Representing New York & Westchester Dog Bite Victims
Many dog owners think of their faithful companions as members of the family. Nonetheless, these seemingly gentle, friendly pets can bite people on a moment’s notice, often causing devastating injuries. Depending on the circumstances, if you were injured in a dog bite accident, you may be able to recover meaningful compensation.
The law office of Michael LoGiudice fights for the rights of dog bite victims in the greater New York Area. We are well versed in the state’s complex dog bite statute and will vigorously fight to help you obtain compensation for the harm you have suffered.
New York Dog Bite Laws
The dog bite laws in New York are complicated because the state uses both strict liability and the “one-bite” rule. Under Section 121 of the New York Code, the owner or custodian of a dangerous dog can be held strictly liable for the medical costs of personal injuries caused by the dog.
Under the law, a dangerous dog is defined as one that attacks and injures or kills a person or domestic animal without justification, or that displays other threatening behavior that a reasonable person would believe poses an imminent risk of serious injury or death. There are exceptions to strict liability, however, including:
- A law enforcement dog that was carrying out its duties
- A dog that was protecting its owner, home or another domestic animal
- A dog that was being tormented, abused, assaulted or threatened
In addition, an owner can also be found negligent for an injury caused by a dog that is not deemed to be dangerous. In this situation, it is necessary to show that the owner was aware of the dog’s propensity to be violent. In short, an owner who knew, or should have known, that the dog had an aggressive disposition or vicious propensities can be held liable.
While a previous dog bite incident would demonstrate the owner had such knowledge, there are other ways to show a dog had vicious propensities. These include a dog that growled or snapped at people, bared its teeth, or displayed other aggressive behavior.
Finally, an individual who is not the dog’s owner, but harbors the dog with knowledge of it vicious propensities can also held liable. For example, the law requires a landlord to take reasonable steps to protect others from being injured by a tenant’s dog. Both the landlord and the dog owner can be held liable for an injury caused by a dog that was not properly restrained.
Depending on the severity of the attack and the breed of dog, a bite can result in a variety of injuries, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Torn tissue or muscle
- Nerve damage
- Facial disfigurement
In some cases, these injuries can be fatal, particularly when small children are attacked by uncontrolled dogs. People can also be injured after being knocked down by a dog, leading to broken bones, head and back injuries. Some victims may even need psychological counseling to cope with the trauma of the attack and resulting injuries.
Dog bite victims often suffer painful injuries and are left with significant medical expenses. Sever injuries may also cause a victim to miss work while they recover. However, victims can file a lawsuit to recover damages such as lost wages, medical costs, and other expenses. In addition, a person who is permanently disfigured because of a dog bite may also obtain compensation for pain and suffering. Lastly, if the dog’s owner acted recklessly or willfully, it may also be possible to recover punitive damages.
Dedicated New York Dog Bite Attorney
If you or a loved one suffered a dog bite injury or was attacked by a dog, the law office of Michael LoGiudice can help you obtain just compensation. We have a proven track record of helping dog bite victims. Being injured in a dog attack is a traumatic experience and dog owners must be held accountable for injuries caused by their pets. We will offer you compassion and knowledge, and will aggressively fight for your rights so that you can focus on recovering from your injuries. Call our office or fill out a contact form today for a free consultation.
The law office of Michael LoGiudice routinely represents dog bite accident victims in the greater New York area including Westchester, Putnam County, Dutchess County, Rockland County, Orange County, and Brewster.