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Bronx Dog Bite Attorney
Over one million people live in the Bronx, and many of them are dog lovers that often take their furry friends to the park or on a walk. Not all dogs are friendly, though. Sometimes, they bite and attack innocent bystanders, even without provocation. Anyone can become injured when a dog attacks, but children and the elderly are the most susceptible. If you have been hurt, you can file a claim to recover the damages or losses you sustained as a result. Before you do, it is always best to speak with a Bronx dog bite attorney, who can explain the law on dog bites in New York and how they apply to your case.
Dog Bite Laws in the Bronx
New York’s law on dog bites is very interesting, as it combines the theory of strict liability with that of negligence. Under the strict liability section of the law, you can hold a dog owner liable for any medical expenses you suffered as a result of the dog bite. This means you do not have to prove the dog owner was negligent. You only must prove that the dog bit you and that you suffered injuries as a result.
Many times after a dog bite, victims cannot return to work because of their injuries and they also suffer permanent injuries, such as scarring and disfigurement. To claim damages for these losses and others, such as pain and suffering, you must file a negligence claim. When filing a negligence claim, you must prove that the dog owner or person in control of the dog was careless and that caused the bite or attack that resulted in injuries. To prove negligence in a dog bite claim, you must prove the dog had vicious propensities, or a natural tendency towards violent or aggressive behavior.
There are times when dog owners are not always liable for dog bites and attacks, even when their dog did have vicious propensities. For example, trespassers typically cannot recover damages for a dog bite if they were committing a crime on the dog owner’s property. Dogs are also permitted to protect themselves, their owner, and their owner’s offspring. This is one case when provocation of a dog can result in a forfeiture of damages, but any time a dog is provoked, it can hurt your claim to recover damages.
Common Injuries in Dog Bite Claims
Dog bites can result in some of the most serious injuries. The most common include:
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Crushing injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, such as paralysis
- Puncture wounds
- Eye injuries
- Wrongful death
The above are some of the primary injuries that are a result of dog bites and attacks. Unfortunately, they are not always the only types of injuries dog bite victims suffer from. A dog’s mouth is full of bacteria. When a dog bites someone and punctures the skin, that bacteria can then enter the victim’s body, which can result in a serious infection. Some dogs also have many diseases, such as rabies. When this is the case, that disease may be transmitted to the dog bite victim, which can have very serious consequences.
Additionally, not all dog bite injuries are physical. Dog bite victims often develop a fear of the animal after a bite or attack, even when they once loved dogs. It is important to include these psychological injuries in a claim, as well, as they can severely impact your life.
Who is Liable for Dog Bites?
It is natural to assume that only dog owners are liable for dog bites and attacks. However, that is not always the case. Dog owners are responsible for making sure their dog does not hurt anyone, particularly if they knew the dog had vicious propensities. If a dog owner did not keep their dog on a leash or otherwise restrained, they could also potentially be held liable for injuries depending on the facts of the case. Still, there are times when other parties could be held responsible for the injuries a dog causes.
The law also states that anyone in control of the dog at the time of injury can be held liable for injuries the animal causes. For example, if a dog walker was in control of the dog and the dog got loose and hurt someone, the injured party could hold the person in control of the dog at the time liable for paying damages.
Property owners are also responsible for ensuring their premises are safe for visitors to enter. If a property owner knows there is a dog on the property, they must also make sure the dog is properly controlled and restrained. This law extends to landlords, as well. For example, if a landlord rents their property out, they must make sure the tenant can restrain the dog so the animal does not hurt anyone that enters the property.
It is often very difficult to identify the person liable for injuries that stem from a dog bite or attack, particularly when multiple parties may be liable. This is one reason it is so important to speak to a Bronx dog bite attorney any time you are injured by a dog.
What Damages are Available in Dog Bite Cases?
Dog bites can cause very serious injuries and you deserve compensation for those injuries. The most common damages available in dog bite cases include:
- Medical expenses, including therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
After fully reviewing the facts of your case, a Bronx dog bite attorney will determine the maximum damages you deserve.
Get Legal Help Today
If you have suffered from a dog bite, our Bronx dog bite attorneys at Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can help with your claim. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.