Some of the most tragic and life-changing injuries that can occur to a person are bites from an animal. These types of injuries are known for causing mental anguish, extreme pain, and permanent disfigurement and scars. The demographic that is injured by animal bites the most often are children, and the injury is usually caused by a dog. People who are injured by dog bites frequently suffer from lacerations, bruises, and scars. These victims often need to seek medical attention and get medications or injections to keep the injured area from getting infected.
If you are a victim of an animal attack, immediately contact an experienced Bronx dog bite lawyer at Cellino Law Firm. We will help you get compensation for any injuries that you sustained when you were trying to avoid a dog attack or sustained from a dog bite. These types of injuries lead to claims under premises liability law. If you’ve been injured by a dog bite contact a personal injury attorney in The Bronx to discuss your legal options.
Table of Contents
What Should You Do If You Are The Victim Of A Dog Bite In The Bronx?
The moments after you have been bitten by a dog are very important. It is totally understandable that you are physically and mentally shaken from the attack and your adrenaline is rushing as you try to comprehend what just occurred. However, it is important that you try to remember to do these steps after being bitten by a dog. You will improve your chances of maximum compensation for the injuries you received as a result of a dog attack. If the injuries are life-threatening or very serious, call 911 immediately so you can get the medical attention you need.
You will need to be able to identify the dog’s owner and the dog after you have been attacked. If you can, take a picture of the dog’s owner and the animal with a smartphone. Make a record of essential contact information such as names and addresses. Also, get contact information for anyone who may have witnessed the attack. If you cannot positively identify the owner of the dog, you will have to undergo several rabies shots.
Even though any dog bites increases your risk of infection, a bite by a dog you are not familiar with increases your risk of infection. After you have obtained the contact information for everyone involved, see a doctor even if you do not need emergency medical attention. Animal bites, especially dog bites can cause other types of injuries and a doctor will need to conduct an exam to check for internal injuries.
It is extremely important that you complete this step. If you do not seek medical treatment, that decision could affect your chances to get compensation for your injuries. The dog owner (defendant) and their insurance company could pose the argument that you were not seriously injured because you did not ask for medical assistance.
No matter the breed or size, a dog bite can cause significant injuries such as:
A bite from a dog is unlikely to break the skin instantly because their teeth are not that sharp. However, they have powerful jaws and they can use that strength to leave open wounds on the skin of someone they bite. A large dog can also jump on a person and use their teeth and claws to create open wounds.
Wounds from Teeth and Claws
Their teeth and claws can break open skin and clothing, and make a victim susceptible to serious bleeding.
Large dogs are also capable of breaking the bones of their victim while they use their strong jaws to bite them. A victim may also slip and fall while running from a dog and break their bones when they hit the ground.
TBIs, or Traumatic Brain Injuries, along with fractures on the skull, can be caused by powerful dog bites, falls or if an object hits the head. These types of injuries can vary from mild with a concussion to an injury that is life-threatening. Head injuries should never be taken lightly and you should get medical attention quickly. Keep in mind that TBIs often leave some permanent damage.
Damage to the Face
Dog bites can also cause damage to the face when they attack a person’s face and/or head. This attack can damage the person’s eyes, nose, ears, and other areas of the face. Unfortunately, a victim with these types of injuries will often need to have several reconstructive surgeries, and they may still end up lifelong scarring.
Once your injuries have been treated by an emergency room physician or your family doctor, make sure that you get a written medical report that details the injuries you have sustained and the type of treatment you will need to recover. Any potential long-term complications should also be written in the report and the treatment plan the doctor has placed you on. This report will be instrumental because your dog bite attorney in the Bronx will be able to use it to prove that your injuries are the direct result of the dog bite.
What Effects Can A Dog Attack Have?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), there are close to 890,000 Americans who seek medical attention for dog bite injuries each year. The same information from the CDC also states that of the almost 890,000 citizens, half of them are children. Furthermore, the CDC has also stated that around 27,000 dog bite victims undergo reconstructive surgery annually.
The Insurance Information Institute has conducted its own research and the research shows that insurance companies pay out over 16,000 dog bites claims yearly through customers’ homeowner insurance policies. These claims average close to $30,000. This amount is not as much as the real cost of more serious injuries.
If you have been bitten by a dog and you require medical assistance, our attorneys at Cellino Law will help you get the compensation you truly deserve from the dog owner. Dog owners are liable for any injuries or damage that is caused by their pets. They are not liable if the animal was provoked by the victim or the victim trespassed on the dog owner’s property.
If you are a New York resident, where Cellino Law is located, the law explains that the dog owner must pay medical expenses for any dog bite that came from his/her dog. They must also cover the vet bills if other animals were attacked by their dog.
Besides bruises, lacerations, and cuts that may have been caused by bites and scratches, dog bite victims may also have to deal with the following:
Permanent Scarring/Physical Disfigurement
Bites that are very deep can leave keloid scars and discolored cosmetic scars. Younger victims like children are more susceptible to getting bites on their face and neck. These scars can be disfiguring and stay with a child for the rest of his/her life.
