Earlier this week, an 11 year old girl was attacked by a dog while walking home from school with her brother. Witnesses say that the dog was a Mastiff. *Source: http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com (Girl Injured After Being Bitten By Dog In Beechview)
Fortunately, a man driving in the neighborhood saw the girl being attacked by the dog and stopped the dog attack. According to the news report, the man saw the girl lying face down, and the dog was on top of her. The man then jumped out of his car and pulled the dog off of the little girl. Luckily, the girl’s brother was not injured. The little girl was taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital for head, neck and back injuries.
The dog apparently escaped from its yard through a gap in a wooden fence around the yard.
In Pennsylvania, there is a “leash law” which requires dog owners to keep their dogs under proper and adequate control. The purpose of the leash law is to protect the public’s health and safety and prevent dogs from running at large.
Under the law, owners must keep their dogs:
Related PA Dog Attack Legal Article: What You Need To Know If You Were Attacked And Injured By An Unleashed Dog In Pennsylvania
In the 11 year old girl’s situation, the owner of the Mastiff may be liable for her injuries if he violated Pennsylvania’s leash law. For example, if prior to this incident, the dog escaped through the same gap in the wooden fence, and the dog owner didn’t patch or fix the gap, it can be argued that the dog owner is liable because he did not keep his dog under reasonable control when he failed to fix the fence.
However, even if the dog had escaped before, the owner may not be held responsible if he took steps to keep the dog under reasonable control after that escape. For example, if the owner hired a company to fix the gap after the dog’s first escape, but the dog still somehow broke through the wooden fence, then it can be argued that the owner did keep the dog under reasonable control when he fixed the fence.
PA Dog Attack Case Result: $1,000,000 settlement after dog attacks owner
If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog in Pennsylvania, you may be entitled to compensation. Dog bite injuries not only leave physical scars but they may also leave emotional scars. If you would like to discuss your dog attack and explore your legal options, feel free to call the PA and NJ dog bite injury lawyers at White and Williams @ 877.944.8396 for a free consultation.