Dog Bite Lawyer NYC | Feiner & Lavy Law Firm
There’s a popular saying that goes: There’s no such thing as a bad dog, only bad owners.
A Dog Bite Lawyer NYC may have a different perspective. While there may be some truth to this saying, unfortunately too many people fall victim to nasty injuries due to dog bites for no reason at all. And it doesn’t matter if it’s the fault of the dog or the owner; what matters is you’re hurt through no fault of your own and the responsibility rests with the owner.
If you’re considering pursuing legal action after an attack by a dog, there’s a pretty good chance you’re here because the victim was under 14. This age group is the one most often affected by dog attacks, although dogs can and will bite people of any age. And while many people imagine dog bites to involve a lot of blood and serious wounds, the biggest threat is that the dog transmitted a disease, like rabies or cellulitis. Horrible, disfiguring attacks happen every year in the U.S. and result in death (more than 30 dog-mauling deaths were recorded in the U.S. in 2020), but disease poses the biggest threat. Dog bites make people sick – very sick – and can require hospitalization, expensive drugs, surgery, recuperation time, rehabilitation and psychological counseling. This costs a lot of money and results in wages and enjoyment of life being lost. Those costs are rightly the responsibility of the dog owner, not the victim.
There has likely never been a greater time for dog-bite injuries. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a surge in dog adoptions. It’s understandable: people are home, they want companionship and dogs are an attractive option. An indication of how much adoption is up is that spending on dog products are soaring, with some commonly used products having tripled their sales. Unfortunately, many new pet owners are making an emotional decision, and the dogs they adopted aren’t being trained in a traditional way. When owner and dog go out for a walk, the question of who is walking whom is foremost in our mind.
And this is where problems happen: untrained dogs who are protective and leading their owners can attack passers-by. Children walking the dog can be overmatched the moment they leave the house. All you or your child may have wanted to do was to mask up, get out of the apartment for a few minutes and take a walk around the block. What happened? A dog that was controlling its owner attacked for no reason you can understand. You or your child landed in the hospital with a dog bite wound that required stitches and shots for rabies because the dog hasn’t been properly vaccinated.
The situations involving dog bites are scary, and many people suffer emotional and psychological effects after an attack. This can trigger bouts of fear when the person encounters a dog, and it can take a months or years of therapy to cope with this issue.
In the final analysis, it is important to contact a Dog Bite Lawyer NYC shortly after an attack to review whether you have a case to pursue. As with any injury, filing a police report, having a medical examination, taking pictures, getting the names of any witnesses and providing the best notes you can about the incident are going to be very helpful if you decide to bring a case.
A Dog Bite Lawyer NYC at Feiner & Lavy is ready to discuss your situation and provide you with a free case evaluation. Call us at 212-393-9130 to see if you can recover damages due to a dog attack. We are a respected personal injury law firm that has fought for and earned millions of dollars in settlements for our clients.
Do all dog bite cases require that the victim be hospitalized?
According to the CDC, about one in five dog bites require medical care. Does that mean you weren’t injured? It does not. We would advise you have a medical evaluation of any injury suffered as a result of a dog attack, even if it seems minor. Sometimes it’s the emotional distress caused by a dog attack that results in legal action. Contact an experienced Dog Bite Lawyer NYC to discuss whether it would be prudent to pursue legal options.
Does the dog need to have a history of aggressive behavior?
While it makes establishing a pattern of behavior easier if the dog is known to be aggressive, it’s not necessary. Many dog attacks happen suddenly, with owners as shocked by the sudden transformation of their dog. There are many cases where the victim knows and has shared an affectionate relationship with the dog but is attacked anyway.
Are some breeds more aggressive than others? Will that matter?
Yes, to both questions. Pit bulls account for the overwhelming majority of fatal attacks. According to statistics compiled by DogsBite.org, pit bulls account for 66-percent of fatal attacks, although they are the 61st most popular breed. Rottweilers and German shepherds, which are the next two on the list, account for 10-percent and five-percent of attacks, respectively.
How much does a hospital stay for a dog bite typically cost?
The last study on this was done in 2008, but adjusting for inflation, the hospital stay cost for a dog bite attack was about $22,000 (in 2020 dollars), which is a good sum higher than an average hospital stay.
Are emergency medical expenses all that I can recover due to a dog attack?
Victims of dog bites can recover much more than emergency medical expenses. Medical expenses, hospitalization, initial and ongoing medical treatment are one aspect of damages, but you can also recover money for lost wages, rehabilitation, psychological treatment, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and the ongoing results from permanent injuries and disabilities.
How much money could I collect and how long will it take?
Like all personal injury cases, this varies by case, severity of the injuries and the treatment needed. A good Dog Bite Lawyer NYC will settle most dog bite cases before they go to court. Most of the time, the other party will have homeowner’s insurance, so your attorney will be resolving your case with attorneys representing both the dog owner and his insurance company. This will likely take months, but it should be resolved out of court.
What could disqualify a dog bite case?
There are a few basic things that will be questioned if you pursue a dog bite case: Did you provoke the dog into attacking you? Were you trespassing on private property? A frequent defense in a dog bite case is that the victim did something to provoke the attack. Acting scared around a strange dog is unlikely to count as provocation but acting aggressively toward a dog could put a case in jeopardy.