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Animal Attacks in Erie, PA - Elderkin's Personal Injury Lawyers

If you’re bitten by an animal you thought was a friendly pet, the resulting pain can be both physical and psychological.  This is especially true for children, who can be traumatized by even a minor injury from a dog bite or animal attack. At the Elderkin Law Firm in Erie, PA we’ve helped many adults and children in Northwestern Pennsylvania obtain the compensation they need to recover from an animal attack. 

You may be able to file a claim for compensation when an animal bite is the result of:

  • A dog left unleashed or unconfined to the owner's property
  • An exotic animal
  • A pet known to be vicious that is uncontrolled by the owner
  • Improper handling of an animal

Our attorneys consult with various experts, including treating physicians, psychologists, neurologists, plastic surgeons or other medical authorities to determine the nature and extent of the injuries you have suffered; then they work to ensure that you are fully compensated.  If you’ve been bitten by a dog or other pet, or injured by an animal belonging to another person, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney as soon as possible, so that your rights will not be jeopardized.

Talk to our team of experienced attorneys, we can help.

The consequences of a dog bite or other animal attack can be significant, long lasting, and expensive. It is important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer to help get the financial resources you need to move on with your life. Tell us about your case. We want to help you get the results you deserve. Call our Erie, PA offices at 814-456-4000, send us an email at, or fill out one of the contact forms


Does Pennsylvania follow the "one-bite" rule?

A lot of people have heard the rule that "every dog gets one free bite." This is not necessarily the case in Pennsylvania. There are laws that define exactly what a dog owner must do to prevent his or her dog from injuring someone. Under these laws, a dog owner may be responsible, even if the dog has never bitten anyone before. Each case depends upon its specific facts, however, and you should talk to your lawyer to see if you are entitled to recover for your injuries under the facts of your case.

What happens if my child has been attacked by an animal?

You want to make sure that you identify the animal so that there is an opportunity for that animal to be checked for disease. There’s a difference between wild animals and domesticated animals, but in most cases, a call to the local animal enforcement officer will help decide whether or not you need additional follow-up medical care for your child. Rabies is always a consideration, whether the bite is by a wild animal or a pet.  You don’t want to put your child through the trauma of treating for potential rabies or other diseases if that’s not necessary, so you want to have to the animal tested.

Who do I report an animal bite to?

You would want to report any incident involving an animal bite ot attack to the animal enforcement officer for your community. That officer will have the power to quarantine the animal, and test for disease, if necessary. You will also want to report that attack to the insurance company of the homeowner, if the animal was a pet or otherwise owned or controlled by someone. Oftentimes, the homeowner’s insurance policy of the person who is responsible for the animal will respond if you have injuries, so you need to put that insurance company on notice so that a claim can be processed.

What damages are recoverable in an animal bite case?

If you can establish that the animal owner is responsible for your injuries, you would be entitled to be compensated for any damages or losses that resulted from the bite.  For example, you would be entitled to recover any medical bills or other out-of-pocket expenses you had as a result of the bite. You would also be entitled to reimbursement for any time you lost from work. In addition to these losses (which attorneys call "special" damages), you would also be entitled to recover "general damages", such as compensation for your pain and suffering, fright, embarrassment, emotional trauma and the like.

Is there a law that protects me and my family from any animal other than a dog, like a wild animal?

The law makes a critical distinction between domesticated and wild animals. Domesticated animals are those, such as dogs, that are subject to being trained and are often kept as pets. Wild animals, on the other hand, are those that are in a state of nature. Some animals, such as lions and bears, may be trained, but remain dangerous.  The responsibility of an owner for the injuries caused by an animal under his or her control depends upon what type of animal it is. There are laws that impose liability, regardless of fault, upon people who harbor animals known to be dangerous, especially if they are not a domesticated animal.

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