East Meadow Dog Bite Attorney
A dog has always been considered man’s best friend, and in many situations, they are just that. However, sometimes even the most harmless-appearing dogs can inflict a devastating dog bite that can lead to significant injuries, dangerous infections, and life-long impairment.
Many people fail to realize that dog bites are not only quite common, but they are also potentially deadly; and, East Meadow is home to thousands of dogs, each capable of causing a serious bite. Every year across the United States, millions of people are injured in these horrific dog bite accidents and left with numerous questions and concerns.
However, with the legal help of Jacoby & Meyers LLP, you do not have to go through this challenging situation on your own. Our firm is here to not only answer any questions you may have, but also to fight for the damages and justice you deserve following an East Meadow dog bite.
Jacoby & Meyers LLP – We Are Here To Help You
Jacoby & Meyers LLP was created to provide top-quality legal representation to all who needed it, and for nearly 50 years, our legal support staff and attorneys have been doing just that. Today, with offices in New Jersey and New York, we represent victims of all types of personal injury claims and provide them with compassionate and straightforward representations that they need.
When you contact the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers LLP, you can expect:
- Free answers to your questions
- Free visits to your home or hospital
- Free, secure online access to your case files through our website
Since our founding, we have provided our clients with the service, dedication, experience, and knowledge they require. In the process, we have won millions in settlement and jury verdicts.
Some of our most recent awards include:
- $8,323,000 Settlement Medical Malpractice Case
- $5,700,000 Jury Verdict Bus Accident
- $5,000,000 Settlement Vehicle Accident
- $3,250,000 Settlement Fire Accident
- $2,500,000 Settlement Car Accident
While these are only past results and can’t guarantee an outcome in any particular case, the compassionate dog bite attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers LLP are proud of our track record of success in securing justice for the East Meadow community.
Table of Contents
When it comes to dog bites and injuries, numbers do not lie. These accidents are prevalent across the country, resulting in dangerous and deadly injuries.
Consider these statistics:
- Approximately 4.5 million dog bites incidents happen each year in the United States.
- On average, 20 percent of dog bites become infected.
- The average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was 50 percent higher than the average injury-related hospital stay.
- In a recent year, there were nearly 27,000 individuals who underwent reconstructive surgery because of a dog bite accident.
- During a 14-year study (from 2005 until 2018), 471 individuals in the United States were killed by dogs.
- From 2005 until 2018, children (aged 0 to 2 years old) made up 26 percent of all dog bite fatality victims.
New York has a dog bite statute that combines the one-bite rule with a limited degree of strict liability. According to this dog bite statute, the owner of a previously adjudicated dangerous dog is strictly liable for a victim’s veterinary costs and medical costs if the dog causes injury to livestock, another individual, or another individual’s companion animal, such as a service dog.
To collect these medical expenses, you do not need to prove negligence when a “dangerous dog” bites you. However, to recover further damages beyond medical costs, the dog bite victim needs to show that the owner’s negligence contributed to their harm.
In other circumstances, to collect damages for your dog bite injuries. You are required to show that the dog had a dangerous tendency to bite people, and that dog’s owner knew it. Typically, as a dog bite victim, you cannot recover compensation for a dog bite if the owner did not realize that the dog could cause harm.
However, this does not mean that if a dog is not deemed “dangerous,” the owner cannot be held responsible for their dog biting another individual. Rather, the dog bite victim needs to show the dog owner knew or had reasonable cause to know their dog had a dangerous temperament or vicious tendencies.
According to New York’s dog bite statute, a “dangerous dog” is defined as one that:
- Attacks another person, pet, or farm animal and either kills or injures them without justification.
- Behaves in such a way that a reasonable person would believe that the dog poses an unjustified and serious imminent threat of serious physical injury or death.
However, there are exceptions to this statute.
For instance, a dog owner can be shielded from liability if they can show:
- The dog acted to protect its property or owner from a trespasser or an individual committing a crime.
- The dog was being tormented by the individual it bit.
- The dog’s reaction was due to pain or the protection of its offspring, property, or owner.
Additionally, based on the exceptions, a law enforcement canine carrying out its duties cannot be considered a “dangerous dog.”
Following a dog bite injury, you must take specific actions.
