Personal Injury Lawyers New York, NY

A New York Dog Bite Lawyer You Can Count On

Our legal team stands up for victims of animal attacks.

When a dog attacks, it can leave both physical and emotional scars. Most dog attacks are committed by domestic dogs, not strays, and when that happens, New York law gives the victim legal recourse. In order to recover after a dog bite, you need an experienced New York dog bite attorney.

Keogh Crispi, P.C. knows how to advocate for the full compensation victims deserve. We have a strong track record of results for injured New Yorkers, both adults and children, and we know how to put together a case that an insurance company can’t ignore. If you or your child was bitten by a dog, schedule your free consultation today.

Here’s what to do if you’re bitten by a dog.

Dog bites can be dangerous, and taking the right steps afterward is critical. The first step is to make sure you’re safe: put space or a barrier between you and the dog, and call animal control or 911. Then:

  • Document the bite. Only if it is safe to do so, take pictures of the dog and the scene of the bite. If there were any witnesses, get their names and contact information. Put any physical evidence, such as torn clothes, in a sealed plastic bag.
  • Exchange information with the dog’s owner. Just like you’d exchange insurance information after a car accident, you need the owner’s name, contact information, and applicable insurance information.
  • Get immediate medical attention. Dog bites carry a high risk of infection, so even a relatively minor wound can quickly lead to dangerous complications. See a doctor or nurse right away and follow their instructions.
  • Take pictures of your wounds. Documenting the injury is critical. If you need to unwrap gauze or a bandage in order to take pictures, ask your doctor or nurse for the safest way to do so.
  • File a report. Report the bite to local animal control or law enforcement within 24 hours. In New York City, you can report a bite online or call 311 for assistance.
  • Contact a dog bite lawyer. Talk to an attorney right away, before you speak with an insurance company. We can take action to protect your rights and help you navigate the process.

How do dog bite claims work in New York?

New York law imposes strict liability for medical expenses on the owner or custodian of a dangerous dog. In other words, if a dog bites someone, the dog’s owner is generally responsible for paying the victim’s medical expenses. There is an exemption for police dogs and an additional exemption for behavior on the part of the victim that provoked the dog.

For damages other than medical expenses, such as lost wages or pain and suffering, New York law requires that the dog owner knew of the dog’s “vicious propensity.” This is often called the “one bite rule,” but it does not necessarily require a prior bite. If the dog had been known to growl, snap, and bare its teeth at people, for instance, that may be enough to establish knowledge of a “vicious propensity.”

New York law also establishes that a landlord can be held liable for a dog owned by a tenant if certain conditions are met. Specifically, the landlord had to be aware of the presence of the dog and the dog’s vicious propensity. Under some circumstances, a landlord might even be held responsible for an attack outside their premises, if the landlord could have removed the dangerous dog from the community by way of evicting the tenant.

Unlike other personal injury claims, dog bite claims in New York generally aren’t about negligence in the usual sense of the term. We must prove the specific elements of the dog bite statute in order to recover damages for you. That’s why choosing an attorney who is deeply familiar with New York law makes all the difference.

We will fight for the full compensation you deserve for a dog bite.

Dog attacks can dramatically change lives. Because of the shape of a dog’s jaw and the size of the teeth, dog bites often leave deep wounds with ragged edges that can cause serious scarring and disfigurement. The risk of infection is also high: dogs have chemicals in their saliva that allows them to ignore bacteria that can be deadly to humans, and when a bite breaks the skin, those bacteria go straight into the bloodstream. The cost of medical care and medication can be quite high, especially if complications occur.

Treating a dog bite may require reconstructive surgery or painful skin grafts. Beyond the medical expenses, a dog bite is a traumatic experience that may require years of mental health treatment and significantly affect a person’s quality of life. These are all real losses that deserve fair compensation.

When you come to us after a dog bite, we’ll listen to your story. We want to know what happened, and just as importantly, we want to know how it has affected your life. Thanks to our thorough understanding of New York law and connections with highly qualified expert witnesses, we know how to build a compelling case for compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs.

What if you know the dog owner?

Many dog bites have an additional complication: the owner of the dog is a friend, neighbor, or relative. You may be hesitant to take legal action because you don’t want to hurt your friend financially or damage your relationship.

We’re sensitive to the interpersonal dynamics in any dog bite case. In most cases, we’re able to resolve claims by negotiating directly with the homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company, without directly involving the owner of the dog. Remember, the goal isn’t to take your friend’s money. We’re asking their insurance company to pay out the coverage that your friend has already paid premiums for.

An experienced dog bite attorney will guide you through the process.

As soon as you come to our office, we start thinking through the strategy to successfully resolve your dog bite claim. If you choose to hire us, we’ll launch an immediate investigation to prove that the dog bite qualifies you for compensation under New York law. We’ll handle negotiations with the insurance company day to day while keeping you informed and including you in strategic decisions. From investigation to negotiation to, if necessary, litigation, we are fully prepared to do what it takes as we fight for a positive outcome for you.

We represent dog bite victims on a contingency fee basis, which means we don’t get paid unless we win your case. No matter your ability to pay, you can afford to hire a dog bite lawyer. The only question is whether you can afford not to.

It’s important to take immediate legal action after a dog bite. Evidence disappears quickly, and strict legal deadlines must be met. Don’t go into this fight alone. Contact us online or give us a call to schedule your free consultation.

New York City Office
Phone: 212 818 0600
Nyack Office
Phone: 212 818 0600
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