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Who pays medical bills after a dog bite injury?

If you or a loved one suffered a dog attack, you might have significant medical bills or even be unable to work. If the bite occurred in Pennsylvania, the dog’s owner may have financial responsibility for the costs related to the attack.

Learn more about how dog bite liability works in the Keystone State.

Defining dangerous dogs

Pennsylvania considers some dogs dangerous, including animals who have killed another domestic animal or injured a human without being provoked. The dangerous dog categorization also applies to dogs their owners used in criminal activity.

Regardless of whether a dog is legally dangerous, the owner has the responsibility to control the animal. Dogs must either be in the owner’s home or yard or on a leash in public.

Seeking legal damages

You can file a lawsuit for a dog bite in Pennsylvania even when the dog has not been aggressive in the past. However, the owner does not have legal liability if you trespassed on private property or provoked the dog at the time of the attack.

If the court approves your claim, the judge can order the dog’s owner to pay your medical bills. Keep careful records about treatment related to the attack. You can also seek compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering if the owner did not confine the dog appropriately or if the dog bit someone or killed another animal before.

You can file a dog bite claim within two years of the attack in Pennsylvania. After that statute of limitations expires, the court will no longer hear your case.