These actions will not only help keep you safe, but protect your legal rights.
- Stay calm: Do not try to catch the dog, especially if the dog has bitten you.
- Seek medical attention. Even if you do not believe your injuries are serious, you need to see a doctor. These dog bites can not only result in severe lacerations, but they can also lead to infections. That is why it is vital to quickly get checked out by a medical professional. These doctors can provide you the necessary treatments you need while also documenting your injuries in their medical reports. This report can provide you with vital evidence if you decide to pursue a legal claim.
- Get information from the dog owner: If the dog owner is present, get their name, contact information, and liability insurance information if they have it. Additionally, see if you can get information about the dog’s vaccination history, especially their rabies vaccinations.
- Document the injury and scene: If possible, try to take as many photos and videos of the accident scene. Take pictures of the bites and the injuries you suffered, any torn clothing that resulted from the dog bite injury, and any property damage.
- Talk to witnesses: If anyone was present at the scene and saw what happened, make sure to get their name and contact information. Their statements can provide you with critical evidence in terms of liability and damages.
- Contact the police or local animal control: If the dog owner is not present, call 911 or the local animal control. The police or animal control can help contain the dog and find the owner. Additionally, you also need to file an incident report with these local authorities about what happened. This report should include a description of the dog, where you were bitten, the injuries you received, and any information about the dog owner.
- Keep records: Following the accident, make sure you keep a record of all of your medical expenses, lost wages, and any other expenses related to the dog bite incident.
- Call an experienced east meadow dog bite attorney: Due to the complexities involved in an East Meadow dog bite injury, you need to contact an experienced East Meadow dog bite attorney. These lawyers can help you figure out if you have a viable claim and begin investigating the accident to gather all the necessary evidence required to show what happened and whether the dog owner is at-fault for your injuries.
Unlike many other states, New York does not differentiate between dog breeds to distinguish whether a dog is dangerous. The state also does not consider a dog dangerous, even if it was bred for dog-fighting, as long as the dog never bit anyone before.
However, if a dog in your vicinity bares its teeth, growls, or indicates that it has the intention to bite, it should be considered dangerous.
Dog bites can result in numerous injuries that can vary in severity.
However, some of the more common dog bite injuries include:
- Permanent scarring
- Tissue damage
- Puncture wounds
- Fractured bones
- Significant eye injuries
- Facial injuries
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Rabies, tetanus, mrsa, and pasteurella
- Emotional trauma
In many situations, it is not only a bite that causes harm. For instance, if you were jogging or cycling and were knocked down by an aggressive dog, you can also suffer significant injuries from the fall.
If at any point you start experiencing the following symptoms, head to a doctor immediately to get emergency help:
- Pain that is increasing in intensity
- Redness around the wound
- Continuous swelling
- Strange or erratic behavior from the dog that bit you
If you have suffered injuries because of a dog bite, you may be entitled to certain damages. In New York, these damages include economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages: These are actual verifiable losses as a result of a dog bite accident.
These damages include:
- Medical bills including past, present, and future medical expenses (such as ambulance rides, hospital stays, prescription medications, surgery, and doctor visits)
- Lost wages including past, present, and future lost income if you can’t work because of your dog bite injuries
- Lost earning capacity
- Personal property damages
- At-home nursing care
- Replacement services such as childcare services or cleaning services
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic damages: These are rather subjective losses that are not easily quantified. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of a limb
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Punitive damages: These damages are awarded by the court when they want to punish and deter the defendant for their egregious and wrongful actions. Consequently, these damages are only awarded in limited circumstances. Working with an experienced East Meadow dog bite attorney can help you determine if punitive damages apply to your case.
Unfortunately, because no two dog bite cases are alike, no attorney can tell you exactly how much compensation you can collect following your dog bite incident. However, an experienced dog bite lawyer can determine which factors affect your claim.
These factors include:
- The severity of the injuries (such as head or neck injuries or permanent disability)
- The treatments necessary and the cost of these treatments
- Whether ongoing treatments are necessary
- The income lost because of the injury
- The ability to work following the accident
- The type of psychological trauma related to the attack
- The type of replacement services required following the dog bite incident
When you work with the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we can figure out which of these factors impact your claim and, in response, prepare the best case to combat these elements. Ensuring we fight for maximum damages on your behalf.
