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What Should You Do if You’ve Been Bitten by Someone Else’s Dog?

Dog bite
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Being bitten by someone else’s dog can be an emotionally traumatizing and physically painful experience. Importantly, if you suffered injuries due to a dog bite, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the owner if they knew their dog had vicious propensities. New York imposes both strict liability and the “one-bite” rule when it comes to holding an owner responsible for their dog’s behavior.                            

Steps to Take After a Dog Attack 

Unfortunately, dog bites are not uncommon in New York City — and when they occur, they can result in disfigurement, lasting disability, and other serious injuries. While you may be eligible to pursue legal action for the injuries you sustained as a result of a dog owner’s negligence, it’s essential to understand that there are certain steps you should take if you find yourself in this situation.

To increase your chances of a favorable outcome in a dog bite lawsuit, you should do the following:    

  • Obtain the owner’s name and contact information
  • Make a police report
  • Take photos of your injuries and any property damage
  • Obtain the names and contact information of any witnesses
  • Retain any clothing or property damaged by the dog
  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Contact an experienced personal injury attorney

The dog owner’s insurance company may contact you by phone and ask for a statement. It’s essential that you don’t offer more information than necessary — the adjuster will try to use anything you say against you in an attempt to prove that you aren’t as injured as you claim to be. Critically, once you are represented by counsel, the insurance company is not permitted to speak with you directly without the consent of your attorney.

Compensation for a Dog Bite in New York

The physical injuries suffered by a dog bite victim can be severe. They may include nerve damage, tetanus, scarring, bacterial infections, lacerations, puncture wounds, and crush injuries. Often, these types of injuries can require extensive medical care, hospitalization, surgeries, and multiple visits to the doctor. A victim may also suffer emotional harm as a result of the attack. 

If you were hurt in a dog attack, you may be able to recover your economic losses in connection with the bite. Economic damages are meant to compensate you for the monetary losses you incurred due to your injuries. You may also recover the costs of any property that was damaged or destroyed in the attack — such as your cell phone, glasses, or clothing. Significantly, an owner of a dog previously declared dangerous is strictly liable under New York law to cover medical costs you incurred as a result of the bite.

Non-economic damages — also referred to as “pain and suffering” — is monetary compensation that may be awarded in a personal injury action for the emotional harm you suffered due to a dog bite. If you can establish that the dog’s handler failed to use reasonable care in preventing the attack from happening, or they were negligent, you may be eligible to recover for your physical pain and emotional anguish. In determining a non-economic damages award, a jury may consider your loss of enjoyment of life, your inability to take part in the activities you once enjoyed, and the humiliation you experienced due to your injuries.

Contact an Experienced New York Personal injury Attorney

If you have sustained injuries due to a bite by someone else’s dog, you may be entitled to recover your damages from the dog owner or another negligent party. The personal injury attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. are committed to fighting for the rights of dog bite victims and ensuring their clients receive the maximum compensation they deserve. 

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a free consultation.  

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