Personal Injury Lawyer
Serving Hazleton, PA

If a dog bites you in Hazleton, PA, an attorney can help protect your rights

You've been bitten by a dog. Can you seek financial compensation?

In many cases, the answer is yes. If you contact McNelis Law, Attorney Edward McNelis can meet with you to review the facts of the case and determine the compensation you deserve.

Being attacked by a dog is frightening and can lead to serious injuries. Puncture wounds can be deep and lead to infection from bacteria, dirt or waste. A deep bite can cause nerve damage in the face, neck, arms or legs. Some bites may require cosmetic surgery and can cause permanent scarring. And even an attack that results in minor injuries can be emotionally damaging. Many victims may suffer from post-traumatic stress, especially children.

If a dog has never bitten anyone before, Pennsylvania state law divides victims into two categories, based on how severe the injury is. A severe injury is defined as one that "results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures or cosmetic surgery." Severe injuries don't have to be from a bite - for example, the dog may have knocked the victim down, causing a broken bone. The victim can seek full financial compensation for the injury, needing only to prove that the dog attacked without provocation and that the other party is the owner of the dog.

If the injury is not severe, the victim can still seek financial compensation under the same law, needing only to prove that the other party is the dog owner and that the dog attacked without provocation. However, the compensation recovered is limited to medical expenses.

In cases where the dog has a history of aggression, the dog's owner can be sued for full financial compensation related to the injury, regardless of its severity. This is commonly known as the "one bite rule," though that is something of a misnomer - any history of aggressive behavior toward people is enough, whether there is an actual previous bite or not.

Experience counts

Dog bite cases can be complicated. Edward P. McNelis has the experience and resources to help you build a strong case to seek compensation for your losses from the injury. He has been helping clients with personal injury claims since 1982.

If you've been attacked by a dog, it's important to act fast. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to build a strong case. Edward will listen to your account of the incident. He will review any available evidence (photographs, medical records and other documentation). He can then advise you on your options.

Here are some steps you can take if you've been bitten by a dog:

  • Call the police. They will talk to everyone involved and document the incident.
  • Take photos. If you can, get photos of the dog, the area where you were attacked, your injuries, and anything else that seems important.
  • Get medical attention. Even if the injury seems minor, it should be looked at by a medical professional to make sure you are OK.
  • Write down what happened. This lets you make a record of the incident while it is still fresh in your mind.
  • Get contact information. Write down names, addresses and phone numbers for the dog owner and any witnesses to the incident.
  • Contact us. Learn what your rights are.

If you or a loved one has been injured from a dog bite, you need an experienced attorney who will strike back and help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation. You owe us nothing until we get results.