Nassau County Dog Bite Lawyer

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A dog bite lawyer going through papers while discussing a client's claim with them.Dog bites are more than just a scare; even seemingly minor punctures can harbor bacteria, leading to serious infections. Depending on the severity of the attack, bites can cause permanent scarring, nerve damage, or even muscle loss.

Living with the aftermath of a dog bite can be a physical, emotional, and financial burden. Medical bills can pile up quickly, and depending on the severity of the injuries, victims may face ongoing physical therapy or even reconstructive surgery.

In addition, dog bites can leave lasting trauma, with victims developing phobias of dogs or experiencing anxiety in public spaces. Nassau County, with its densely populated areas, can make it difficult for victims to avoid situations that trigger their anxieties.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Nassau County, you don’t have to face these challenges alone. A Nassau County dog bite lawyer can advocate for your rights and help you recover the compensation you deserve.

At the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm, we can handle the complexities of dog bite law, navigate communication with the dog’s owner and their insurance company, and ensure a fair resolution to your case. With our lawyers by your side, you can focus on healing while we fight to get you the financial resources you need to move forward.

Contact our Nassau County personal injury law firm today at (516) 689-1132.

How Does a Nassau County Dog Bite Attorney Help My Case?

If you’ve been bitten by a dog in Nassau County, a Nassau County dog bite lawyer can be a strong advocate in your corner. They understand the intricacies of New York dog bite laws and will work tirelessly to investigate the incident and determine liability.

This may involve interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, consulting with experts, and more. With their legal expertise, they can negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Let’s go over some of these ways a Nassau County personal injury attorney can help.

  • Understanding New York Dog Bite Laws: New York has a “one-bite” law, which means a dog owner can be held liable for injuries caused by their dog if the dog has a history of biting or acting aggressively. An attorney can determine if New York’s dog bite law applies to your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
  • Gathering Evidence: Dog bite cases often hinge on evidence such as witness statements, medical records, and animal control reports. An attorney can help collect and organize this evidence to build a strong case.
  • Negotiating with Insurance Companies: Dog bite claims are typically covered by the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance. Insurance companies are notorious for trying to deny or downplay claims. An attorney can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf to get you a fair settlement.
  • Going to Trial: If necessary, an attorney can represent you in court and argue your case before a judge or jury.

Keep in mind that the ways an attorney can help you are not limited by this list. The only way to know for sure whether you can benefit from a Nassau County personal injury lawyer’s services is if you speak with one.

Getting a free consultation will allow you to gauge the different approaches to your case with little risk on your end as a potential client.

What Is a Dangerous Dog in New York Law?

In New York, simply owning a certain breed of dog won’t automatically label it dangerous. Instead, the law focuses on a dog’s past actions and behavior.

Under New York’s dog bite laws, a canine is classified as dangerous if it acts without justification in two ways:

Firstly, if a dog initiates an attack that results in injury or death to a person, service dog, farm animal, or even another companion animal, there’s no wiggle room here. An unjustified attack with any kind of injury inflicted will trigger the dangerous dog designation.

Secondly, a dog’s behavior can also land it in the dangerous category. The law considers what a reasonable person would perceive from the dog’s actions, so if a dog acts in a way that would make someone believe it poses a serious and imminent threat of serious injury or death, even if no attack occurs, it can be labeled dangerous.

This emphasizes that aggressive behavior alone, even without causing harm, can be enough to raise red flags.

It’s important to note that justification for a dog’s actions is considered. If a dog attacks someone who is committing a crime against the owner’s property or person, or if the victim is abusing the dog or its puppies, the dog’s actions might be deemed justified and the dangerous dog label avoided.

One important thing to note regarding this, however, is that the burden of proof for justification falls on the dog owner.

Dangers of a Dog Bite

Dog bites, while often not life-threatening, can cause a variety of dangers that shouldn’t be ignored. Here’s a rundown of the possible risks:

Infection

Infections are a common complication of a dog bite. Dogs’ mouths harbor bacteria that can cause infection when introduced into the wound.

Signs of infection include redness, swelling, warmth, pus, and fever. Two of the most dangerous infections from dog bites are tetanus and rabies, but the risk of other viral or bacterial diseases also exists.

  • Tetanus: Tetanus is a serious bacterial infection that affects the nervous system. It can cause muscle stiffness, lockjaw, and difficulty breathing. Make sure your tetanus vaccination is up to date to prevent this.
  • Rabies: Rabies is a deadly viral infection that can be transmitted through the saliva of an infected animal. While rare in developed countries with proper vaccination programs for pets, rabies is still a concern in some parts of the world. Once symptoms of a rabies infection manifest, death is almost guaranteed at a 99% fatality rate. Symptoms of rabies include fever, headache, weakness, and difficulty swallowing.
  • Capnocytophaga canimorsus: This is a rare but serious infection that can cause sepsis, gangrene, and even death. It is most common in people with weakened immune systems or those who have been bitten by a dog with a lot of bacteria in its mouth. Symptoms of a capnocytophaga canimorsus infection from a dog bite can include redness, swelling, pain, fever, chills, and nausea.

