Serious dog bites are a true medical emergency, and often lead to both permanent physical scarring and lasting emotional trauma. If you or a family member suffered injuries in a dog attack incident in Holbrook, Long Island, New York, state law may allow us to file a claim for compensation on your behalf. This compensation may include money to cover damages such as medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other related losses.
The personal injury team from Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C. can help you understand how the complex New York dog bite laws apply in your case. We can outline your legal options, and offer advice for how to recover financial compensation. Call our office on Long Island today at 631-600-0000 to make an appointment for your free case evaluation.
How Can I Protect My Rights After a Holbrook, Long Island Dog Bite?
Dog bite claims, like other personal injury claims, require a wealth of evidence to prove liability and win your case. The insurance company will do everything it can to reduce the money it needs to pay you. It is important to take the right actions following a dog bite incident to protect your right to fair compensation.
First and foremost, get the medical care you need. Even if you believe the dog bite is not serious, we recommend going to an urgent care clinic or the local emergency department to get the wound cleaned and evaluated. Dog bites have a high risk of infection, so getting prompt care is important for this reason. In addition, having a record of medical treatment within minutes or hours of the attack is important in proving the serious nature of your injuries.
You will also need to continue medical treatment, including following all the instructions from your doctor, until you receive a full release from treatment. Failure to do this may result in the insurance company blaming any resulting infections on you, which in turn may reduce the value of your claim.
Ih2portant to report the dog bite. In addition to calling 911, if you need police or emergency medical care, you should report the incident to the Suffolk County S.P.C.A
. as soon as possible. SPCA has to investigate all reports of dog bites, and their report will document the facts of your case for you. Often, we can use this report as evidence in your insurance claim.
How Can We Recover Compensation in a New York State Dog Bite Case?
New York Agriculture & Markets Code section 121 outlines the responsibilities of dog owners, and the liabilities they face if their dogs act in a vicious manner. This law offers us two ways to recover compensation based on the injuries you suffered in a Holbrook attack:
1. Provide Evidence the Dog Is “Dangerous”
New York State’s dog bite law is a type of law sometimes known as a “one-bite rule.” This rule gives dogs a free bite, meaning owners cannot be liable based on the first instance the dog bites someone, attacks a farm or companion animal, or threatens to attack someone. However, a report of one of these incidents will earn the dog a “dangerous dog” label.
If another incident occurs and the dog causes injuries, the owner is liable. They are financially responsible for the victim’s medical treatment, lost wages, and other losses. Winning a case based on the dangerous dog rule is possible even if the first incident was not well-documented. However, it is often easier to win compensation in a dog bite case based on the owner’s negligence.
2. Provide Evidence Showing the Owner’s Negligence
No matter if the dog has a history of dangerous behavior or not, owners have a responsibility to follow all applicable laws and take reasonable actions to keep others safe. If the owner broke a law, such as allowing the dog to run free, we can use this to show they acted in a negligent manner and caused your injuries.
For example, if a dog escaped their own yard because of a broken gate and came into your yard, we can most likely win compensation for your injuries. Local leash laws require all dog owners to keep control of their pets at all times outside of their own yard. If the dog had remained in its yard, you would not have suffered bite injuries.
Will the Dog Owner Also Face Criminal Charges?
Sometimes, the owner of a dangerous dog will face criminal charges after an attack. Usually, this only occurs if the owner acts negligently and fails to protect others from a dog with a history of violent attacks or threatening behavior. Many dog bite victims hope the owner faces charges, but it does not matter either way when it comes to getting the compensation you need to cover your damages. We can attempt to hold them liable in a civil case, no matter what happens in criminal court. Even if they court drops the charges against them or acquits the owner, this has no bearing on our insurance claim.
How Can I Talk About My Incident with a Dog Bite Lawyer in Holbrook, Long Island?
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., our personal injury attorneys can help you understand your legal options for recovering the money you need and deserve. We offer free case evaluations, where we will analyze your situation and formulate a plan to prove liability and get the full value of your claim. Call our office on Long Island today at 631-600-0000. All our consultations are complimentary, and we handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis.