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New York Dog Bite Lawyer

New York


In New York, dog bites are not only traumatic events but can also lead to complicated legal disputes. Victims may require the services of a dedicated New York dog bite lawyer who is well-versed in the intricacies of personal injury law as it relates to animal attacks. These specialized attorneys provide the necessary legal expertise to navigate New York’s unique dog bite laws and assist those affected by dog attacks in securing fair compensation.

Experienced dog bite attorneys understand that the aftermath of a dog attack can be overwhelming for the injured party. A New York dog bite attorney typically offers a free initial consultation to discuss the victim’s rights and the potential for legal recourse. This is a critical step in ensuring that victims are informed of their options under New York law. Legal teams in this field possess the knowledge and skill to advocate effectively for their clients, ensuring that the complexities of each case are handled with the utmost care and attention.

Understanding Dog Bite Laws in New York

Strict Liability vs. Negligence

New York’s dog bite statute (Agriculture & Markets Law Section 121) imposes a form of strict liability on dog owners for medical costs from injuries caused by their dangerous dog. A dangerous dog has previously bitten someone or behaved in a way that posed a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury. In strict liability cases, the injured party does not need to prove the owner’s negligence. However, for other damages such as pain and suffering, the victim must prove the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s vicious propensities, effectively integrating negligence into the legal standards for compensation.

The One-Bite Rule

The one-bite rule is an older common law standard that allows a dog one bite before the owner is held liable, under the presumption that the owner could not foresee the dog’s dangerous nature before the first incident. In New York, this rule applies in determining whether a dog is deemed dangerous, impacting the owner’s liability. A documented history of aggression or a previous bite can label a dog dangerous, thus placing a heavier responsibility on the owner. Landlords and property owners may also be considered negligent and face liability if they were aware of a tenant’s dangerous dog and did nothing to ensure the safety of others.

What To Do After a Dog Bite or Attack

Immediate Steps

  1. Contain the situation: If safe to do so, ensure the dog cannot harm anyone else by isolating it.
  2. Identify the dog and its owner: Gather contact information from the owner, including name, address, and phone number.
  3. Collect witness information: If there are witnesses, one should obtain their names and contact details, as they may be needed to provide accounts of the incident later on.
  4. Document the incident: Taking photos of injuries, the location, and the dog can serve as important evidence in the future.

Medical Attention

  • Evaluate the injury: Even minor wounds can result in infection or rabies. It’s important to clean the wound with soap and water immediately.
  • Seek professional care: A healthcare provider should assess the bite for potential rabies exposure, the need for tetanus shots, and determine the appropriate medical treatment, which may include antibiotics to prevent infection.
  • Document all medical treatment: Keeping detailed records of medical visits, prescribed medicines, and any other medical expenses is crucial for any potential legal claims.

Reporting the Incident

  • Notify local authorities: Contacting the police to file a report provides an official record of the event, which can be critical for legal and insurance purposes.
  • Contact local animal control: Reporting the attack to animal control is essential, as they will document the incident and may investigate the dog’s history and ensure the animal is up-to-date on vaccinations, including rabies.

Compensation and Damages for Dog Bite Victims

Types of Compensable Damages

Medical Expenses: Victims can claim reimbursement for medical costs related to the dog bite. 

Lost Income: Compensation for wages lost due to the inability to work following a dog bite incident.

Pain and Suffering: Compensation may include damages for physical pain and emotional suffering endured as a result of the injury.

Emotional Distress: Victims frequently experience significant emotional trauma post-attack, which is an important component of the compensation.

Disfigurement and Scarring: If the bite results in permanent scarring or disfigurement, the victim may seek damages to cover these impacts.

Long-Term Disability: In cases of severe attacks that result in disability, compensation for long-term care and loss of future earning capacity can be included.

Additional Damages: Some jurisdictions allow for recovery of damages related to loss of quality of life or punitive damages in cases of owner negligence.

