Dog Bite Laws

At Hasner and Hasner, PA, we are proponents of responsible pet ownership. The 2nd most popular pet in the United States after cats is dogs. Many people own and love dogs. Also, many people adopted dogs during the COVID19 pandemic and lockdown. If you are one of those that owns a dog or is around dogs on a consistent basis, we are excited for you as they can bring joy and color to your life.

It is important to enjoy dog ownership in a SAFE way. Do your best to get as much of a history as you can on your dog, or the dog that you are encountering. What is the breed? Does that breed have a history of being aggressive or biting? Has your particular dog ever bitten anyone before? How does your dog behave with other dogs? How does your dog behave with children? How does your dog behave with strangers?

Getting answers to these questions should be done in a very careful way. Always leash and take close control of your dog when the dog is in new situations or when the dog is outside.

New Jersey Dog Bites

In New Jersey, if a dog bites a person, there is a strict liability statute for the owner of the dog. This means that even if that dog had never bit anyone prior to that incident, the owner is still responsible for the pain and suffering and injury caused by that bite.

Pennsylvania Dog Bites

In Pennsylvania, if a dog bites a person, there is no strict liability statute like there is in New Jersey. In Pennsylvania, in order to make a recovery for injury caused by a dog bite, one must demonstrate the dog owner’s negligence. This negligence can be demonstrated if the dog bit someone in the past, such that the dog owner was aware that the dog was capable of biting a person. It can also be evidence of negligence on the owner if the owner was aware that the dog was an aggressive dog even if the dog had not bitten anyone before.

You may have heard the phrase “one bite rule” before. All this means is that if a dog has bit someone before, that is evidence that the dog could be violent towards humans or might have vicious propensities because of that prior bite. This prior bite could provide evidence of the owner’s negligence if the owner does not take precautions to prevent a subsequent bite. This rule applies in Pennsylvania but NOT in New Jersey.

Call Hasner and Hasner

If you or your family member has sustained a personal injury by being bitten by a dog, please do not hesitate to give us a call for a free consult to help you in your specific situation.


Document it With Pictures – and Report It!

Slip and Fall Personal Injury Picture Documenting

Picture this scenario: You are walking down the aisle of the grocery store and you are looking for a frozen pizza to purchase to cook for later. All of a sudden, you are up in the air. Your feet go out from under you and you land on your back in a puddle of water. You are in shock and you don’t know what to do. Well, here are a couple of basic but important things to keep in mind when you are involved in an accident such as this, or really any accident where you feel you may have been injured:

Steps after an accident

1) Identify what you fell on – It’s one thing to fall if you are simply unsteady on your feet. It is another thing to fall if you stepped in water, ice, fruit, a slippery floor, a cracked floor or some other tripping hazard on the ground and it caused you to fall. Obviously your first concern is your health and well being. But, after the shock of falling has passed, take a look at the area in which you fell and determine if it was wet or icy or if you tripped on something. If this is the case, take a picture of it. You may have a claim for personal injury.

2) Pictures pictures pictures!! – Even your own grandmother has a smartphone in this day in age. And all of these smartphones have cameras. Use them! If you fell on ice, take a picture of the ice. If you fell on water or a piece of fruit in a store, take a picture of it! Take a picture of the aisle you were in. Documentation is extremely helpful if it turns out that you were hurt as a result of your fall.

3) Report it to a manager and get a copy of the report – If you fell in a supermarket, tell the manager. If you fell on the sidewalk outside of an apartment complex, tell the office manager. Also be sure to file a written report if you can. Get the manager’s full name and number and, if the report is not immediately available, ask when it will be available so that you can get a copy. Make sure to identify what you fell on in the report, as well as the location in the store or on the sidewalk where you fell.

4) Did anyone say anything? – Sometimes, a member of the supermarket will rush to come help you or respond to the area where you fell. Did they say anything about the condition of the floor? They could say things like, “Oh, we meant to clean that up,” or “Oh, that shouldn’t have been there.” Do your best to get that employee’s name or have some way to identify that employee for later.

5) Warning signs? Did you notice if there was a “wet floor” sign or a caution sign up? If yes, take a picture. If no, take a picture as well.

6) There are cameras! Surveillance cameras are in use more and more these days. You would be surprised at all the different places they are located. There may even be cameras outside of buildings, in hallways, in supermarket aisles and other places you can’t even think of. So, if you fall, consult with an attorney right away. An attorney can immediately send a letter to the store or residential complex demanding that the videotape be preserved. Often times videotape is erased not long after it is recorded, so time is of the essence!

Also, since you are being videotaped, if you are really hurt, you would most likely not do cartwheels in the aisles and continue shopping after the accident. Assume that you are being videotaped. Be wary of your activity after you fall because it could be used against you in a later claim if you seem to be fine on camera after the accident.

7) Hospital or medical treatment immediately – If you are injured you should always consider either going to the hospital or going to see a doctor as soon as possible. Documenting potential injuries early on is critical in showing that the fall was the cause of your injuries

8) Witnesses – If there are any witnesses who saw your fall, get their names and numbers.

Keeping in mind these quick and easy tips can prove helpful in the future if you have a claim for personal injury.

Contact Us Today

If you have any questions about anything in this post, or any other personal injury questions, please feel free to contact me at or by contacting my office at 856-282-0777. Consultations are always FREE.

-David Hasner, Esq. – Hasner and Hasner, PA

*Disclaimer* Content posted in this blog is made for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. If you have any questions about the information in this blog, contact David Hasner, Esq. or an attorney with knowledge in this area of law for a consultation. Viewing this blog does not create and attorney/client relationship with Hasner and Hasner, PA. and/or David Hasner, Esq.