You have likely heard the saying, “A dog is man’s best friend.” Unfortunately, not all dogs are aware of this fact.
Pet owners are responsible for keeping their animals under control. Accidents and injuries can occur when a pet owner neglects this responsibility. Being attacked or bitten by a dog is scary. You will likely feel traumatized after the incident and for several weeks or months. This does not even account for the physical impact of the incident.
If you have been injured by a dog attack or dog bite in or around Long Island, you may be able to recover compensation. The pet owners or their insurance must compensate you for your losses in many situations.
However, specific laws and statutes relate to these situations in New York. Understanding these is pivotal in recovering compensation. At The Law Offices of Joseph J. Perrini, III, our dog bite attorney can help you understand these laws and how they apply to your case. The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes of Dog Bite Incidents
Even the most docile and well-trained dog can be unpredictable at times. Some may bite or attack with no prior warning. Even though this can happen for various reasons, some of the most common causes of dog bite incidents include:
Dogs are naturally territorial animals. When they feel their territory is threatened, including their home or family, is threatened, they might react aggressively to ward off the perceived threat.
Fear or Provocation
Just like humans, dogs experience fear. When they are cornered, surprised, or provoked, their instinctual response might be to bite. This is especially true if they haven’t been socialized properly.
Mother dogs, like many animals, become extremely protective of their puppies. Approaching or handling young puppies in the mother’s presence can sometimes trigger an aggressive response.
An injured or ill dog might bite even if it’s typically gentle. The pain can make them more irritable, and they might snap if touched or approached in a way that exacerbates their discomfort.
Playfulness That Escalates
Sometimes, what starts as playful behavior can escalate into a bite, especially if the dog gets overly excited or isn’t trained to understand boundaries. Children are often at risk as they might inadvertently play too roughly.
Understanding these common causes makes it evident that awareness and education play crucial roles in preventing dog bite incidents. Proper training, socialization, and responsible pet ownership can significantly reduce the risks associated with dog bites.
Common Infections from Dog Bites
If a dog bites you, it is essential to seek medical treatment. Untreated wounds may lead to infections. Some of the most common infections that are caused by dog bites include:
- Pasteurella: Found in over 50% of infected dog bite wounds, Pasteurella often results in painful swelling at the injury site. Victims may also experience other symptoms like fever and swollen glands.
- Staphylococcus Aureus: Commonly known as ‘staph,’ this bacteria can cause painful, pus-filled sores when it enters the body through a dog bite wound.
- Capnocytophaga: While this bacteria is present in the mouths of most dogs and causes no harm to them, it can lead to illness in humans. In rare cases, it can cause sepsis, which can be fatal if not treated promptly.
- Tetanus: While less common, tetanus can affect those bitten by a dog, especially if the wound is deep. It causes muscle stiffness and spasms.
Pursuing a Long Island Injury Claim After a Dog Bite
In New York, dog owners are held liable for the injuries their pets cause if the dog had previously shown signs of aggression or was determined “dangerous.” You might be entitled to compensation if you’ve suffered from an infection due to a dog bite. Here’s what you need to know:
To establish a claim, it’s necessary to prove that the dog had a prior history of aggression or that the owner knew, or should have known, about the dog’s dangerous propensities. A knowledgeable dog bite attorney can help gather evidence to strengthen your case.
Types of Damages
Victims can seek compensation for various damages, including:
- Medical Expenses: Covers the costs of treatments, surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and other healthcare needs resulting directly from the injury or incident.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the physical discomfort and emotional distress endured due to the injury, including anxiety, depression, and trauma.
- Lost Wages: Reimburses the victim for any earnings missed because of the injury, including potential future earnings if the injury leads to long-term disability or job loss.
Statute of Limitations
In New York, you generally have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. However, the sooner you initiate the process, the better, as evidence can become less reliable over time.
Why You Need a Dog Bite Attorney
Navigating the legal waters after a traumatic event can be challenging. That’s where a dog bite attorney comes into play. With their expertise:
- They Can Help Maximize Your Compensation: A lawyer knows the ins and outs of New York’s laws and can advocate to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
- They Handle the Legal Legwork: From collecting evidence to negotiating with insurance companies, a dog bite attorney will handle the heavy lifting, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
- They Offer Valuable Legal Advice: Every case is unique. A lawyer can provide insights tailored to your situation, helping you make informed decisions.
Understanding Your Right to Compensation when Filing a Long Island Injury Claim for a Dog Bite
Dog bites can lead to severe infections, impacting victims both physically and emotionally. If you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite in New York, you must be aware of your rights and potential compensation.
Talk to a Long island personal injury attorney to guide you through the Long Island injury claim process, ensuring you get the justice you deserve. Remember, your health and well-being should always be a priority.