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Dog Bite/Attack Cases Involving Children – An Explanation of Legal Rights in PA & NJ

Children are often the victims of dog bites and attacks in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Children are unpredictable and don’t always know how to behave around dogs. For instance, a young child may grab or poke a dog and not know to back away when the dog begins to bare its teeth or growl. The dog may then bite the child.

Children who are bitten or attacked by dogs often sustain major injuries to the face, neck and head area. Stitches are often required and scars may develop. In the worst cases, a child may be killed in a dog attack.

More: Children & Dog Bites/Attacks at a Relative’s House

Determine Liability of All Parties (Not Just the Dog Owner)

One of the first steps in assessing a dog bite case involving a child is liability. Who are the liable parties? Dog owners are not the only ones who may be held liable. There are a whole host of facts which should be considered and investigated:

  • Who owns the property where the dog attack occurred?
  • Is the property rented (is there a landlord)?
  • Prior to the attack, had the dog undergone any behavioral treatment or conditioning?
  • Prior to the attack, had the dog been cared for by other parties?
  • Had the dog previously bitten or attacked anyone?
  • Was the dog under any kind of medication, and if so, for what?

Investigating these issues may reveal liability of other parties, such as a landlord, dog breeder, dog trainer, etc. These parties may be held liable in addition to the dog owner.

Pain and Suffering Damages

Under tort laws in PA and NJ, a child injured in a dog bite or attack has legal rights to recover financial compensation for the injuries. The child may have claims for medical bills, mental health treatment costs, and pain and suffering.

Future Damages

Claims may also be made for future damages including future medical treatment, psychological treatment and pain and suffering. Oftentimes, children who are bitten by dogs develop significant scarring. In some instances, future medical treatment is required. In these cases, the child can make a claim for these future treatment costs and the future pain and suffering that will undoubtedly occur.

For a FREE consultation, contact our dog bite lawyers in PA and NJ. (877) 944-8396


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  • Philadelphia (*Primary)
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    Philadelphia, PA 19103
  • Phone: (215) 864-7168
  • Toll Free: (877) 944-8396
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    Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
  • Phone: (856) 317-3600
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