The statute of limitations is a law that sets the maximum amount of time you have to sue for damages following an alleged offense. If you have been injured in a dog biting accident in New York, you have to file a claim within three years of the accident. In addition, according to the New York State Health Code, you also need to report an animal bite within 24 hours of the event.
Generally, just because you may have a few years to file a claim, you should not wait. Over time memories of the accident can fade, critical evidence can disappear, and relevant witnesses can no longer testify. That is why you need to contact the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers LLP as soon as possible. Our experienced lawyers can not only determine how much time you have to file your claim, but we can also file your motions correctly and on time.
East Meadow Dog Bite FAQ
Dog bites are extremely painful and incredibly traumatic. However, worse yet, victims of this horrific attack are often left with many concerns about their medical bills and who will pay them, what types of medical treatments they will need in the future, and how this injury will affect them and their families.
At Jacoby & Meyers LLP, we not only know how difficult this ordeal is for you, but we also understand that now more than ever you need legal help that you can trust. That is why, with the following frequently asked questions, we hope to provide you the information you need when it comes to dog bite accidents. Specifically, discussing what steps you need to take following a dog bite accident, what legal actions you can pursue, and how our attorneys can pursue the damages and compensation you deserve.
There are numerous scenarios where a dog owner can be held at fault for injuries you sustained from a dog bite. However, almost all of them require the owner to know that their dog’s prior behavior could result in an attack.
Consider the following situations when a dog owner can be held liable:
- When the dog has bitten before
- When the dog has displayed previous vicious behavior – For example- if the dog owner has proof that the dog viciously barks as if it is willing to attack or chase others to the point that other individuals are frightened by the dog.
- When the dog jumps on others – If the dog’s owner knows that their dog jumps on others, they can be held liable for injuries resulting from the dog jumping on other people.
- When others have filed complaints against the dog
Many times, proving that the dog owner has previous knowledge of their dog’s dangerous behavior is rather complicated. That is why it is imperative to work with the knowledgeable legal team of Jacoby & Meyers LLP. Our attorneys can help you prove liability and pursue the maximum compensation on your behalf.
If a dog has bitten you, report the attack to the proper authorities.
To make sure you take the appropriate actions, consider the following steps:
- Wash the dog bite wound with soap and water.
- Contact your doctor for specific care instructions.
- Get the name of the dog’s owner, address, and phone number.
- Call 311 or Report the Bite Online. This information can help the Health Department determine if you may need a rabies shot.
- If the dog poses a dangerous immediate risk to you and others, call 911 immediately.
Typically, if you were injured in an East Meadow dog biting accident, the dog owner’s home insurance policy may cover liability. However, it depends on the owner’s specific policy coverage. Working with an experienced dog bite accident lawyer can help you figure out whether you can pursue homeowners insurance or not.
Additionally, if the dog owner does not have any insurance, your attorney can look into other insurance avenues and figure out if there are any other outlets of available compensation you can pursue.
Even though a dog owner is usually the first person you look to for responsibility in a dog biting accident, other individuals or entities can pay for your injury; for instance, a landlord that allowed the dog on the property.
These people may be liable for any injuries you suffered as a result of the accident. Working with an experienced East Meadow dog bite attorney is crucial in helping you figure out who may be at fault for your accident.
Following a dog bite incident, the insurance company representing the dog’s owner may call you. However, before you decide to talk to them and go into detail about what happened, you need to understand that the insurance company is not here to help you. They want to protect themselves. As a business, they want to make money. By paying out on your claims, they lose out on these profits. As a result, they will try numerous tactics to get you to admit fault for the accident, so they can deny your claim or reduce the amount you receive.
That is why it is in your best interest to let the insurance company know that any conversations will be through your attorney. Once your lawyer takes over these discussions, they can ensure you do not say anything that can hurt your claim.
In some dog bite cases, the insurance company may offer you a settlement offer following your accident. However, before you accept, you need to consider certain factors, such as your medical expenses and future costs. Many times following an accident, you may not be aware of all of your injuries or how they can impact your life. Consequently, if you accept the settlement offer, you may miss out on the significant compensation you need.
