Dog Bite Lawyers in New York City
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It may be tempting to assume a dog bite causes only minor injuries. Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case.
Dog attacks can, and often do, leave victims with severe injuries, life-threatening infections, and permanent scarring. It’s often the case that dog bite victims need extensive and costly medical treatment and, on top of that, dog bite victims are often unable to work to earn money to pay doctors’ bills.
If you’ve suffered a serious dog bite injury in NYC, we’ve got some good news for you. You may be eligible to receive compensation to pay for medical bills and make up for lost wages.
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Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Just like people, every dog has a different personality. Vicious, ferocious dogs come in all sizes, and the largest of them can cause substantial, life-changing injuries, especially when the victims are children. The most common types of dog bite injuries we see are:
- Hand and arm injuries
- Puncture wounds
- Eye injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Nerve damage
- Emotional distress
- Wrongful death
Even if the injuries did not result from a dog bite, attack victims may still be eligible for compensation. Aggressive dogs can knock people down and cause traumatic brain injuries, for example. No matter what type of dog attack injury you suffered, if you did nothing to provoke the dog, you have the right to seek compensation.
The Responsibilities of Dog Owners
Dog owners aren’t just responsible for caring for their pets. They must also ensure their animals are not violent and will not hurt anyone. In most cases, proper socialization and restraining the dog as needed will prevent people from getting hurt, but that’s not always enough. Every dog owner has a responsibility to:
- Address a dog’s aggressive tendencies before they cause other people harm
- Leash a dog when it is not on its owner’s property
- Keep the dog’s vaccinations up-to-date
- Prevent the dog from approaching strangers
- Post warning signs about dangerous or aggressive dogs on personal property
Every state has slightly different laws regarding a dog owner’s liability for bites and attacks. In New York, those laws are quite strict. Even if the owner does not know that a dog is dangerous or aggressive, he or she can still be held liable if the animal bites someone.
That liability extends to private property, as well, as long as the victim was legally allowed to be on that property.
Types of Compensation from Dog Bite Lawsuits
Victims of dog attacks may claim full and fair compensation for the losses suffered as a result of an attack. The types of compensation they may claim can include any of the following examples.
Economic damages include things like medical expenses, counseling costs, rehabilitation fees, and lost wages.
Because dog bite victims often undergo ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation, these damages should be calculated by taking into account both past and future costs.
Expenses associated with preventing future dog bites and attacks, such as installing fences, can also be claimed as economic damages.
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate. They include things like the embarrassment caused by scarring or disfigurement, pain and suffering resulting from the attack, and loss of enjoyment.
When a dog owner’s reckless behavior leads to a dog attack, the victim may also be able to claim what are known as punitive damages. Punitive damages are a little different in that they are intended to punish a dog’s owner for recklessness rather than compensate the bite victim for losses.
Tips for Preventing a Dog Bite or Animal Attack
Most dog attacks are unprovoked. However, there are some things NYC residents can do to help protect themselves against dog bite injuries. Here are a few tips that can help.
- Don’t leave small children alone with any dogs.
- Never play aggressive games with dogs.
- Always ask permission before petting a dog.
- Allow the dog to sniff you before petting it.
- Never pet the face or tail of an unfamiliar dog.
- Always pet gently.
- Don’t disturb dogs that are eating, sleeping, or nursing puppies.
- Stay calm, and move slowly around dogs.
- If a dog is behaving aggressively, avoid eye contact and back away slowly.
When to Hire a New York Dog Bite Lawyer
Unfortunately, even if you follow this advice, the recommendations won’t always work. If you are attacked or bitten by a dog despite taking appropriate precautions, consult an NYC dog bite lawyer immediately. This way, a lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve.