Sometimes, dog bite injuries can be quite severe, and people bitten may require medical treatment for the various diseases and bacteria in a dog’s bite, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Under New York Agriculture & Markets § 123, an owner whose dog has been declared dangerous is “strictly liable” for the dog bite victim’s medical costs. Regardless of whether the dog owner was acting negligently, they still may be responsible for the costs of your medical treatment. Other losses, such as those for property damage or lost wages, are only awarded if the dog owner failed to take reasonable steps to control or restrain their dog.
A “dangerous” dog is any dog that has attacked or killed a person, pet, or farm animal without provocation or behaves in a way a reasonable person would find aggressive or threatening, such as baring its teeth or growling. New York law does allow some exceptions for dog behavior. A dog is not dangerous, and the owner is generally not liable under the following conditions:
- The dog bites while acting in defense of its owner, its owner’s property, its puppies, or itself.
- The dog bites a person who is abusing, hurting, or physically assaulting it or its puppies.
- The dog is responding to pain or injury.
- The dog bites while acting as a police or military service animal.
If a dog has bitten you, a New York dog bite lawyer may be able to help. In the case of physical injury, a lawyer may be able to help you recover the costs of your treatment, such as doctor bills, medications, surgery, ongoing treatments, and any other expenses. A lawyer may be able to help you prove the dog’s owner acted negligently, which would allow you to pursue other losses, such as awards for lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and more.
Even if the dog bite was partially your fault, you still may be able to seek compensation. New York operates under a model of “pure” comparative negligence. Even if a court finds you are 99 percent responsible for your injuries, you can still seek 1 percent of compensation from the other responsible party.
A lawyer may be able to help you negotiate a settlement with the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company. New York has the fourth-highest number of dog bite insurance claims in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). In 2019, there were nearly 900 claims filed, with an average cost of more than $55,000 per claim.
New York Civil Practice Law & Rules § 214 allows a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Even if you hope to settle your claim through insurance, it is a good idea to begin the claims process with a lawyer before the statute expires. If you are unable to reach a negotiation through insurance, you may want to leave yourself the option of pursuing awards in court.
To learn more about how a dog bite lawyer may be able to help you, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444.
What To Do if a Dog Has Bitten You
The majority of dog bite victims suffer injuries by an animal that is familiar to them, and children suffer bites more often than adults. All dogs can bite, even puppies, but dogs are more likely to bite when they are eating, protecting a toy, nervous, scared, or sick.
If a dog has bitten you, you should monitor your wound and seek medical treatment. You should also report your dog bite injury to your local police department or animal control agencies. They will be able to help make contact with the dog’s owner to determine if the animal is up to date on its shots. Filing a report also provides you with documented evidence for your dog bite claim.
How A New York Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
It is in the best interest of insurance companies to settle for as small a sum as possible. If you are working with a dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance, a New York dog bite lawyer can fight to achieve a fair and agreeable settlement for you. Sometimes, the negotiation process can be lengthy, and working with a legal professional can ease that burden.
In instances where you cannot resolve your claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company, a lawyer can help you through the legal process, from filing your case to representing you in court, if necessary. A lawyer can help you examine your case to make sure you are seeking all the compensation you may be owed. A lawyer can help you build your case by securing evidence, including medical records, eyewitness testimony, and official documents.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bite lawyer serving New York, call (800) 794-0444
Pintas & Mullins Law Firm
At Pintas & Mullins Law Firm, we believe your focus should be on healing, not on the costs associated with your injury, or navigating the legal process. We can help take the burden out of seeking compensation and help you achieve an agreeable settlement to alleviate your expenses.
We have helped clients nationwide with their personal injury claims and have achieved millions of dollars in successful settlements. We may be able to help you, too. Our team works on a contingency basis, meaning you pay nothing up front and nothing out of pocket. We only collect a fee if we win a settlement for you. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444 for a risk-free consultation.