Tissue Damage

Dog bites can inflict significant damage on the body’s soft tissues, which include muscles, skin, tendons, and blood vessels. The sharp teeth and powerful jaws of a dog can tear and puncture the skin, causing lacerations and puncture wounds.

In more severe bites, the force of the bite can crush underlying tissues, leading to bruising and internal bleeding. Even bites that don’t break the skin can cause damage, as the crushing force can injure muscles and blood vessels beneath the surface.

The severity of tissue damage depends on several factors, including the size and breed of the dog, the force of the bite, and the location of the bite. Bites on the face, hands, and feet are particularly concerning because these areas have delicate tissues and nerves.

Fractures

The force of a dog’s bite can be strong enough to cause fractures, especially in children whose bones are still developing. These fractures most commonly occur in the arms and legs, with the forearm bones and upper arm bones being the most frequently affected.

In some cases, the fracture happens not from the direct bite itself but from the victim falling or flailing while trying to escape the attack.

  • Facial fractures: Dogs biting with the intent to kill will attempt to strike at the vulnerable neck and head area when they can. These are more common in children than adults as it is easy for a dangerous animal to reach their faces. The most commonly fractured facial bones include the bones around the eyes (the periorbital bones) and the nose (nasal bones).
  • Hand and finger fractures: These can occur when someone tries to defend themselves from a dog bite by putting their hands up.
  • Arm and leg fractures: These are less common than hand or facial fractures due to the larger size and strength of the bones in the arms and legs. However, large dog breeds with powerful jaws, like pit bulls or German shepherds, can inflict enough force to cause fractures in these bones as well.

Fractures caused by dog bites require medical attention just like any other broken bone. Depending on the severity of the break, treatment may involve casting, surgery to realign the bone fragments, and physical therapy to regain strength and mobility in the injured limb.

Psychological Trauma

The emotional scars of a dog bite can run deep. Beyond the immediate fear and pain, a dog attack can trigger lasting psychological trauma.

This can manifest as phobias, particularly a fear of dogs (cynophobia), which can limit a person’s ability to go for walks or even visit friends with pets. In some cases, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can develop, leading to flashbacks, nightmares, and hypervigilance.

Dog Bite Laws in Nassau County

New York has a set of laws in place to protect the public from dangerous dogs. These laws are outlined in Section 123 of the Agriculture and Markets Law of the New York Consolidated Laws.

This section defines a dangerous dog and outlines the steps taken if a dog exhibits dangerous behavior.

The key element in classifying a dog as dangerous is its actions; if a dog attacks a person, companion animal, livestock, or other domestic animal and causes physical injury or death, it can be deemed dangerous. Additionally, a dog’s threatening behavior that would lead a reasonable person to fear serious injury can also result in a dangerous dog designation.

If you witness a dog attack, New York law protects you if you intervene to stop the attack, even if it means destroying the dog. However, it’s important to remember this should only be a last resort.

 

Following a reported incident, a court hearing will be held to determine if the dog should be classified as dangerous. If the judge rules in favor of this classification, the dog’s owner will face restrictions.

These restrictions may include spaying or neutering the dog, microchipping it for identification purposes, and potentially requiring the owner to carry liability insurance to cover any future injuries caused by the dog.

The most common restrictions placed on dangerous dogs involve public behavior. Owners may be required to keep the dog leashed and muzzled whenever it’s in public places, and, in some cases, the court may order the dog to undergo a behavioral evaluation or even require secure confinement for a period of time.

It’s important to remember that these are just some of the key points of New York’s dangerous dog laws. If you have concerns about a dog’s behavior or if you’ve been attacked by a dog, it’s always best to consult with a lawyer to understand your rights and the appropriate course of action.

The Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Injuries in New York

In New York, if you’re considering legal action after a dog bite injury, be aware of the statute of limitations. This law restricts the timeframe for filing a lawsuit. Generally, you have three years from the date of the bite to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages.

Missing this deadline could bar you from filing altogether, so it’s crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as possible after the incident to understand your rights and begin the legal process.

Choose the Right Nassau County Dog Bite Firm for You

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. The CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm is a team of experienced and aggressive attorneys with a proven track record of success in dog bite cases.

We understand the physical, emotional, and financial hardships you’re facing, and we’re dedicated to fighting for the compensation you deserve.

Don’t wait any longer. Call the CEO Lawyer today at (516) 689-1132 for a free consultation.

Let our experienced dog bite attorneys help you get the justice and financial security you deserve to move forward with your life.

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