The Information You Need to Know and How Our Legal Team Can Fight For Justice on Your Behalf
Dogs are known as man’s best friend, and that’s true for the almost 63.4 million American households with dogs. Fortunately for Manhattan dog owners, New York City’s most-famous borough is home to numerous off-leash dog parks, including the Chelsea Waterside Dog Park and the Union Square Dog Run. However, a man’s best friend can bite, and unfortunately, for those involved in a dog attack, serious harm, debilitating injuries, and astronomical medical expenses can occur.
If you sustained severe injuries from a dog bite or your loved one has died from a dog attack, you should pursue justice and compensation for the harm endured. Contact the experienced dog bite lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, as soon as possible.
Our Manhattan dog bite attorneys understand the worry and anger you are experiencing after such a stressful incident. We also understand how difficult the whole situation often is for victims’ families. We want dog bite victims to know that they do not have to endure this challenging ordeal on their own. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we are here for you—to provide you with the legal help you need and go after maximum compensation on your behalf.
About Jacoby & Meyers, LLP
Founded in 1972, the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, was created to provide top-quality representation to everyone in need. Today, with offices in New York and New Jersey, we represent injured individuals and make sure that they receive compassionate and straightforward legal representation.
When you retain Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, to handle your dog bite claim, you will work with a dedicated legal team. We have the expertise needed to meet your specific goals and provide you with high-quality legal representation, including free hospital and at-home visits, free answers to all of your questions, and free, 100 percent secure access to your case file through our website. Plus, we only charge a fee if we are successful in obtaining compensation on your behalf.
Because of our dedication, drive, experience, and resources, we have won millions of dollars in jury verdicts and settlement awards for our clients.
Dog Bites by the Numbers
Unfortunately, dog bites are incredibly prevalent in the United States and often pose serious health risks to everyone involved. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), every year, 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog in the United States, and over 800,000 of those individuals need to receive medical attention.
However, these grim statistics do not stop there.
In addition, consider:
- Half of all the individuals bitten by a dog are children.
- Almost one in five individuals that a dog bite requires medical attention.
- Most dog bites occur when a young child is interacting with a familiar dog.
- Among New York City residents, an average of 6,000 emergency room visits and over 300 inpatient hospitalizations related to dog bites take place each year.
What makes these situations even worse is that most dog bites are preventable, meaning that if you suffered an injury because of a dog bite in Manhattan, the dog’s owner may face liability for the harm inflicted by the dog.
Dog Bite Laws in Manhattan
In New York, the dog bite laws are not as straightforward as in many other states. New York’s laws mix the one-bite rule with a limited degree of strict liability.
Basically, the statute states:
- A dog owner is strictly liable for the costs related to a victim’s medical bills that are related to the dog attack.
- A dog owner is only responsible for any additional damages if the owner knew or should have known the dog had a dangerous tendency to bite people.
However, victims of a dog bite may recover additional damages, even if the dog did not have a history of viciousness. If the dog’s owner acted negligently in carrying or handling the animal, and because of this negligence, the dog caused the victim harm and damages, then the owner can face liability.
The Definition of a Dangerous Dog in Manhattan
According to New York laws, a dangerous dog is any dog that attacks an individual, companion animal, domestic animal, farm animal, or service animal and causes physical injury or death without justification. This dangerous dog label also applies to any dog that a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of causing a severe injury or death.
However, some exceptions apply:
- The dangerous dog label does not apply to a dog who causes injuries to someone committing a crime, such as when an individual is trespassing on someone else’s property.
- The dangerous dog label does not apply when the dog is protecting its owner, a member of the owner’s household, or its owner’s property.
- The dangerous dog label does not apply when the dog is protecting itself or its offspring.
- The dangerous dog label is not valid when the dog responds to an injury or pain caused by inhumane treatment, such as abuse.
Who Is Responsible for a Manhattan Dog Bite Accident?
If you have sustained injuries because of a dog bite, numerous parties may face financial liability for the harm you’ve endured.
These parties often include:
- The dog’s owner or handler
- The individual who is responsible for pet-sitting the dog
- Property owners and even landlords
For these reasons, if a dog has bitten you, you should discuss your case with an experienced Manhattan dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. These attorneys can ensure that you seek justice against all liable parties and maximize your total compensation.
Dog Bites and Injuries
Sadly, dog bites can cause significant and devastating injuries, which often means hospitalization and expensive medical treatments, in addition to debilitating pain and permanent damage.
Yet, even though the severity of these injuries depends on the circumstances of the incident, the most common injuries that result from a dog attack typically include:
- Lacerations or abrasions, typically on the face, head, and neck
- Soft tissue injuries
- Knee injuries
- Foot injuries
- Infections, such as sepsis or rabies
- Broken or fractured bones
- Head and neck injuries
- Nerve damage
- Lost limbs because of amputation
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Wrongful death
The Critical Steps You Need to Take After You Have Sustained Injuries in a Dog Bite Accident in Manhattan
For those involved in a dog attack, the situation can feel quite overwhelming and stressful. Victims of this horrifying attack often have no idea what to do next or who to call to get legal help.
However, you must understand that the actions you take after this stressful assault are incredibly important, potentially protecting not only your health and safety but your legal rights as well. If you are ever involved in a Manhattan dog bite incident, you need to make sure that you:
Get Medical Help Immediately
Even if you do not need emergency medical treatment, you still need to get your injuries examined by a doctor. Following a dog bite incident, you may require a tetanus shot or other medical intervention to help prevent infections or other serious complications from developing. When you meet with your doctor immediately after the dog attack, your doctor can ensure you get the proper medical treatment you need.
Besides, getting this medical treatment can prove critical for your claim. Insurance companies are looking for any reason to deny an injury claim. When you delay medical treatment, they will try to argue that your condition is not that serious or resulted from a subsequent event. However, when you get examined by a medical professional, your doctor will write down information regarding your injury in a medical report, providing evidence of a direct link between the harm you endured and the dog bite incident.
Document the Scene as Best You Can
If the area is safe, and you do not need emergency medical treatment, try to take as many pictures and videos of the scene and your damages as possible. Include photos of the dog involved, the physical injuries and bites you suffered, any torn clothing due to the attack, and any property damage that resulted.
Get Specific Information From the Dog Owner
Make sure you obtain information from the dog owner, including name, contact information, insurance information, and any other important details about the dog, such as whether it has gotten all of its necessary shots. Not only will this information help preserve your right to sue for your injuries, it can help doctors determine whether you need to undergo expensive and painful vaccinations to protect you from fatal diseases, such as rabies.
Get Witness Information and Contact Details
If anyone at the accident scene saw what happened, make sure you get names and contact details. Witness statements are a great way to obtain necessary information regarding the accident and to help substantiate your claims.
File an Incident Report
Once you receive the medical attention you need, you should report the dog bite incident to the appropriate authorities, including the police or local animal control. In fact, if your dog bite occurred in Manhattan, you must report the dog bite incident to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene within 24 hours of the event.
Keep a Record of Your Expenses
You need to make sure that you keep records of all your expenses related to the dog bite incident, including any lost wages due to time off work because of the injury, medical bills, and personal property damages. This is the best way to build a case against the dog owner and ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
Keep a Journal of the Events
Another way to document your injuries and the effects of the dog bite incident is to write down everything that happened in a journal. Over time, memories of the accident can get muddled and fade. By writing down critical details of the accident, you help preserve vital facts pertaining to the incident. That is why you need to make sure you jot down everything you remember that happened, including the events of the dog attack, how you feel after the incident, the extent of your medical treatments, and how this attack affected your life and your family’s life.
Watch What You Say in Front of Others
Watch what you say after the dog attack, as you talk to witnesses or the dog’s owner. Do not admit fault for any part of the incident or apologize for anything that happened. These types of statements can end up hurting your claim and reducing the amount of money that you ultimately receive. In addition, do not allow yourself to be recorded or interviewed by the dog owner’s insurance company.
Contact an Experienced Manhattan Dog Bite Lawyer
Following a dog bite incident, you should talk to an experienced Manhattan dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. These attorneys can quickly get to work investigating your accident, figuring out what happened, determining whether you have a viable claim, and going after the money you need for the losses you’ve suffered. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today for your free case evaluation.
Common Questions Regarding Dog Bite Injuries in Manhattan
If you suffered injuries in a dog attack in Manhattan, you may have several legal options that you can pursue to obtain justice for the injuries you’ve suffered. To better help you understand these options and the actions you need to take, the law firm of Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, has prepared these FAQs regarding dog bites and the legal resources. We hope that with this information, we can get you the legal assistance you need and help you maximize your recovery. If you have specific questions regarding your dog bite injuries, contact us as soon as possible for a free case evaluation.
1. How much money is my Manhattan dog bite injury case worth?
Unfortunately, it is extremely challenging to establish an exact value for a dog bite case, as many factors can impact the value of your claim, including:
- The severity and extent of your injury
- The medical expenses that are needed now and in the future
- Lost wages and earning capacity
- The extent of your pain and suffering
- The ability to work following your dog bite injury
- The credibility of the evidence and witnesses presented
- Future injuries from additional surgeries or scarring that can result
Even though our law firm cannot guarantee that you will receive financial compensation for your dog bite injuries, at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we can assure you that our legal team will fight hard to pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.
2. How long do I have to resolve my Manhattan dog bite claim?
The statute of limitations restricts the time that an individual has to file a lawsuit after an alleged offense. If the plaintiff does not file this claim within this allotted time, he or she cannot collect compensation for the injuries endured. The statute of limitations varies from state to state and sometimes on the specific cause of action.
For instance, in New York, if you have suffered harm due to a dog bite, you will have three years from the injury date to go to court and file a lawsuit against those liable. However, this law often contains numerous exceptions that can shorten or lengthen the amount of time you have to file your claim.
Therefore, if you want to ensure that your rights are protected and that you pursue maximum compensation for the harm you endured, you should contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, as soon as possible. Our experienced Manhattan dog bite lawyers can figure out how much time you have to file your case while also properly filing your legal documents before time runs out.
3. How long will it take for my Manhattan dog bite claim to resolve?
When it comes to dog bite claims, each case is unique. Consequently, the time that it will take a case to resolve often depends on the severity and the nature of the dog bite injuries and the medical care you need.
It is also imperative that individuals who were harmed in a dog bite incident follow their doctor’s treatment plans until they have reached their maximum recovery. Pursuing legal action too early can leave victims settling for less than they actually need and missing out on critical compensation. Do not settle your case until you have completed all of your medical treatments. This can help both you and your attorney figure out the full extent of your damages and the compensation required.
As you can see, it can take anywhere from a few months to multiple years to resolve your dog bite case. When you work with our experienced Manhattan dog bite lawyers, however, we can try to resolve your case as quickly as possible and for as much money as possible.
4. Will I lose my case if there was a “beware of dog” sign?
A primary concern for dog bite victims is if a “Beware of Dog” sign renders their case invalid because they received a warning about the presence of a potentially vicious dog. However, this is not an issue in New York. In fact, since you need to prove that a dog has a vicious propensity to collect damages, what better way to substantiate your claim than by indicating the dog owner had put a sign up that notified individuals about the dog’s hostility.
Yet, you must realize that even if there was a “Beware of Dog” sign, you still need to show that the dog had a vicious propensity before the dog attack occurred. That is why it is critical to work with an experienced Manhattan dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. These attorneys can perform a thorough investigation into your dog bite accident and gather the crucial evidence needed to prove fault and damages.
5. Should I ask the dog’s owner any particular questions?
One of the most important pieces of information you need to obtain from the dog’s owner is whether the dog is up-to-date on all shots. If not, a vet needs to test the dog needs to ensure that it does not have rabies. Otherwise, you will have to go through additional painful and expensive medical treatments.
However, as you are getting this information from the dog’s owner, do not make any substantive statements regarding the incident or indicate that any of it was your fault. Insurance companies can use these statements against you and hurt your claim. On the other hand, if the dog’s owner indicates the dog had bitten before or had acted violently towards others, make sure you jot these facts down. In New York, before you can collect certain types of compensation, you need to show that the dog had previously shown some other vicious propensities. That’s why any information regarding the dog’s previous behavior may prove critical to your claim.