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Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in New York

Statute of Limitations

In New York, the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite lawsuit is generally three years from the date of the bite. This means that the injured party must initiate legal action within this timeframe to seek damages. Failure to file within this period typically results in the loss of the right to sue.

The Role of a New York Dog Bite Lawyer

A New York dog bite lawyer plays a crucial role in navigating the complexities of the legal system to help victims of dog bites. They provide the following:

  1. Legal Expertise: Understanding of the nuances in New York’s dog bite laws.
  2. Case Preparation: Gathering evidence to support the victim’s claim.
  3. Maximizing Compensation: Striving to secure the highest possible compensation for injuries, which may include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Our dog bite lawyers offer a free consultation to evaluate the case and advise on the best course of action. In situations involving a fatality, they can assist with filing wrongful death claims to seek justice for the deceased and their family. They aim to reach fair settlements, but are prepared to proceed to trial to achieve a just verdict if necessary.

Client Testimonials

They WILL take care of you.

This was the easiest and best experience I've experienced with a law firm. They represented me aggressively and handled my case with finesse and diligence. I highly recommend anyone who is having any issues to reach out to Mike Agruss Law Firm. They WILL take care of you.

-Victor

He went above and beyond

Mike called me on the weekend to answer a question I had emailed him on a Friday I wasn't expecting to hear from him until Monday. He went above and beyond anything I could have ever expected. Not only is he a excellent attorney he is also a kind, caring and a patient person. I was truly blessed by him, his paralegal, and this law firm.

-Sean

Thank you everyone!

Yes this team is incredible. They were not only professional and intelligent and thorough, they demonstrated the highest level of care and compassion for what was otherwise a really demoralizing and confusing experience. My case was long and difficult and they kept me in the loop all along the way and brought it to excellent resolution. So grateful to their team especially Rachael who took my first flustered call on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to partner Jim who carried the case across the line. Oh, and they got a great settlement! Thank you everyone!

-Jared

I can’t say thank you enough!

I was injured and tried handling things on my own with insurance. My first call it was apparent they weren’t going to help me even though I wasn’t at fault. I was referred to Mike Agruss Law and the experience made what was a nightmare turn into an easy and peaceful experience. They handled everything for me and made sure my medical bills were paid, and I was compensated for loss of wages and more. I came to them in tears, shaken up, and scared. They comforted me and took care of me and my family. I can’t say thank you enough! Thank you, Rachael Mitchell, Jackie Laino, and Ryan Platt!!

-Rochelle

Highly recommend

We had a wonderful experience with Mike Agruss Law! They were honest and took care of our issue quickly and efficiently. Highly recommend.

-Sarah

Thank you!

Mike and his team were compassionate, detailed, and displayed excellent professionalism. This is the 1st time I needed a lawyer for legal services. Mike and his team walked me through the process. Agruss law firm are real experts. They fought for me and were able to settle my case. I received more than expected. Thanks to Mike and his team. I felt value and appreciate by them. Thank you!

-Lavone

I highly recommend Mike Agruss and his staff.

The attorneys at Agruss are attentive, hard-working, and genuinely care for their clients and their best interests. I have seen them work tirelessly to ensure the best outcome for clients. I highly recommend Mike Agruss and his staff.

-Kristin

Communication was top notch

Mike Agruss Law was extremely easy to work with. They helped me on two different times. Communication was top notch. If ever in need I would use again and have recommended to several people.

-Tara

I highly recommend him and his firm!

Mike Agruss is an extremely knowledgeable personal injury attorney who puts his client's best interests first. Whenever I reach out to him with questions, he always gets back to me right away, which is extremely refreshing when dealing with an attorney. I highly recommend him and his firm!

-Trista

Mike Agruss Law was incredibly helpful

Mike Agruss Law was incredibly helpful and tenacious at fighting for me with my case. I am beyond satisfied with my results and cannot recommend them enough for all the hard work they put in. They really care about what they do and care about their clients and it can be seen in the work they do. All that is left to say was that my case was a win-win all around very happy with the results. Please consider them if you have any issues.

-Brandy

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