogs are animals and incapable of making informed decisions, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania ultimately considers owners liable for their pets’ behavior. If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog in or around Erie, Pennsylvania, you could be entitled to significant compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Please call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. at 814-839-3939 to speak to an attorney and discuss your options for legal relief.



Pennsylvania’s Dog Bite Liability Laws

In many cases, a pet owner could be found negligent if their dog has a pattern of aggressive or dangerous behavior. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture defines dangerous dogs as dogs that meet any of the following criteria:

  1. The dog has inflicted severe injury on a human being, whether on public property or private land;
  2. The dog has inflicted severe injury on a domestic animal, such as another dog or cat, while off the owner’s property;
  3. The dog previously attacked a human being without provocation; or
  4. The dog was used in the commission of a crime.

However, a dog does not necessarily need to have previously attacked a human being or domesticated animal to have “unmistakable vicious tendencies.” The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. could help you prove that a dog owner was negligent by:

  1. Investigating the Dog’s Previous Behavior: Dogs that jump on fences, snap at strangers, or have been registered as dangerous dogs could be considered vicious.
  2. Analyzing the Dog’s Medical Records: Veterinarians will sometimes indicate in their medical notes whether a dog is particularly aggressive; if a veterinarian indicates that a dog is dangerous or issues a formal instruction to staff to exercise increased caution around a pet, then their records could be used as evidence in court.
  3. Assessing the Owner’s Actions: A dog owner’s prior actions could be used to demonstrate that the owner knew their pet was dangerous. For example, a dog owner who posts “Beware of Dog” signs outside of their house or warns friends, family, and neighbors that their dog is aggressive most likely knew, or should have known, that their dog could be a threat to the public.

Since filing a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent dog owner could necessitate the collection and analysis of evidence demonstrating that the dog was vicious, you should always contact an experienced Erie, Pennsylvania, dog bit injury lawyer before petitioning the court for recompense. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. has spent decades aggressively advocating for the rights of dog attack victims in and around Erie, Pennsylvania. Please send us a message online or call us at 814-839-3939 to schedule your free consultation as soon as possible.

Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 814-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious, and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Erie, Pennsylvania. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

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I am a medical doctor and have worked with many of the best lawyers in Buffalo and I can say without question that Jed Dietrich is the only lawyer I would trust with my injury case in Buffalo New York. B.O.
Dogged, Determined, and Dead-set on getting you the Maximum settlement for your injuries! T.F.
No one will work harder, smarter or better; I have retained Jed and he obtained the best result for my case. D.P.
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