When and To Whom Should a Dog Bite Be Reported?
Being bitten by a dog can not only be frightening as dogs can cause serious injury. However, many victims who are bitten not only must deal with the physical aspects of being bitten by a dog, but psychological issues as well, especially if the victim is a child. Even when a dog bite is not serious, the psychological aspects can be devastating and long-lasting, so no matter how minor the bite appears, it should be reported.
Reporting a Dog Bite
Reporting a dog bite depends on what state you are in when the attack occurs. In Pennsylvania, anyone who is bitten by a dog should report it to the local police. In Delaware, dog bites are reported to the Division of Public Health while in New Jersey dog bites are reported to the police and local animal control agencies. The reason for reporting a dog bite is to create documentation should a dog exhibit dangerous behavior. In Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey, penalties are more severe if a dog has bitten someone previously.
Information to Provide
When reporting a dog bite to the proper authorities, you should attempt to identify the dog and the person who owns it. Provide an explanation of what happened including where the attack occurred, what preceded the attack and what happened immediately after. Provide as much detail as possible in order to determine if the person who owned the dog is at fault for your injuries.
State Dog Bite Statutes
Not all states have the same dog bite statutes, so it is important to know what the law requires in your state.
In Delaware, dog owners must confine dogs to an enclosure, fenced area or place them on a chain so that they are under reasonable control. An owner whose dog is running loose that bites someone may be fined between $100 and $500. Each subsequent offense can result in fines of between $750 and$1,500. The owner of the dog is liable for any bites unless they can prove that someone was trespassing on their property, teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog or if they were attempting to commit a crime.
In New Jersey, an owner is responsible for dog bites regardless of the actions of the human as long as the person was in a public place or lawfully on the owner’s property. However, if it can be proved that the victim was negligent and that led to the dog bite, the owner may not be held fully responsible.
In Pennsylvania, dog bites are categorized and treated differently under the law. If the dog has bitten before, the victim may be able to receive full compensation for injuries or damage from the owner. If the dog has never bitten before but causes severe injury, the owner may be responsible for medical compensation to the victim. In the case of a dog who broke free of their confinement, the victim must prove that the dog owner did not use reasonable care in securing the dog in order to recover in a dog bite case.
If you or a love done have suffered a dog bite, no matter how minor or severe, contact Lundy Law today to learn what rights you may have. Complete the simple form on our website in order to arrange your consultation today.