There is no “one free bite” rule if you or your child was bitten by a dog. Under New York law, dog owners may be held liable for any harm inflicted by their pets, even if the animal never attacked anyone before. Whatever the circumstances of the animal attack, you have legal remedies, including a right to pursue compensation for all your medical bills.
But dog bite claims are not as simple as they used to be. New York law limits dog owners’ liability in dog attack cases.
The attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP can address any legal barriers between you and the comprehensive compensation you need to deal with the impact of a serious dog bite or attack.
Contact us now for a free consultation if you or someone you love has been attacked by a dog. Our attorneys handle dog bite cases in Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Queens.
Serious Consequences of Dog Bite Injuries
About 885,000 people each year – half of them children – seek medical attention for injuries related to dog bites, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 27,000 people undergo reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by dogs in a typical year, the CDC says.
The Insurance Information Institute says insurers pay about 16,500 dog bite claims through homeowners insurance during a calendar year at an average rate of almost $30,000 each – far less than the true cost of a many serious injuries.
If you have been bitten by a dog in New York and sought medical treatment for your injury, you may obtain compensation from the dog owner in most cases. The dog’s owner is usually liable for harm the animal caused, unless the victim was trespassing or provoked the dog.
New York’s dog bite law makes dog owners strictly liable for medical costs suffered by someone who was bitten by their dog (and veterinary costs if another animal was attacked).
In addition to contusions (bruises) and potentially serious lacerations (cuts) caused by a biting and clawing dog, a dog attack victim may suffer:
- Scarring and disfigurement — Deep bites commonly leave unsightly cheloid (raised and discolored) scars. Children are particularly vulnerable to being bitten on the face or neck, where scars can leave disfiguring marks for a lifetime.
- Psychological damage — Some victims, especially children, develop a debilitating fear of dogs or require treatment for anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Lost wages — Dog bite victims can lose income while out of work to recover, or may suffer diminished earning capacity due to disability from a mauling.
To obtain additional compensation, such as for pain and suffering or lost wages, the victim must prove the dog had a dangerous tendency to bite people – and the dog’s owner knew about it or should have known about it. This usually requires an investigation by attorneys who are experienced and who have the victim’s best interests in mind.
Citations for prior attacks or local leash law violations, eyewitness or neighbors’ testimony, and other evidence may help demonstrate that a dog was known to be dangerous. For example, a dog may have been known to growl, snap or bare its teeth, or it may have been restrained by the owner in a manner indicating the animal was hard to control.
We Investigate Dog Bite Cases
The attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP can fully investigate your dog bite case to determine what compensation you may be due for your injuries. It is important to keep in mind that dog bite claims are covered by homeowners’ liability insurance in most cases. If the dog that bit you was owned by a neighbor, relative or friend, it should not stop you from seeking the compensation that you deserve.
In some cases, there may be third-party liability that should also be explored. If the dog was trained as a guard dog, for example, the trainer may be liable for your injuries. We explore all potential sources of recovery and insurance coverage.
In addition to compiling evidence of liability, we work to ensure all of your expenses and losses are calculated before we negotiate a settlement. This includes all medical costs and wage losses.
Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP’s lawyers put more than 100 years of collective experience to work to recover full and fair compensation for injuries suffered by our dog bite clients. We are ready to assist you, too.
Discuss your Dog Bite Claim with a Long Island Lawyer Now
Dog bites are often traumatic, painful and disabling. The attorneys of Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP assist clients with financial hardships or pressing issues after a dog attack, such as finding a plastic surgeon or psychologist, while we build the case for recovery of full and fair monetary damages.
You have rights … if you use them.
If you need a Long Island Dog Bite Lawyer, call Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP now or fill out our simple form for a free consultation. If you have suffered a serious dog bite on Long Island, contact us today for an immediate response. We can come to you if that’s more convenient.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Dog Bites
- Insurance Information Institute – Dog Bite Liability
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving Long Island, call 516-358-6900