6. What compensation is available if I have sustained injuries in a Manhattan dog attack?
In New York, a dog owner is strictly liable for all medical bills and treatment expenses related to the injuries you suffered because of a dog attack, regardless of whether the dog had ever attacked anyone in the past.
However, if the dog has a history of viciousness, or the dog owner was negligent with the dog’s handling, you may also qualify to pursue additional compensation, including money for:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
- Loss of reputation
- Loss of a limb
When you work with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, we can promptly investigate your accident and secure the evidence needed to build your case. We will make sure that you pursue money for not only your past and present damages, but your future ones as well.
7. Does the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance cover my dog bite injuries?
In many instances, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance can cover dog bite cases. However, it will depend on the type of policy the dog owners have and if any exclusions in the policy prohibit compensation for dog bites. As a result, you must contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, as quickly as possible following your dog bite incident and let our skilled Manhattan dog bite lawyers determine what insurance coverage is in place and what money you can pursue.
8. What legal recourse do I have if the dog’s owner does not have any insurance to cover my dog bite injuries?
Unfortunately, if the dog owner does not have any insurance or a substantial amount of assets, it can prove challenging to pursue a dog bite injury claim. This is because you will have a tough time recovering the money you need from the dog owner. For instance, even if you get a judgment against the dog owner due to negligence, the dog owner can file for bankruptcy to get rid of the judgment.
For these reasons, you need to speak to a knowledgeable Manhattan dog bite lawyer as quickly as possible. At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, one of the first things our attorneys can look into is whether the dog owner has any viable assets or insurance that can help you get the financial compensation that you need. If so, we can fight hard for maximum compensation on your behalf.
9. If the insurance company offers me a settlement amount following my Manhattan dog bite incident, should I accept it?
It may seem like a no-brainer. If the insurance company offers money for an injury, you need to take it. Unfortunately, it may not always be in your best interest to accept the first settlement offer that an insurance company offers to you. Remember, the insurance company is not your friend. Rather, it is a business, and like other businesses, it wants to make money. By paying you out less than what you deserve or even denying your claim, the insurance company may end up making a profit.
Consequently, one of the tactics that the insurance company uses to get victims to accept less money is to offer them a meager settlement amount shortly after a dog bite incident. Insurance companies do this in hopes that you will not discuss this amount with your attorney or try to negotiate for more money. However, you must remember that you cannot pursue additional money down the line once you accept an insurance offer.
That is why our firm recommends that you not accept any settlement amount from an insurance company until you have completed all of your medical treatments. This will provide you with better insight regarding the extent of your bills and whether you will need future medical care. Additionally, to make sure this settlement offer is fair to you, you will also want to go over this amount with one of the experienced dog bite attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. If our lawyers determine that this amount is not reasonable, we can head back to the negotiation table and fight for additional compensation.
10. Why should I contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, following my Manhattan dog bite incident?
Dog bite claims are often extremely complicated, tedious, and difficult to prove. Not only do you need to have a thorough understanding of New York’s laws regarding dog bites, but you also need to provide critical evidence and sound legal arguments showing what happened and who was at fault for your injuries. Fortunately, when you work with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, you do not have to tackle this complex legal battle on your own.
Once retained, our experienced Manhattan dog bite lawyers can:
- Review every pertinent detail of your dog bite incident, and ensure the validity of your claims.
- Answer any questions or concerns you have regarding your case and the legal process involved.
- Provide you guidance throughout the legal process and make sure that you understand what is going on during each step.
- Prepare and file all the necessary legal motions and documents before the statute of limitations expires.
- Investigate the accident thoroughly and gather the vital evidence needed to prove liability and damages.
- Bring in the necessary experts to substantiate your claims.
- Handle all the discussions and negotiations with the insurance company, making sure to pursue a fair settlement on your behalf.
- Take your case to trial and serve as your legal advocate, working hard to get you maximum compensation.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a dog attack, do not wait any longer to get the legal help you need. Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, today at (212) 445-7000 or open a chat with one of our live representatives for a free case evaluation, and let us show you how we can help you pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.
New York, NY 10006