Woman walking her dog in a park on a leash.

Nearly every week, we hear about dog bites that cause serious injuries. Dog bite injuries can be serious and require multiple surgeries, rehabilitation, treatment for infections, and other invasive medical treatments. Dog bites can be particularly traumatic and distressing for child victims.

If you, your child, or your loved one have been injured in a dog bite attack, you must reach out to an experienced attorney as soon as possible. You will need to follow specific procedures as required by the applicable laws of your local government and the state of New York. The attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC are prepared to help you navigate every step of the process and recover the full amount of compensation you need and deserve while holding the dog’s owner accountable for your injuries.

Understanding New York’s Dog Bite Laws

Every state, including New York, has unique laws regarding dog bite cases and when victims can pursue compensation for their injuries. Under New York law, a dog is only considered inherently dangerous if it has previously attacked a human or killed another animal. When a dog by a victim provokes an attack, the dog will not be considered inherently dangerous. Additionally, police dogs are exempt from the general rule. Under New York’s law, the dog’s owner or guardian is financially liable for the medical expenses of the dog bite victim. 

Victims can pursue damages in addition to medical expenses when they can prove that the dog owner knew or should have known that the dog had a propensity for violence. For example, suppose a dog regularly snarled and snapped at pedestrians walking by on the sidewalk from behind a chain-link fence. Evidence of the dog showing signs of aggression could show that the dog owner should have known that the dog had a propensity for violence. 

Dog Bites Can Cause Serious Injuries

Every dog bite attack is unique, and victims can suffer a wide range of injuries, from bruising and scratching to broken bones and disfigurement. Dog bite injuries are inherently dangerous because they are more likely to cause victims to become infected. If you have been involved in a dog bite that resulted in any puncture wounds, you must receive medical treatment as soon as possible. 

You may benefit from receiving a rabies shot, especially if the dog’s owner cannot be found or the dog’s vaccine record cannot be located. You can also receive treatment for potential infections that can worsen quickly. 

When dogs attack children, they are more likely to suffer disfiguring injuries on their faces and hands. Sometimes, victims require multiple surgeries, including cosmetic surgeries. Even with the best medical treatment available, a child who’s been attacked by a dog may suffer from disfiguring scars for the rest of their lives. In severe dog mauling attacks, a victim may lose fingers, hands, or even arms. Other injuries caused by dog bite incidents include the following:

  • Nerve damage
  • Broken bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Severe scarring
  • Disfiguring wounds
  • Puncture wounds
  • Infection
  • Rabies
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Extreme emotional distress
Dell & Dean, PLLC attorneys in New York & Long Island offering free consultations.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

The steps you take after a dog bite incident can help or hurt your future claim for compensation. After a dog attacks you, do not try to chase the dog, which may provoke the dog further. You should call 911 and request immediate medical attention and the presence of a police officer. 

If you have serious injuries, the paramedic will transport you to the hospital for additional treatment. If you can do so safely, take photos of the dog. You should also take photos of these surrounding areas, especially any property markings that may indicate the location of the dog’s owner. Take photos of all of your injuries as soon as you can.

After you receive medical treatment, you should call animal control, especially if you don’t know the dog. Even if you do know the dog, calling animal control will put them on alert that there is a dangerous animal in the area. If the dog is loose, animal control can try to catch it and determine whether it has rabies. 

Report the Dog Bite to the Police

When a police officer arrives at the scene, she will create a police report. The report may not indicate who the police officer believes to be at fault, but it will provide important information about the dog attack that can be useful when you pursue a compensation claim. 

As soon as you have received medical treatment, you should speak to an attorney. There are time limits in place regarding filing a compensation claim, and the sooner you speak to an attorney, the sooner your attorney can begin developing a strategy for your case.

Recovering Damages After a Dog Bite 

Dog attacks can cause catastrophic injuries, preventing a person from being able to work and engage in the activities they once loved. Depending on the facts in your case, you may have a claim against the dog’s owner, the property owner, the landlord, or the person responsible for watching the dog. An attorney can help you to determine which party or parties are liable in your case. You may be able to pursue compensation for your medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other damages. 

The Benefits of Speaking to an Attorney About Your Dog Bite Claim

Speaking to an attorney as soon as possible can help your claim for compensation in several ways. An attorney can immediately begin investigating the dog bite incident, Gathering police reports, and interviewing witnesses who may be able to provide evidence that the dog was inherently dangerous. We will help guide you through the complex legal process of successfully pursuing a dog bite claim. The attorneys at Dell & Dean, PLLC will work with you to pursue the most compensation possible. Contact us today.

Dell & Dean, PLLC handles claims throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island as well as the boroughs of New York City, and the surrounding areas.