It is not uncommon for dog bite victims to become extremely afraid of dogs. This fear is known as Cynophobia. These people often require extensive psychological treatment and therapy for their fear and anxiety. In some cases, the victim may develop PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
Loss of Income
Dog bite victims may also end up losing income and wages because they are not able to work while they are recovering. In addition, they may have to work at a reduced income capacity if the attack leaves them disabled or disfigured.
In order for a victim to receive compensation for pain and suffering and/or a loss of income, the victim must be able to prove that the dog was showing a tendency to bite or was prone to biting people. They also have to prove that the owner of the dog was aware that the attack occurred, or should have been aware of it. The best way to prove these things is to hire an experienced Bronx premises liability lawyer at Cellino Law to conduct an extensive investigation.
The lawyers at Cellino Law Firm may decide to look for evidence such as:
- Evidence of prior attacks (citations on the owner)
- Eyewitness and neighbor statements
- Leash law violations
The attorneys will also look for evidence that proves the dog had a history of being dangerous or was potentially dangerous. For example, neighbor statements may prove that the dog growled, snarled and snapped at people even when accompanied by its owner. That would prove that the owner had problems handling the dog.
What Damages Can A Bronx Dog Bite Lawyer Help Me Pursue?
If the court determines that the dog owner is liable for the injuries you sustained, you will receive the compensation you deserve. Some other damages the court may award you are:
The loss of income due to not being able to work while recovering. If the victim is not able to return to work, the court may award compensation for future income.
Pain and suffering, especially if the injuries are on sensitive areas of the body, or the attack was very cruel. A dog bite attorney in the Bronx, NY, will call witnesses on your behalf to testify against the defendant. Although it is not an easy task to award compensation for pain and suffering, the judge will consider how severe the injuries are, and along with the witness statements, he/she will determine an amount that the court considers fair.
Permanent injury. The owner of a dog that bites someone may also be liable for reconstructive surgery costs, rehabilitation, long-term care, and other medical expenses when the victim is disabled or disfigured because of the attack.
If you are the owner of a dog, it is important that you are familiar with the various laws and ordinances in your area, as well as how you may be liable if your dog attacks and bites someone. You can contact a dog bite attorney in the Bronx who could provide you with more information. There are also online resources that can provide more information.
For example, the American Academy of Physicians has an online guide that explains how to prevent as well as treat dog bites. You may also be able to find state legislation specific for your dog’s breed and you can also go online to find out more about liability insurance and read online medical and scientific research.
How Many Americans Are Bitten Each Year By Dogs?
The CDC estimates that nearly 5 million people get dog bites each year, with about 1 in 5 of these bites are considered between mild and serious.
Are Dogs Who Have Not Been Neutered More Prone To Biting?
According to statistics, dogs who have not been neutered are more aggressive and are three times as likely to bite someone when compared to dogs who have been neutered.
Are There Dog Breeds That Have Been Banned Due To Being Aggressive?
In many communities across the United States, local jurisdictions have banned Pit Bulls and Rottweilers because of their aggressive nature. Owners who keep banned dogs in communities are often fined.
Are Some Dog Breeds More Dangerous Than Others?
A report that was published in 2000 by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the Humane Society of the United States showed how dog bite deaths were tracked over a 20 year period from 1979 to 1998. It listed the fatalities based on purebred dogs, crossbred dogs and mixed-breed dogs.
According to the list, the following are the top 10 deadliest dogs:
- Pit Bulls
- German shepherds
- St. Bernard’s
- Dog/wolf hybrids
- Siberian huskies
- Mixed breeds
- Chow Chows
If I Am Bitten By A Dog While Working, Can I File Workers’ Compensation?
If you are bitten by a dog while you are working, you are eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. In addition, you may be able to file a separate claim against the owner of the dog if the owner of the dog is not also your employer.
Can I File A Claim If A Police Dog Bites Me?
The answer depends on the situation that occurred. Police officers are expected to use reasonable force when performing their work duties and that includes when they are arresting someone. However, when a police dog is not used appropriately, it could be considered unreasonable force.
If this is a situation that has occurred to you, consult with a Cellino Law dog bite attorney in the Bronx so you can determine if the police involved used excessive force or not. If it determined that the officer did use unreasonable force, he/she will have to provide you with compensation for your injuries related to the dog bite.
Do I Have A Legal Claim If My Pet Is Injured?
If your pet is seriously injured or dies as a result of an attack from someone else’s pet, you can legally make a claim. The compensatory damages you may receive include the registration cost associated with a purebred animal, the retail cost to license another pet, training and shots. If you were planning to spend additional money on pets, not including regular vet bills, you may also seek compensation for that as well.
In some situations, you may get compensation for pain and suffering due to the loss of your pet and the companionship they provided you. You should seek to get compensated for the mental pain you are dealing with by losing your pet. It may even be possible to get punitive damages. However, each state in the country has their own laws regarding dog bites, so you should contact your respective state laws.
If you need the most experienced and qualified personal injury firm in the Bronx, you need to contact Cellino Law Firm. Our attorneys are always ready and willing to assist their clients with their personal injury claims.