Does Philadelphia, PA, Have a One-Bite Rule? 

When a dog bites you, you may wonder whether you can hold the dog’s owner financially liable for your injuries and other damages. The answer depends on several factors, including the state in which the dog bite occurred. 

Some states follow a rule for dog claims, asserting that a dog owner can only be liable for an attack if their dog showed previous aggression (i.e., biting someone before your attack).

Philadelphia, PA, Liability Laws for Dog Bites

The rule that some states adhere to is an example of “common law,” which the policy courts generally follow when no written laws regarding an incident exist. But Pennsylvania does have written laws about dog bite liability

Pennsylvania’s liability policy holds dog owners responsible for their pets’ aggressive behavior. This law, also known as the dangerous dog statute, states that:

  • Any expenses a dog bite victim incurs from an attack must be paid fully by the owner or keeper of the dog.
  • Anyone a dog attacks without provocation has the right to file a complaint against the dog owner, charging them with harboring a dangerous dog.

In other words, if a dog bite led to your medical expenses, you may have the right to hold the dog’s owner liable for those expenses. But you’ll need to prove the dog attacked you without provocation. 

Proving Liability in a Pennsylvania Dog Bite Claim 

Proving that a dog bite led to your medical expenses and that the dog’s owner is responsible for your injuries can be tricky. You’ll want to work with an experienced dog bite attorney who can help you gather all the necessary evidence to support your claim. 

This evidence may include:

  • Photos or videos of the dog attack
  • Previous records of the dog’s aggression, pointing to owner knowledge
  • Proof that you were not trespassing on the property
  • Proof that you did not provoke the dog, such as witness testimonies of the attack

If you and your attorney can prove the dog owner’s negligence in the attack, such as if they knew their dog had a violent history yet failed to prevent them from biting again, you may also be able to seek non-economic damages. These may include pain and suffering, disfigurement, or loss of quality of life, to name a few. 

Seek Assistance With Dog Bite Claims From an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney 

Attorneys at the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore understand the complexities of Philadelphia’s dog bite laws.  

Contact the Law Offices of Eric A. Shore., today to discuss your case and learn whether you may be eligible for compensation. Call 215-627-9999 or fill out the online contact form. 


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