Flaherty Fardo has significant experience in representing individuals who have been injured by dogs or were victims of dog bites or dog attacks. Animal owners can be held responsible for dog bite injuries caused by their pets. Flaherty Fardo helps victims of animal attacks including:
Yes, you can file a lawsuit in Pennsylvania for injuries suffered from a dog bite or dog attack. Typically these cases have defenses provided by the owners homeowners insurance company and injured victims are entitled to money for both economic and non-economic injuries sustained. Economic injuries can include lost wages, medical bills and any and all out of pocket expenses. Non-economic injuries often include compensation for permanent scarring, as well as both physical and mental suffering as result of the dog bite or attack.
Statistics reveal that approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year according to the Centers for Disease Control. About 20% (1 in 5) usually leads to the necessity of medical attention. Our Pittsburgh law firm helps western Pennsylvania residents recover when injured by dogs and/or other animals.
Unfortunately, a large number of animals who injure people are not first time offenders. When animals attack, and the owners are aware of any history of violence, they have a duty to warn and protect the public from their animals. Owners have a duty to guests as well as strangers to ensure that their dog do not cause physical harm.
Each county in Pennsylvania has different requirements about licensing and handing of dogs and other animals. Allegheny County requires a permit for each dog in the county. Owners of animals have a legal and moral duty to make sure that their animals are properly cared for, and restrained so as not to injure people.
Accidents can happen, but dogs can be weapons and can cause irreparable harm to people, especially small children. Most people have at least heard of stories of small children with permanent scars on their face due to dog bites. Most of these are preventable. Animal attacks and dog bites can occur even though the animals had not shown any vicious tendencies.
If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury or animal attack, you should notify the authorities at once. A police report should always be filed in animal attacks, not only to document what happened, but also to help prevent the animal from harming anyone else.
The statute of limitations in Pennsylvania for dog bite cases is 2 (two) years from the date of the incident. If you have been injured by a dog, you should not delay in taking legal action. There may be questions about ownership of the dog, or legal discovery questions that will take time to answer before filing a lawsuit.
Our representation for all personal injury cases is based on a contingent fee structure. There is absolutely no fee unless we obtain monetary recovery. We advance 100% the costs and are only reimbursed from the client’s share if we are successful.
The incident/Case: On May 19, 2018, I was bitten, in a neighbor’s yard, by a border collie. What followed was a 911 trip to the ER, multiple surgeries and a five-day stay in the hospital.
Early on, I contacted Shawn Flaherty, whom I had known and trusted from our earlier acquaintance. After a brief phone conversation, Shawn conveyed both concern for my condition and a willingness to discuss the case further. What followed was a growing confidence on my part that I had a legitimate cause for litigation and a high probability of success going forward. At that point, I entered into a formal contract with the law practice of Flaherty Fardo.
A critical cornerstone in these proceedings, I discovered, was the role of Jaclyn DiPaola, an associate Attorney at the firm. While lawyers are often unresponsive or difficult to reach, Jaclyn’s innate intelligence, experience and knowledge of the law, along with her near-immediate responses (including evenings and weekends) kept me informed and provided clarity about the proceedings. Ms. DiPaola was also invaluable in meetings, where she kept track of what was said and accessed important information as our dealings progressed.
Preparing for Litigation: I was immediately impressed by the thorough approach undertaken by the team. Shawn asked for photos taken of the injury, a copy of my hospital log, and a narrative of the days, weeks and months that came after the initial incident. A portal was created so that all actions taken on my behalf could be promptly and efficiently communicated to me. Reviewing the list of “Advance Case Costs” speaks to the thoroughness of the prep – which includes over 25 documents, investigative/consulting reports and medical records.
The Litigation: As depositions began, it became clear that the thoroughness of Shawn’s preparing me to testify and his handling of the defendant and his lawyer would provide an extremely strong argument in my favor. Flaherty’s relentless but not abrasive handling of the defendant’s and witnesses’ testimony was truly impressive. At some point, it became clear that a settlement could only be reached by moving to mediation.
Mediation: Throughout this process, my lawyer followed a strategy that maximized our chances for success. The 11 page ‘brief’ submitted to the mediator was comprehensive, compelling and extremely well-written. While the back and forth was arduous and complicated, I felt reassured and confident that we were headed for a favorable outcome.
The Settlement: In the end, we all mutually agreed that the matter should be resolved by settlement. He ultimately left the final decision up to me. I appreciate and commend him for that and for his professional treatment of me and my case. To her credit, Jaclyn also was able to reduce Medicare’s demand for hospital costs by one-half. I was very happy and satisfied with the services I received from Flaherty Fardo.