New York Dog Bite Attorneys Recover Compensation for Bite Victims

New York dog bite attorneys at Leeds Brown have noticed that as the number of dog owners has increased over the years, so has the number of dog bite cases. It is hard to find a house without a dog these days. Many of them are friendly, playful, and loyal companions who provide a tremendous amount of joy to owners and their neighbors.

Other dogs, however, become overly aggressive and bite children and adults. Certain dogs tend to be more prone to aggression than others, but any dog can become dangerous if it is provoked or feels uncomfortable. Sometimes, a dog bites because it is frightened or not used to being around children. Other times, a dog bites because it is trying to protect itself or its owner.

Regardless of the reason, when a dog bites someone, the owner may be held responsible for the injuries it inflicts on the victim. The laws on this vary from state to state but there are instances when it is appropriate to seek compensation from a dog owner. Dog bite injuries can be minor, severe and even deadly and can cost victims a lot of money. Medical expenses, the cost of psychological care and lost wages may be recoverable in many cases.

Having New York dog bite attorneys to help protect your legal rights after you or your child is injured by a dog is crucial to obtaining a successful outcome. Leeds Brown has the experience and dedication to advocate vigorously on your behalf and ensure that the dog owner is held accountable for the dangerous actions of the dog. Leeds Brown understands just how to prove a dog bite case and will work hard to recover the maximum amount of damages New York law allows.

Dog Bites Injure Millions of Americans

According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control, more than 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. Of those millions of attacks, 800,000 victims will seek medical attention. 400,000 of these victims are children. Over 350,000 of the victims who seek medical attention need emergency treatment.

Each year in New York State alone, 6,600 children under 20 years old are treated at a hospital because of a dog bite. Hundreds of them are injured so badly that they require hospitalization.

New York Dog Bite Law is Complex

New York law states that the owner of a dangerous dog is liable for the medical costs of injuries their dog causes to a person, livestock or a companion animal. A dangerous dog is:

  • A dog that attacks, hurts or kills a person, farm animal or pet with no justification

  • A dog that behaves in a way that would make a reasonable person believe the dog poses a serious, unjustified, and imminent threat of serious physical injury or death.

New York Strict Liability for Dog Bites

A dog owner in New York is strictly liable for medical bills that result from a dog bite injury. Strictly liable means that even if the owner or custodian used reasonable care to control the dog, the owner is responsible for the medical costs of treating the injury sustained by the victim.

New York Negligence Dog Bite Cases

The dog bite victim must prove that the dog owner was somehow negligent to recover compensation for more than just the medical costs incurred by the attack. In other words, the victim must show that the owner of the dog failed to use reasonable care to control or restrain the dog, or to protect or warn others that the dog had dangerous habits.

Sometimes, this is referred to as the “one-bite” rule. An owner who knows that his dog had bitten before or acted aggressively before must use reasonable care to warn people of the danger. Failure to do so is a breach of duty and, therefore, negligent.

For example, it may be a sign of negligence that the owner of a dangerous dog does not have a “beware of dog” sign or other warning notice. It may also be a sign of negligence that the owner of a dog who bit a child, takes the dog for a walk with no leash.

If a dog bite victim can prove the owner was negligent, additional damages may be awarded. In addition to medical bills, compensation may be available for lost wages, emotional distress, pain, and suffering.

Injuries from Dog Bites

According to the CDC, one out of every five dog bites becomes infected. Infection can lead to pain, the need for medication and sometimes surgery. Some other common injuries caused by dog bites include:

  • Rabies
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Disfigurement
  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Scarring
  • Stitches
  • MRSA
  • Tetanus
  • Pain
  • Fear and anxiety

Of course, sometimes a New York dog attack results in severe disfiguring, debilitating or fatal injuries, especially when children are involved. When this happens, having an attorney to protect your interests becomes imperative. The loss of a loved one or the realization that someone’s life will never be the same is traumatic, and it is hard to make decisions when you are grieving. The New York dog bite attorneys at Leeds Brown are here to take some of the burdens off your shoulders. We can help initiate your dog bite claim for monetary damages while you tend to your family’s needs during a difficult time.

What Should you do if you Suffer a Dog Bite Injury?

After you or someone in your family suffers a dog bite, the first thing you should do is seek appropriate medical attention. Save any records of treatment and receipts of payment. Be sure you get the name and contact information of the dog owner and any bystanders who may have witnessed the attack. As soon as it is practical, file a report of your injury with the police. Get a copy of it for your personal records. If possible, take pictures of your injuries, the scene of the attack and any other evidence such as torn clothing.

The goal is to tend to your injuries and preserve evidence in case the dog owner disputes your claim for damages. Having a good record of the events and the injuries may help your attorneys prove negligence and secure a fair and appropriate settlement amount.

Contact New York Dog Bite Injury Attorneys to Preserve Your Legal Rights

Every state, including New York, has a statute of limitations which places a deadline on the filing of cases in civil court. Personal injury cases, including dog bite cases, have a three-year statute of limitations. In other words, you must file your civil case within three years of the date of the injury. If you do not file within the three-year period, you may be too late and unable to recover damages.

We have no way of knowing how much time you have left until we hear the facts of your case. Contact experienced dog bite injury attorneys at Leeds Brown today for a free case evaluation. Our hands-on, team-based approach has proven successful time and time again. Allow us to help you obtain the outcome you deserve after a dog bite injury. You can reach Leeds Brown; the New York dog bite attorneys at 1-800-585-4658.