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My neighbor’s dog attacked bit me and he told me I can’t sue because the dog gets a free bite. What does that mean and is that true?



No, that is not true.  There is an old Pennsylvania law called the “one bite” rule which allowed dogs “one free bite.”  Owners of dogs, under this rule, were not liable for the injuries and damages of their dogs’ first victims.  Therefore, if the old law still existed, your neighbor would not be liable for your injuries if your incident was the first time that the dog attacked.

However, this dog law no longer exists in Pennsylvania.  The current law in Pennsylvania will find a dog owner liable for a victim’s injuries and damages even if the attack was the first and only attack, so long as the dog showed the requisite level of viciousness. Therefore, if the dog attacks a person and the circumstances indicate a vicious temperament, the dog owner may be liable.

Related: Pennsylvania Dog Law-The Dangerous Dog Statute

Careful investigation is crucial in a Pennsylvania dog bite lawsuit. There are many steps that a dog bite lawyer must take in order to obtain financial recovery for the dog bite victim, such as:

  • writing letters to liable parties, such as the dog owner and/or property owner to notify the insurance carriers;
  • obtaining public records of the dog, such as police reports, animal control records, etc.; and
  • obtaining the victim’s medical records and bills.

These are just a few of the steps necessary to prove a dog bite injury case in Pennsylvania.  Therefore, it is important to speak to an experienced dog bite/attack injury lawyer to discuss your case.

Feel free to call my office to schedule a free initial consultation at 877.944.8396.

For more information about PA dog bite lawsuits, see:

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    Philadelphia, PA 19103
  • Phone: (215) 864-7168
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    Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
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