New York Dog Bite Lawyer
Being attacked by a dog can truly be a traumatic experience for the victim, often leaving him or her with physical as well as emotional scars. Some dog bite victims suffer from painful soft tissue injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Others suffer from permanent disfigurement and scars that could leave them with serious self esteem issues. It is absolutely essential for dog owners to take the necessary steps and prevent these types of incidents from occurring. Dog attack victims who suffer due to someone else’s negligence deserve just compensation.
New York Dog Bite Law
Dog bite laws in New York can be complicated and challenging. Victims of dog bites may pursue financial compensation for their injuries, damages and losses. Compensation is typically reserved for those who can prove that the dog owner knew that the animal was vicious and failed to prevent the attack.
Victims of dangerous dogs can seek reimbursement for medical expenses, lost earnings and benefits, pain and suffering, permanent injuries, and other related damages. The owner of the animal involved may face criminal penalties. It is a misdemeanor in New York and punishable by $3,000 and up to 90 days in jail to negligently permit a dog known to be dangerous to bite a person causing serious physical injuries.
New York Dog Bite Statistics
According to the New York State Department of Health, about 6,600 people statewide less than 20 years of age are treated for dog bite injuries annually. Over 200 of those victims suffer injuries that are severe enough to require hospitalization. The National Canine Research Council estimates that there were 3,557 total reported dog bites in New York City in the year 2011.
Injuries Suffered in Dog Bites
Dog bite injuries often range from scratches or lacerations to bite marks, puncture wounds or even death. If the dog is large and powerful, such as a pit bull or rottweiler, the injuries may be much more severe. Victims of serious dog bite injuries typically sustain deep skin injuries, nerve damage, bone fractures and/or scars that may require several cosmetic surgeries. Many victims remain scarred for life – physically and emotionally. Some victims are even exposed to rabies, a potentially fatal viral disease. Dog bite victims are also at risk for other deadly infections.
Receiving Treatment for a Dog Bite
Your doctor will examine the severity of your injuries and determine what type of treatment you may need. In some cases, the bite marks may not be deep enough to cause damage to the muscles, tendons, bones or nerves. Cleaning out dirt and bacteria may be sufficient here. In more serious dog bite incidents, sutures are needed to close the wound. If the wounds are very deep, plastic surgery may be required to reduce visible scarring.
It is also necessary to ensure that you are not infected. It is relatively rare for humans to get rabies, but it can happen. A thorough assessment of the dog’s health must be made to determine if you require rabies medication. Your doctor will also check to see if you are up to date on your tetanus shot.
Dog Bite Prevention
If you own a dog in New York, it is important that you do what you can to prevent an attack whether or not your dog has a history of biting. You are responsible for the actions of your pet. It is advisable to spay or neuter your dog, to train your dog in basic commands, to socialize your dog with many people and to keep your dog secured on your property. Do not, however, tie or chain your dog for longer than three hours at a time. That is illegal in New York City.
If you see a dog that you are not familiar with, you should keep your distance. Avoid dogs that are feeding, nursing or sleeping. Do not run away from a dog you don’t know as that may cause the animal to give chase. Instead, stay still and don’t make eye contact. If you are attacked, it is advisable to remain motionless or to curl up into a ball if you fall to the ground. Call for help at once.
After the Attack
The steps you take immediately following an attack will help protect your rights. Here are few steps to take right away:
- Obtain the dog owner’s name, address and phone numbers. You should also collect information from anyone who may have witnessed the attack.
- Wash your wounds with soap and lots of water. Cover your wounds with a clean bandage and cloth and go to the hospital that same day.
- Call 311 to report the animal bite to the authorities. By law, the owner will then be required to observe the dog for 10 days and report its health status to the Health Department.
- Keep records of all of your expenses including your medical bills and lost wages.
- Take photos of your injuries as they heal.
- Research your legal options and pursue guidance from a New York personal injury lawyer who has handled cases similar to yours.
If you have been injured in a dog bite attack, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Our law firm recovered $750,000 for a girl who was bitten by a dog, which was the most money recovered in New York State in 2010 for a dog bite. With more than 42 years of experience, we work tirelessly to help obtain the best possible compensation for injured victims or those who have lost a loved one due to someone else’s negligence.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:
1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
Please visit us at: http://www.WORK4YOULAW.com
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