When an insurance company tries to offer you a settlement amount shortly following your accident, they are not considering all of your costs. Rather they want to settle the matter as quickly and for as little money as possible. That is why you need to speak to the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers LLP about your settlement amount. Our lawyers can help you determine if the settlement amount is fair to you, and if it is not, we can proceed with negotiations and go after an amount that is.
There is a misconception amongst many individuals that if they are bitten by a dog, and the dog owner has a “Beware of Dog” sign, they cannot file a claim for their injuries. However, this is simply not true. Just because a dog owner puts up a “beware sign,” it does not mean they are not liable for the harm you endured. In truth, if the dog owner knows that their dog has violent tendencies, you still have a right to compensation for your dog bite injuries.
Due to these numerous misunderstandings, if you are unsure whether you have a dog bite claim, you need to speak with Jacoby & Meyers LLP as soon as possible. Our attorneys can help you determine if you have a viable case and figure out who is liable for your injuries.
Regardless if you think your injuries are not severe, you should not delay or refuse medical treatment following a dog bite accident. Why? Because it can hurt your health and your claim. The dog owner’s insurance will often want proof that the dog caused you to suffer significant injuries. Merely stating that a dog bite caused you harm is not enough.
That is why getting to a doctor following your dog biting accident is critical. These medical professionals can not only help detail the extent of your injuries, but the treatments you need and will need in the future, such as surgery, hospitalization, rehabilitative services, and medical devices you may require.
Additionally, if the other side tries to argue that you received your injuries in a subsequent event, the doctor’s medical report can help prove that your injuries resulted from the dog biting accident.
What many people do not know is that not all dog bites are the same. In fact, a dog bite can result in numerous different injuries, which can vary widely in level of seriousness. Understanding these various dog bite classifications can not only help diagnose dog aggression issues but provide you with a better prognosis following a dog bite incident.
Consider the following six different dog bite classifications:
- Level 1: This first level often involves aggressive behavior with no skin contact by a dog’s teeth. This behavior is usually demonstrated by a dog trying to scare another dog or human to go away and involves a snap, an air bite, or a warning bite.
- Level 2: This second level involves skin contact, but the bite does not break the skin.
- Level 3: In this third level, the dog will take a bite, which will result in one to four tooth punctures. However, no hole will be deeper than the length of the dog’s canine teeth.
- Level 4: At the fourth level, a dog bite will result in four puncture holes in the skin that are often deeper than the dog’s tooth’s length. Additionally, the dog bite victim may have significant bruising around the wound and visible tears or gashes. This type of wound often indicates that the dog latched down and was shaking its head from side to side.
- Level 5: At this level, a dog bite victim will have multiple bites containing deep puncture wounds.
- Level 6: Finally, at the sixth level, the dog bite results in consumed flesh or death.
Knowing these different classifications can help you understand your wound’s severity and what type of medical treatments may be necessary to take care of your injuries.
Dog bite lawsuits may be complicated and often require extensive evidence to show liability and damages. Luckily, when you retain the legal team of Jacoby & Meyers LLP, you do not have to handle these legal complexities by yourself.
Our experienced dog bite lawyers can:
- Answer any questions you have, go over your case in detail, and let you know what legal options you can pursue
- Investigate your case thoroughly and gather critical evidence that can show what happened and who was at fault
- Figure out if the dog owner has any available insurance that you can pursue to help pay your damages
- Handle the negotiations and discussions with the insurance company, making sure to pursue a fair settlement amount
- If the other side is unwilling to negotiate, take your case to trial, and fight for maximum compensation
Our East Meadow Dog Bite Attorneys Are Standing By
If a dog bite in East Meadow injured you, do not wait any longer. Contact the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers LLP—we are standing by and ready to hear from you right now.
For your free case evaluation, you can write to us using our contact page or our webchat feature, or you can call us at any time at (877) 565-2993.
East Meadow Office
90 Merrick Avenue, Suite 601
East Meadow, NY 11554
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“The team and Jacoby & Meyers are excellent. They make sure the client is well taken care of. They are great with communication and they take their time to make sure the client is satisfied. Will definitely recommend.”
Review by: Danielle H.
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