Dog Bite Lawsuit New York
Dog bites are common causes of injury in New York, and the majority of victims are young children who are unable to gauge when a dog is upset or dangerous. Dog attack injuries can be serious, and the economic costs and the pain and suffering can both be substantial, especially for a child victim, and the child’s family members.
If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog in New York, you should consult with an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can help you collect important evidence in order to build a strong case to improve your chances of obtaining compensation for the harm you have suffered. Compensation can be sought for your injuries, lost wages, past medical expenses, future medical expenses, rehabilitation, therapy, scarring, disfigurement, and pain and suffering.
Types of Harm
Dog attacks are most often directed at the head and face, but can also occur to the arms, hands and legs of the victim. What makes dog bites so serious is that the dog often chomps down very hard on the victim, and does not let go easily. This can cause serious, deep and painful injuries for the victim. Further trauma to the dog bite wound can occur as the victim tries to get the dog to let go, or if the dog begins to furiously pull or yank on the victim.
Attacks can cause serious injuries, including:
- Lacerations and puncture wounds;
- Broken bones;
- Permanent facial damage; and
In addition to causing a physical injury, during a dog bite dog saliva is often transferred to the wound. Bacteria in the dog’s saliva could cause an infection in the wound, which can produce complications for the victim as the victim tries to recover. An infection in the wound can slow down or complicate recovery, and can require additional medical care and medication.
Dog bite fatalities are rare, but do occasionally happen. Most dog attack fatalities are suffered by very young children. Victims of dog bites and attacks may need surgery, which often involves plastic surgery, to repair the sometimes-disfiguring injuries caused by a dog attack.
In addition to the cosmetic surgeries that might be required after a dog attack, dog bites can be very deep, and can damage tissues and muscles deep under the skin. Some dog bites can even cut into bone. Deep dog bite wounds often require reconstructive surgery to fix the damaged tissues, muscle and ligaments, so that the victim can recover some, if not all, of his or her use of the injured limb. These types of surgeries are complicated, risky, and take a long time to recover from. Dog bite victims might also need rehabilitation therapy as well.
Dog owners in New York are strictly liable for an attack victim’s medical costs, which means that the victim need not prove that the owner was negligent. This is true even if it is the first time the dog has ever bitten someone. Thus, if a dog attacks a person, the owner must pay the victim’s medical expenses, which may include emergency room visits, surgery, hospitalization, and, if necessary, psychological treatment or counselling.
But an owner of a dog can also be liable for other damages resulting from a dog bite or attack, such as pain and suffering, scarring, and lost wages, only if the owner:
- Knew beforehand that the dog had vicious tendencies; and
- Failed to take appropriate precautionary measures.
So if the dog’s owner knows that the dog has a history of biting or attacking people, even if it was just once before, the dog’s owner can be held liable for additional compensation to the victim that goes above and beyond merely covering the victim’s medical expenses associated with the bite or attack.
One the other hand, there may be some limited situations where a dog owner may not be held liable for dog bite or attack-related injuries. If the victim provoked the animal, he or she will not be able to recover damages. It would not be fair to allow a victim to recover for injuries sustained by a dog attack if the victim deliberately and relentlessly provoked the dog into a frenzy.
If you have been attacked by a dog in New York, the attorneys at Ask Your Lawyer can help you recover compensation for your injuries.
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