Does a Philadelphia Dog Bite Injury Claim Settlement Require a Lawyer?

Dog Bite Injury Claim

There are many benefits to owning a dog, but dog ownership also has risks for both the owner and those who come in contact with the dog. One of those includes the risk of a dog bite. Injuries caused by dog bites can be both physically and emotionally traumatic, and they frequently leave victims with financial burdens like medical costs, Dog bite injury claims costs and emotional misery, as well as possibly long-term implications. 

Given that there are over 65 million households in the United States with at least one dog, dog bite injuries are a real possibility. If you or a loved one suffers an injury as a result of a dog bite in Philadelphia, you may be wondering whether it is necessary to hire a lawyer to successfully navigate the Dog Bite Injury Claim process and obtain an equitable settlement.

As you contemplate whether or not to seek legal representation for the settlement of your dog bite injury claim in Philadelphia, this article will discuss factors that you should take into consideration.


History of Dog Bite Laws

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the legal history regarding dog bites. As with many laws, state-by-state variations exist in the legislation, all falling under the umbrella of personal injury law. The law governing dog bites has changed over time in Philadelphia, as it has in many other places.

Common Law Liability

When it comes to dog bites, Philadelphia initially used common law guidelines. The "one-bite rule" stated that a dog owner would only be responsible for a bite if they knew or had reason to know that their dog was aggressive or had attacked someone in the past. Given that some dog owners may not be aware of their dog's aggressive tendencies, this rule essentially provided them with some leniency for the initial bite.

Strict Liability Statutes

In 1982, the Dog Law Act was established in Pennsylvania. This act created standards to be used to determine whether a dog owner has exercised due care in supervising their dog. Amendments to this act occurred in 1996, stating that regardless of the dog's prior behavior or the owner's knowledge of it, the owner should be held accountable for any injury the dog causes. However, this does not guarantee an open-and-shut case, which is why consulting with an attorney to receive an appropriate settlement is often in your best interest.

The Dog Law has several statutes regarding the regulation of dogs. For instance, under the law, those responsible for the dog in question are responsible for the victim’s medical costs, among other things.

Additional Dog Laws

There are many other laws that dog owners need to be aware of. These include negligence and leash laws that state that a dog owner could be responsible for any injuries that arise if it is determined that they were careless in keeping their pet under control. Laws governing leashes and other measures to keep dogs in public areas might also affect who is liable.

It’s also important to note that, looking at the history of dog bite laws, a few states put laws into place that specifically targeted certain breeds that were seen to be more hazardous. However, breed-specific legislation generated a lot of controversy. As a result, many communities—including Philadelphia—abandoned them in favor of concentrating on the unique behaviors of individual dogs.


Factors to Consider After a Dog Bite in Philadelphia

Now that you have a better understanding of the legal landscape surrounding dog bite injuries in Philadelphia, let’s look at some considerations that are needed when pursuing compensation after a dog bite.

Severity of Injuries

Depending on the severity of the injuries you incurred as a result of the dog bite, such as minor scratches or bruises, you might be able to pursue the Dog bite injury claim on your own without the assistance of an attorney. However, the experience of a lawyer may be required in cases involving more severe injuries, such as those involving deep lacerations, fractures, or infections.

Insurance Coverage

One thing to consider is the insurance coverage of the dog owner. The insurance company may negotiate fair compensation without the need for judicial action if the owner possesses sufficient liability insurance that covers injuries caused by dog bites. While this coverage might provide enough compensation to pay for your medical bills, it’s important to remember that the insurance company is looking out for their needs as well.

Negotiation Tactics

You may feel comfortable handling the Dog bite injury claim on your own if you are confident in your ability to negotiate with insurance adjusters and if you are cognizant of the amount that you are entitled to receive. Nevertheless, insurance companies frequently employ expert adjusters who may attempt to reduce compensation. Therefore, your best option may be to seek legal representation.

Long-Term Considerations

After the initial shock of being bitten wears off, you’ll need to consider the long-term ramifications. These long-term effects are different for everyone, but they could include scarring, disfigurement, or psychological trauma. Because of this, seeking legal guidance from the start allows you to understand your rights each step of the way. An experienced attorney will be able to assist you in determining the full extent of the damages and in pursuing appropriate compensation.


An attorney who specializes in cases involving dog bites can be extremely beneficial in situations where there are several complicated circumstances surrounding the incident. These factors may include joint liability, ambiguous ownership, or disagreements regarding the sequence of events that led up to the dog bite.


What Advantages Stem from Legal Representation?

Seeking an experienced attorney in the aftermath of a dog bite provides you with the legal expertise and experience necessary to negotiate the complexity of the judicial system. You’ll want to find an attorney who specializes in personal injury law, particularly situations involving dog bites, and comes highly recommended. Also, look for an attorney that takes the time to answer your questions. Feeling at ease as you move forward in the process is key.

Maximizing the Benefits Received

An attorney will be able to assist you in determining the full extent of your damages, which may include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and prospective costs. They are then able to negotiate with insurance companies to provide you with the highest possible payment.

Legal Procedures and Their Handling

Legal specialists also handle the necessary paperwork, deadlines, and court procedures, which enables you to concentrate on your rehabilitation rather than the complexities of the Dog bite injury claim process.


How Can Mattiacci Law Help With Dog Bite Injury Claim in Philadelphia?

Finding the right personal injury lawyers can make all the difference in your case. As mentioned, you’ll need an experienced attorney with a good reputation who takes the time to fully understand the situation. You’ll find that Mattiacci Law checks the boxes, offering you the expertise you need and more.

Our team has handled Dog bite injury claims in Philadelphia for more than 15 years. We specialize in various practices, including dog bites. We also understand your desire to find closure regarding the dog attack as well as your need for compensation to cover the pain and suffering you incurred.

When you contact Mattiacci Law, you’ll get a quick response, regardless of whether it's day or night. We offer 24/7 service to make sure you get the answers you need right away. Moving forward from our initial contact, we strive to keep you updated throughout the proceedings.

While current dog law statutes in Philadelphia state that an owner should be held accountable for any injury the dog causes, it’s still important to show that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was capable of biting and causing injury to receive proper compensation.

The good news is that our team specializes in dog bite cases, and we can use our years of experience to assist you. In fact, our attorneys have successfully won cases for dog bite victims that include children, delivery drivers, and more.

The better news is that we don’t charge for our services unless we win your case. That’s right. We work on a contingency basis, building your case and representing you with zero payment. What that means for you is that you get a dedicated team that will work hard to see that you get the compensation you deserve.

Reach out to your team to see how we can help if a dog bite has affected you or a loved one. 


Final Notes

Even though it is feasible to settle a dog bite injury claim in Philadelphia without the assistance of a lawyer, the decision to do so is contingent upon several circumstances, such as the severity of the injuries, the insurance coverage, the bargaining abilities, and the complexity of the case.

To ensure that you receive adequate compensation for the injuries you sustained as a result of a dog bite and the damages that are linked to them, consulting with a personal injury attorney can offer you helpful insights and support.

Don’t risk the health and well-being of yourself or a family member by attempting to gain a settlement on your own. Contact our team at Mattiacci Law to get the support you need and deserve.

Related Content: How Much Could I Get from a Dog Bite Lawsuit

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