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PA Dog Bite News – PA, A Top State For Dog Bite Claims

Posted on Sep 13, 2015

According to the Insurance Information Institute, Pennsylvania is one of the top 5 states for dog bite insurance/injury claims.  This isn’t surprising; a recent study by State Farm Insurance ranked Pennsylvania 8th for the highest amount of claims paid for dog bites in 2014.  See Pennsylvania & New Jersey Are 2 Of The Top 10 States For Dog Bite Injury Claims

Other states in the top five include California, Ohio, and New York.   In 2014, Pennsylvania had 861 dog bite claims, and the average cost per claim was $26,211. 

If homeowners have certain breeds of dogs, they may have a harder time getting homeowners’ insurance.  Below are the top 10 dog breeds insurance companies may black list:

  1. Pit Bull
  2. Doberman Pinscher
  3. Rottweiler
  4. Chow Chow
  5. Great Dane
  6. Perro de Presa Canario
  7. Akitas
  8. Alaskan Malamutes
  9. German Shepherd
  10. Siberian Husky

*Source: Bankrate.com

Fortunately, Pennsylvania law does not allow breed-specific insurance exclusions.  In other words, homeowners cannot be denied coverage for having a specific breed of dog.

However, if a PA homeowner’s dog attacks someone, the homeowner may be held responsible for the victim’s injuries and damages.  PA dog owners may be held responsible for dog attacks if they do not keep their dogs under proper control.

For instance, if a dog owner takes his dog out without a leash and the dog attacks another person, the dog owner is likely to be held responsible for the attack.  The dog owner is negligent because he did not keep his dog under proper control by putting a leash on it. 

Adequate control does not necessarily mean that the dog has to be on a leash.  A dog owner may be responsible for a victim’s injuries if the dog escapes from a backyard and attacks someone.  For instance, a dog owner often lets his dog out in the backyard.  A few times, neighbors have knocked on the owner’s door and informed the owner that the dog is running around in the street.  The dog owner inspects the fence and discovers that his dog was escaping through a broken part of the fence.  The owner never fixes the fence and continues to let the dog out in the backyard.  Then one day, the dog escapes from the backyard again and attacks a child playing outside in the neighborhood.  The owner in this case would likely be held liable because he knew about the broken fence and that his dog could escape, which led to the attack.

Help After A PA Dog Attack

If you or a loved one was attacked or bitten by a dog, you may have legal rights.  Call Daniel J. O’Brien, Esq. to schedule a FREE consultation.  Mr. O’Brien has helped PA dog bite victims financially recover from responsible parties.  877.944.8396

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