Dog bites cause serious injuries, from crushed bones to disfiguring injuries. Because of this, the law provides an outlet for victims like you to receive damages to defray the cost of medical care and compensate you for what you suffered. One of our Islip lawyers handling dog bite cases can work directly with you on your case.
The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP is focused on obtaining damages for you and tending to your everyday legal and medical needs. We are invested in the minutia of your recovery, from finding medical specialists for your care to getting you where you need to go for your case. Consultations are free.
We Help You Receive Care and Compensation After a Dog Bite in Islip
New York adheres to both strict liability and a “one-bite” rule. In order to hold a dog owner liable, this means that the dog must have bitten someone or shown aggression before. Strict liability allows you to claim damages for medical expenses without having to prove the owner was negligent. The very fact that the liable party owned a dangerous dog makes them liable for injuries (NY AGM § 123).
The types of damages you can pursue depend on the circumstances of the attack. We can consider all avenues when evaluating your case, so you receive both the treatment you need and the damages you deserve.
Your Right to Medical Damages
If you were bitten by a dog known to be vicious, you are entitled to the repayment of medical expenses related to the injury. This can include:
- ER visits
- Walking aids
- Medical equipment
You could be eligible for damages for secondary or related conditions, such as if you were knocked down by the dog and broke a bone, or sustained bruising. Likewise, if you develop an infection after the bite, such as from tetanus or capnocytophaga, related costs may also be covered. These can include hospital stays.
How to Pursue Other Damages
While the owner of an aggressive dog is responsible for paying for your injuries, additional compensation may require proving the owner was negligent. In that case, you can seek damages for:
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Lost income
- Diminished earning capacity
- Reduced quality of life
These are a mix of economic and non-economic losses. Lost wages are an example of an economic loss—it’s the exact amount of income you lost while recovering. Pain and suffering or changes to your quality of life are non-economic losses, based on factors like how the injury impacted your relationships or the trauma of being attacked.
Because some of these damages are more nuanced, one of our dog bite injury lawyers serving Islip could help explain your eligibility and how to prepare for an injury lawsuit.
We Can Explore and Investigate Lawsuit Options After a Dog Bite
Dog bites often fall under premises liability, so the owner’s home insurance may cover your costs. However, seeking compensation through insurance still requires supporting evidence. The insurance company may argue that the policy doesn’t cover the incident or that the owner is not liable. We can compile evidence to support your claim and negotiate with insurance adjusters.
In some cases, the dog owner may not have insurance coverage, or might have insufficient coverage. If this is the case in your situation, we can help pursue them directly through a personal injury lawsuit for medical damages and compensation like pain and suffering.
Establishing Viciousness and Owner Knowledge
To receive any compensation, you have to prove that the dog was known to be aggressive. To accomplish this, we can:
- Interview witnesses to the attack
- Research the owner’s history with the dog
- Investigate previous behavior issues
- Review video or photos
- Consult neighbors and friends about the dog
Neighbors could mention the dog’s aggressive behavior toward anyone who comes near it, for instance. Establishing a timeline of ownership can connect instances of the dog’s poor behavior with the owner’s knowledge of said behavior. Our goal is twofold: highlighting the dog was dangerous and that the owner knew.
Establishing Owner Negligence
While proving the dog’s aggression is necessary to receive medical compensation, proving negligence only comes into play when you are seeking additional damages. Once we have demonstrated that the dog was dangerous and the owner knew, we can then build a case that the owner did not take proper care to prevent your injuries.
This involves highlighting that:
- The dog was already proven dangerous.
- The owner knew the dog was dangerous.
- The owner did not take steps to mitigate the dog posing a danger to others.
- Failure to mitigate danger caused your injuries.
- You are entitled to compensation for your injuries.
For instance, Islip has a law requiring dogs to be leashed (Town of Islip Code § 12-2). If the owner of a dog that has already bitten someone failed to keep that dog on a leash, and you were bitten, the owner was negligent. Then, not only can you receive medical compensation, but you can also pursue the owner for pain and suffering, reduced earning capacity, and other damages.
Since bite victims must prove both prior viciousness and negligence to receive additional damages, hiring a dog bite attorney from our team can lighten your load. You do not have to parse the legal code, interview witnesses, or review legal precedents. You just have to contact us for your free consultation and let us handle the finer details.
We Can Pursue Justice for Your Loved Ones
A 2019 study in the journal Heliyon found that 35 percent of dog bite injuries affect children 14 years old or younger. If a dog injured your minor child, you could pursue compensation on their behalf. New York also allows you to pursue damages for injuries to your pet or livestock.
Call Us About Any Aspects of Your Dog Bite Case
New York’s dog bite laws can be complicated, but with the help of a dog bite injury lawyer familiar with Islip, you won’t have to make sense of your case alone. The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP offers direct aid from our attorneys as well as timely communication.
We also offer a free consultation. Call now to learn more: (516) 358-6900.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite injury lawyer serving Islip, call 516-358-6900