Being attacked by an animal can be a terrifying and traumatizing experience. If you’ve been bitten by a neighbor’s dog and injured, you may have a claim for damages for pain and suffering. You must contact a dog bite personal injury attorney right away for assistance and to see if you have a case.
Dog and other animal bites and attacks are a part of law known as personal injury, which, according to FindLaw, are “legal disputes that arise when one person suffers harm from an accident or injury, and someone else might be legally responsible for that harm. A personal injury case can become formalized through civil court proceedings that seek to find others legally at fault through a court judgment or, as is much more common, such disputes may be resolved through informal settlement before any lawsuit is filed.”
Yes, you can sue your neighbor on the basis of being injured by their pet. People have suffered debilitating and deforming injuries from animal attacks, and it can be difficult for those people who have never been hurt by a pet to understand how scary and damaging it can be. You may hear “a dog bite” and picture a small bite mark, or even no marks. But being attacked by an animal can leave permanent injuries.
Some common injuries from dog attacks include:
- Puncture wounds
- Rabies or other animal-carried diseases
- Sprained or dislocated joints
- Broken bones
- Torn and ripped tendons
- Muscle strain
- Face and eye injuries
- Concussion and traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
Some dog bite injuries can have long-term consequences, such as brain, nerve, and muscle damage, and can have unseen effects that are not discovered until a later time. Muscle, tendon, and nerve, injuries can present themselves in different and hard-to-identify ways.
Those physical injuries do not address the mental and emotional trauma which can occur when attacked by a vicious animal. It can make leaving the house difficult, and may require mental health professionals to assist you with your fears and trauma. You can develop lifelong phobias and fears of animals, which can keep you from living a full life.
If you have been bitten by a dog you need an experienced and reliable New York City dog bite lawyer who can help you navigate the legal world and get you the justice you deserve. You need personal injury attorneys who truly understand the complicated laws surrounding animal bites and premises liability.
When filing a dog bite lawsuit, you may be able to get compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Coverage for any ongoing physical or occupational therapy
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Lost wages from missing work due to your injuries
- Permanent disabilities
In New York, the dog bite statute does not completely adhere to the “one-bite rule” or strict liability, but is actually a mixture of both. Basically, dog owners are strictly liable for medical and veterinary costs when their dog attacks a neighbor or someone on the street, but there are limitations when it comes to proving damages. The pet owner can be held liable for damages like pain and suffering and lost wages, but only if you are able to prove that he or she knew their dog was dangerous before the dog attacked you, and did not take the proper precautions to prevent their pet from attacked anyone.
If you, as the victim, can prove that the owner knew the dog was previously dangerous to you and others, then you will be able to be compensated in higher amounts. But proving that the owner had knowledge of the animal’s vicious propensities can be very hard to establish and prove.
USLegal defines, vicious propensity as “the tendency of an animal to do any act which might cause danger to the safety of persons and property of others in a given situation.”
Due to New York’s statute, even if the animal has previously bitten someone else, more evidence may be needed. For example, posting “Beware of Dog” signs has been shown in previous court cases to not be sufficient evidence of an owner’s knowledge of their animal being vicious, as well as dogs barking as passers-by while chained up. But the violent nature and even severity of the attack on you and on previous victims can help determine if the dog showed vicious propensities.
In New York City, it is also possible to sue your landlord for a tenant’s vicious animal, if the landlord was aware of the dog being dangerous when they rented an apartment to the owner. This applies even if you were attack outside of your building. The New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets has stated that a dog is considered dangerous if they “attack and injure a person or animal without justification and behaves in a manner which a reasonable person believes poses a serious and unjustified threat.” It is important to note the use of the word “unjustified” here. If you or any victim provoked an attack with taunting or hurting an animal or in any other way provoked an attack by the animal, then the animal may not be considered dangerous.
Consequences of owning a dangerous dog in New York City can include a fine, which the amount of depends on several factors, such as the severity of the injury, whether they attacked a human or another animal, and if they have injured anyone previously.
If you or a loved one has been attacked by a neighbor’s dog, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries and damages. Reach out the the Law Offices of Nicholas Tzaneteas immediately to speak to a qualified dog bite lawyer today.