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Know Your Rights If You Get Bit Or Your Dog Bites

By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Spring is here and for many in the Delaware Valley that means getting out and walking around the neighborhood. And dog owners are equally excited to let their pooches go romp outdoors.

But as Dog owners take the opportunity to give their pets a brisk walk; this creates an opportunity for dog bites.

So what are your rights if you are bitten? If you are dog owner, what does that mean for you?

Leonard Lundy is a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, who says incidences of dog bites always increase in the spring. What does the law say? He says it depends on where you live. If you are bitten in Pennsylvania, the one dog bite rule applies.

"If a dog bites for the first time, the owner of that dog is only liable for medical expenses and not general damages unless the bite is severe. In New Jersey and in Delaware there is strict liability. You are liable for any damages or injuries caused to someone if your dog bites them."

Each state has specific laws governing whether dogs should be leashed or confined if roaming on your property. So Lundy says make sure you know the law where you live and know your dog because if your pet has a propensity to bite in Pennsylvania you are fully liable for any damages.

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