Our Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer Helps Victims Collect Damages for Dog Bite Injuries
If a dog bites you, it can be painful and frightening. Dog bites are quite common, and you are not the only victim who has to suffer through this ordeal. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), dogs bite more than four million people in the United States each year. One of every five dog bites require medical attention.
Approximately 40 percent of people in the US own one or more dogs. Dogs provide companionship, love, entertainment, and even safety for individuals and their families. But even the sweetest dog has the potential to become aggressive and hurt someone. If a dog bites you or someone you love, you might be able to collect compensation for your injuries.
Dog Bite Injuries Can Be Severe
Injuries from dog bites are often more than scratches and bruises. An attack by a dog can result in severe injuries that are physical and emotional. Such injuries might require ongoing medical care, therapy, and rehabilitation. Injuries can cause the victim to miss work and lose income. The trauma from a dog bite can create financial, financial, and emotional burdens for the victim and his or her family.
If a dog bit you, you might have the right to collect monetary damages from the owner of the dog. Dog owners have a duty to take reasonable action to ensure their animal does not harm anyone.
In Brooklyn, contact the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo for a free evaluation of your dog bite claim. Irene Gabo is a Brooklyn personal injury lawyer who helps clients throughout New York. She has the experience to successfully represent victims who suffer dog bites and other personal injuries. Ms. Gabo provides clients with personalized attention and fights passionately to secure positive outcomes for injured victims.
When is a Dog Owner Liable for Dog Bite Injuries?
In New York, two important rules apply to dog-bite liability.
A dog owner can be held “strictly liable” for injuries to anyone who is bitten if the dog has been deemed dangerous. In other words, the dog bite victim does not have to prove that the owner was negligent.
New York law defines a dangerous dog as:
A dog that attacks a person or an animal without justification, or behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would think poses the threat of bodily harm or death.
If a dog owner has a “dangerous dog,” the owner is strictly liable for all injuries caused by that dog’s bite. You do not need to prove the owner was negligent to collect compensation. You only have to show that the dog was dangerous and that it bit you, causing injury.
A dangerous dog in New York is one that attacks without justification or acts in such a way that a reasonable person would think poses the threat of serious harm or death.
One Bite Rule
If the victim of a dog bite injury wants to collect damages other than the costs of medical treatment, the one-bite rule applies. To collect damages for things such as emotional distress or pain and suffering, the victim must prove:
- that the dog owner either knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous
- and that the dog owner failed to prevent the dog from attacking the victim
In a practical sense, the one-bite rule analysis goes something like this:
If the dog bit someone in the past, even once, the owner should have known the dog was aggressive and dangerous and taken adequate steps to protect people. If the dog never bit anyone, it is possible there was no way for the owner to know the dog might attack.
What are Some of the Most Common Dog Bite Injuries?
Injuries from dog bites vary. Several factors can have an effect on the severity of a dog bite injury. Is the dog a dangerous breed with strong jaws? Is the victim a child? Did the dog snap at the victim or mount a full-blown attack? Is the dog large or small? Keeping these variables in mind, here is a list of some of the common dog-bite injuries:
- Broken and fractured bones
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Permanent scarring
- Facial disfigurement
- Loss of blood
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Internal injuries
- Nerve damage
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe emotional/psychological injuries
What Types of Damages Can Dog Bite Victims Collect?
The victim of a dog bite, even a small one, can expect treatment to be costly. There might be x-rays, stitches, and follow up doctor visits. More severe injuries may result in surgical costs, prescription medications, physical therapy, emotional therapy, and time off of work to recover. In extreme cases, a dog attack can cause permanent, debilitating injuries that drastically alter the course of the victim’s life.
Many of these items are compensable when you file a claim against the dog owner. Medical expenses, lost income, lost earning capacity, emotional distress, and pain and suffering may all be part of a dog bite settlement or verdict.
What Should You Do If You Are Bitten by a Dog in Brooklyn?
There are some steps to take to ensure you protect your legal rights after being attacked or bitten by a dog. They include:
- Seek medical attention immediately. You should be concerned about whether the dog is carrying a dangerous disease, like rabies, especially if you do not know the dog’s medical history.
- Report the bite to the appropriate authorities
- Obtain contact information of the dog’s owner if possible.
- Talk to any witnesses and get their contact information
- Take pictures of anything that might be useful should you file a lawsuit. Photographs of the dog, the scene, and your injuries can help prove your case
- Contact our attorneys, who have the experience to handle dog bite cases. We will explain what your legal rights are and how to protect them.
Call the Law Office of Irene H. Gabo for Help with Your Dog Bite Claim
Speak to our experienced, focused personal injury lawyer who can help you understand the options you have to pursue legal remedies for your dog bite injuries. Irene H. Gabo has over a decade handling personal injury cases including dog bite and dog attack cases. Call today for a free case evaluation and find out how you can collect monetary compensation for your dog bite injuries. You can reach our Brooklyn personal injury lawyer at (800) 560-0214.