As I was watering my plants in my backyard yesterday, I saw a small dog running through a neighboring backyard heading toward my backyard. Right behind the dog was the owner yelling after the dog to stop. When the dog got to my backyard, it started jumping on me and scratching my leg. The owner then apologized and said the dog dug itself out from under a fence and ran away. The dog was friendly and did not harm me, but I couldn’t help but think about what could have happened if the dog was much bigger and aggressive. Situations like this happen all the time. I was just lucky that the dog was not vicious.
Earlier this month, an elderly woman in New Jersey was seriously injured when a neighbor’s pit bull jumped a fence and attacked her in her own backyard. The dog mauled the woman’s left arm and right leg before jumping back over the fence. *Source: http://abclocal.go.com
According to the news report, a witness said that the same dog bit him on the leg before. Apparently, nothing was done by the authorities with regard to that attack.
In Pennsylvania, a dog owner can be liable for injuries caused by his/her dog if it is not properly confined to the owner’s property. This is known as the Pennsylvania “leash law.” Dog owners have the responsibility to make sure that their dogs are under proper and adequate control, i.e., confined to an owner’s property or maintained within reasonable control of the owner or another person. See What You Need To Know If You Were Attacked And Injured By An Unleashed Dog In Pennsylvania
In my situation, I was lucky that the dog was not vicious; however, the elderly woman was not so lucky. If her dog attack was in Pennsylvania, it could be argued that the owner is responsible for her injuries. Further, it was not the first time that the dog escaped and attacked someone in the neighborhood according to the news report. If the pit bull escaped and jumped over the fence before, the owner knew that the fence did not properly confine the dog on his/her property.
If you or a loved one was attacked by an unleashed dog, you or your loved one may be entitled to compensation. Feel free to contact the PA and NJ dog attack injury lawyers at White and Williams LLP for a free initial consultation @ 877.944.8396.
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