Unfortunately, dog bites and animal attacks are quite common. They can leave victims with severe injuries that affect their quality of life permanently. In order to get financial compensation to help pay for medical expenses and pain and suffering, you may need an experienced dog bite injury lawyer.
If you have been bitten by a dog or attacked by a vicious animal, The Heslin Law Firm can help. We have over 30 years of experience helping clients receive fair settlements for their serious injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call our law firm at 215-332-0300.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
- If you are severely injured, call 911 and seek medical attention. Otherwise, obtain the names and addresses of witnesses, the dog owner, and the people who had custody of the dog when it bit you.
- Take photographs of any wounds immediately after the attack.
- Documenting the incident as soon as possible is vital to your case. Contact a doctor to document the dog bite injury, obtain treatment, and get a rabies shot if needed
- Report the incident to the Division of Disease Control (DDC) at 215-685-6748. Once they’re notified, the DDC will evaluate whether or not you are at risk for rabies.
- Locate the nearest animal control agency, make a report, and cooperate with investigators. The Philadelphia Animal Control Team can be reached at 267-385-3800
- Consult with an experienced dog bite attorney in Philadelphia. The Heslin Law Firm offers free consultations for victims of animal attacks. Call 215-332-0300.
What About Infection?
Animals can transmit several kinds of bacteria and viruses through their bite. A large majority of animal bites involve domesticated dogs and cats. Cats are more likely to cause infection. The infection is transferred from the animal’s saliva, mouth, or teeth. It is extremely important you wash the wound with alcohol or some sort of anti-bacterial substance. Seek medical care even if you don’t think it’s that serious.
On a more serious note, infections like rabies and tetanus can be transmitted through an animal bite. The likelihood of getting one of these diseases is small if the animal that bit you is domesticated and up to its shots, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Laws Regarding Dangerous Dogs
To be declared a dangerous dog, the dog must have attacked and inflicted a severe injury to someone, or killed a human who did not provoke the situation and was off of the owner’s property.
The Act does not apply to police dogs, guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, aide dogs for the handicapped, or farm dogs (under certain circumstances). The Act does not apply where a person attacked, provoked the animal, or was committing a willful trespass or another unlawful act for which civil suit can be brought.
If the dog is owned, and you know who owns the dog, you should contact your local police district or use the following link: Philadelphia Police Districts.
Ask to speak to the Community Relations Officer in the district. That officer will investigate the situation and possibly file charges against the owner of the dog. If charges are filed, the dog owner will have to appear before a judge who will make the final disposition on the animal.
- Animal Control CANNOT seize a dog. Animal control may apprehend and impound a dog that is actively running at large or the owner voluntarily signs it over to Animal Control Officers.
- Apprehension or impoundment of the dog does not mean the dog has been declared dangerous.
- Police must file charges against the owner of the dog in order for any dog to be declared dangerous.
If the dog owner is insured, you may receive a call from an insurance company representative. You should ask the following:
- Name of the insurance company
- Address of his/her office
- Telephone number
- Claim number
- Name of the person who is insured
- The amount of money available to pay medical expenses
Do not do any of the following:
- Discuss money, payment of money, settlement, or injury value
- Set up an appointment
- Write a letter or memo
- Accept any money
- Allow the victim to be photographed
- Discuss who is responsible
Schedule a Free Consultation With The Heslin Law Firm
Were you seriously injured by a dog bite or animal attack in Philadelphia? If you’re wondering if you have a case, what your case may be worth, and/or want financial compensation for your injuries, contact an experienced dog bite attorney at The Heslin Law Firm.
We provide the best legal representation for injured victims in Philadelphia. Contact Philadelphia dog bite attorney Gary Heslin to schedule a free consultation.