Newburgh Dog Bite Injury Attorneys
Protecting Clients' Interests in Hudson Valley
Dog bites and attacks can result in serious and catastrophic injuries. These experiences can be very traumatic, especially if they involve small children. New York has specific laws that apply to dog bite and animal attack cases, which can be complex and difficult to understand. When you need to determine liability in your case, reach out to a Newburgh dog bite lawyer who can help you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries.
The first thing you should do if you or a loved one has suffered any type of dog bite or animal attack is to seek medical attention immediately. There is nothing more important than your well-being and you need to be sure that you receive proper medical treatment for your injuries. Next, you should contact the police and report the incident. Be as detailed as possible in your conversations with them. Be specific about the date, time, place and circumstances of the attack. If possible, take photos of the injuries to include with the police reports. If police tell you to contact animal control or other agencies, follow through on their instructions as soon as possible.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
While Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and other breeds tend to garner the majority of the press coverage, any dog can exhibit vicious behavior and be considered a dangerous dog. Even small, typically docile breeds have been known to act violently at times. If you have been attacked and/or bitten by a dog, the size and breed of the dog will not affect your right to recover.
Victims of dog attacks can suffer extremely serious injuries that can take weeks, months, or even years to heal completely. Some injuries will be permanent and will never fully heal. In addition, victims of dog attacks, especially children, will often suffer emotional trauma that can stay with them for years.
Injuries from dog attacks include:
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Muscle and ligament damage
- Permanent scarring
In addition, many injuries occur as a result of knockdowns when a dog jumps up or tangles your feet in a leash or tether. Victims of knockdowns caused by leashed or tethered dogs have suffered broken bones, head injuries, and spinal cord injuries from falls taken in these incidents.
If you have been injured in a dog attack, consult an experienced personal injury attorney who understands dog bite injuries and knows how to obtain maximum compensation for your injuries. At Dreyer Law Offices, PLLC, we understand the long term impacts of particular kinds of injuries and the care they will likely require. Our knowledge in these areas allows me to seek the right compensation for your particular case.
Prior Vicious Propensity: "One Free Bite Rule"
In New York, to recover for injuries suffered by a dog attack, in most circumstances the victim must show that the dog owner knew, or should have known, that the dog had a prior vicious propensity. This, at times, is referred to as the "one free bite" rule, a phrase coined from a common defense in dog bite cases where the insurance company for the dog's owner argues that since the dog has never bitten before, the owner never knew prior to the incident that the dog had violent tendencies.
Strategic, prompt investigation is vital to establish that the dog has, in fact, displayed vicious tendencies prior to the attack. If you are attacked by a dog, you may be told that the dog has "never done this before."
However, our office doesn't simply accept that explanation. When you hire us, we will aggressively pursue your case under alternate theories, even if the dog has not bitten before, to protect your right of recovery. If you have been attacked by a dog, no matter the circumstances, discuss your case with our office immediately.
What Dogs Are Considered Dangerous?
While there are typical breeds that have a reputation for being dangerous, like Rottweilers, Pit Bulls and Dobermans, the truth is that any dog has the potential to be dangerous. If you are attacked by a dog, any type of dog, contact my office to discuss your rights and remedies.
Dog Owner Responsibilities
Dog owners must have their dogs under control to prevent injury to others. This includes, for instance, proper containment of the dog, such as adequate fencing of the yard or appropriate leashes or tethers. Leash laws can vary from city to city, town to town, and it is the responsibility of the owner to ensure compliance.
Dog owners must know the personality of their dogs. If the dog has shown a propensity for violence, such as biting, growling, snarling, or acting in any way intimidating, the owner must take reasonable measures to protect others from harm.
In most circumstances, victims of dog attacks have the right to recover from the owner of the dog for pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of life's enjoyment, medical bills, as well as other out-of-pocket expenses related to the attack. This right to recovery will likely be secured by a premises liability policy of insurance, such as a homeowner policy, and may also include a separate right to recover a defined benefit for immediate medical bills, known as "med pay".
How Our Firm Can Help You
With every dog bite case we handle, we begin the investigation immediately in order to preserve valuable evidence in the case. We can send out experts to take photos of the scene of the attack, your injuries, the dog's holding area, and the dog involved, if possible. We may canvass the neighborhood and talk to residents about the dog's history and possible violent tendencies. We will contact the local authorities, such as police, Animal Control Officers, and Courts, and seek documents through the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) if necessary. We can research if the dog has bitten others in the past.