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Long Island Dog Bite Lawyer
Dogs make great pets, and most of the dogs in Long Island are quite friendly. Unfortunately, sometimes a dog has not been trained properly and they can bite or attack someone. Many people think a dog bite is a minor incident, but they have the potential to be very serious. Dog bites can result in many injuries, including emotional trauma that can cause a person to fear dogs for the rest of their life.
If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, you can file a claim to recover damages for your losses, but these claims are not easy to file. An experienced Long Island dog bite lawyer from Silberstien, Awad & Miklos, P.C. can help you through the process so you obtain the full compensation you need.
Who is at Risk for Dog Bites?
Anyone can become the victim of a dog bite or attack in just a matter of seconds. However, there are some individuals who are more at risk for facing the catastrophic injuries that can result. Children are often involved in dog bites or attacks. Children do not always understand that dogs do not like being taunted with food, or having their tails pulled. A child may engage in these practices in an effort to play with the dog but the animal does not understand this and ends up causing severe injury.
The elderly population is also at a greater risk of suffering the most severe consequences of a dog bite or attack. Elderly individuals are typically much frailer than other adults, and they are also at a greater risk of falling when a dog jumps on them. When this happens, an elder’s bones can easily break, and they are also in a more vulnerable position if a dog decides to continue its attack.
Liability for a Dog Bite or Attack
It is not uncommon for a person to think the dog owner is automatically liable for their injuries after a dog bite or attack, but this is not always true. The potential liable parties in a dog bite claim are as follows:
- Property owners: When a property owner, such as a landlord, knows there is a dog on the property but does not try to prevent that dog from hurting someone, they can be held liable.
- Another party controlling the dog: Sometimes, dog owners will leave their pet with another person, such as a dog walker or someone that is pet-sitting for the owner. These individuals have the same responsibility as the owner to ensure the dog does not hurt anyone. When they fail to do so, they can be held liable.
- The owner of the dog: While others can be found liable in a dog bite or attack, the dog owner may be found liable, as well.
In some instances, more than one party may be liable for the dog bite. When this is the case, injured individuals can file a claim against multiple parties and potentially maximize their compensation.
Dog Bite Laws in Long Island
Some states follow a one-bite rule for dog bites, which shields dog owners and other parties from liability if they did not know of the dog’s violent or aggressive tendencies. On the other hand, some states follow strict liability laws that hold liable parties accountable for paying compensation any time their dog bites or attacks someone, regardless of the dog’s history. In Long Island, as throughout the rest of New York, the law combines the one-bite rule with strict liability.
Dog owners and other liable parties must always compensate dog bite victims for all of their medical expenses related to the attack. That is the portion of the law that follows strict liability laws in other states. However, the New York dog bite law states that liable parties must only pay additional compensation, such as pain and suffering, when they knew, or should have known, about the dog’s violent tendencies.
Common Injuries in Dog Bite Cases
A dog bite or attack is rarely a minor event. Serious injuries can result from a dog attack, including:
- Cuts, particularly to the head, face, and neck
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries, such as strains, sprains, and bruises
- Crushing injuries
- Head and brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
These injuries are not only extremely painful, but they are also very expensive to treat. A dog bite claim can help victims offset the financial burden of the injuries.
Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Claims
The time after a dog bite is traumatic for victims. They are injured and may even be dealing with a permanent disability. They may also suffer emotional trauma that causes them to have nightmares and develop a lifelong fear of dogs. However, it is important that even during this difficult time, victims take action to assert their rights as soon as possible.
All dog bite claims in Long Island, just like other civil claims in New York, are governed by a statute of limitations, or a time limit. The statute of limitations on dog bite claims is three years from the date of the bite or attack. When accident victims do not file their claim within this time, they will likely forfeit their right to claim any compensation at all.
Even though accident victims may not be able to pursue a claim on their own in the days and weeks following an attack, they should speak to a Long Island dog bite lawyer who can help. A lawyer will conduct an investigation to determine if the dog had a history or violence, and conduct other tasks to create the strongest case possible so victims recover the full compensation they deserve.
Get Legal Help Today
If you or someone you love has been injured due to a dog bite or attack, it is important to seek solid legal advice. At Silberstein, Awad & Miklos, P.C., our knowledgeable Long Island dog bite lawyers know how to ensure your rights are upheld and we will hold liable parties accountable for paying the maximum settlement you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.