Long Island Dog Bite Lawyers
Dedicated dog bite lawyers serving Suffolk and Nassau County. If you or a loved one was attacked by a dog in New York, contact us today to arrange a free confidential consultation and let our 25 years of experience work for you.
Dogs are wonderful companions. More households have dogs than any other type of pet. But dogs can also present a danger, especially to people they do not know. Dog bites are one of the most common types of personal injuries. In the United States, more than 4.7 million dog bites occur annually.
On average, over 14,000 Americans require hospitalization because of a dog bite each year. If you have been bitten by a dog, you are not alone. The damage done by a severe dog bite can be significant and have long-term effects. Some dog bite victims require medications, treatments, or surgeries. In 2018, almost 27,000 victims needed reconstructive surgery because of a dog bite injury. The injuries from a dog attack can also prevent a victim from working or engaging in routine daily activities.
Sometimes, dog bite injuries result in death. Sadly, most fatal dog bites happen as the result of small children who don’t understand the dangers presented by a dog. But anyone can fall victim to a dog attack. In Long Island, dog bites happen every day. Some dog bite injuries are the result of the dog owner’s carelessness or negligence. If you or someone you love has sustained this type of injury, contact the premier Long Island dog bite lawyers as soon as possible.
The attorneys at the Matera Law Firm have years of experience in representing the victims of dog attacks. Unfortunately, dog bite injuries are very common in Nassau and Suffolk counties. When you have been injured as the result of a negligent dog owner, you deserve compensation. Our Long Island dog bite lawyers have over 25 years of combined experience fighting for our clients. We know how to negotiate effectively to secure the financial recovery that you are due. You should not have to face the financial burdens of a dog bite injury on your own. Call the accomplished Long Island dog bite lawyers at the Matera Law Firm.
What Are New York’s “Dangerous Dog” Laws?
Almost 800,000 severe dog bite attacks take place in the U.S. each year. Almost half of these attacks require emergency treatment. If you have been injured in a dog bite attack, it is important to understand your rights. An experienced attorney can help you to explore your legal options. The laws and statutes surrounding dog bite attacks differ from state to state.
New York state law includes what is known as a “dangerous dog” statute. In Long Island, a dog owner is legally liable for any damage that their “dangerous dog” inflicts on another person or animal. Not every canine is classified as a “dangerous dog.” Those that fit the classification meet the following criteria:
Dangerous dogs are those that attack persons, farm animals, or pets with no justification. The attack must result in an injury or death.
The behavior of “dangerous dogs” would cause a reasonable person to believe that they pose a serious threat of imminent physical injury or death. New York state’s “dangerous dog” statute makes an exception for some animals. For instance, law enforcement dogs cannot be classified as “dangerous dogs” when they are carrying out their duties. If you or someone you love has suffered from a dog attack in Suffolk or Nassau counties, contact the Long Island dog bite lawyers at the Matera Law Firm. We have a history of fighting to secure financial recovery for victims of dangerous dogs.
“Strict Liability” and Negligence in New York Dog Bite Cases
The dangerous dog statute makes the owner of the animal “strictly liable” for any medical expenses that result from the dog’s attack. This notion of strict liability is crucial in Long Island dog bite cases. If an owner’s pet is determined to be dangerous, the owner must pay all of the medical costs that result from an attack. This is true even in cases where the owner has taken reasonable steps to restrain or control the animal. This form of strict liability is only applicable to medical expenses.
To secure a financial recovery for damages that are not medical in nature, the victim must prove that the owner of the dog was negligent in some way. Proving negligence often requires the expertise of Long Island dog bite lawyers. Showing that a dog owner was negligent involves the following:
Duty of Care
The victim’s attorney must show that the dog owner had a duty of care to ensure that the animal was restrained or otherwise controlled. For instance, a dog owner should inform others if the dog has a history of aggressive behavior.
Breach of Duty
The claimant, with the help of their lawyer, must prove that the owner breached that duty through carelessness or recklessness.
Cause of Injury
The claimant must show that the dog owner’s negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the dog bite injury.
The victim’s attorney must prove that the dog bite caused the victim to sustain damages and losses. Another important element of negligence in New York dog bite cases is known as the “one bite” rule. When a specific dog has a history of dangerous or aggressive behavior, the owner is required to warn others. Failure to do so constitutes negligence.
What Are Common Defenses to Long Island Dog Bite Claims?
There are several common defenses to dog bite claims in New York. As we mentioned above, the dangerous dog statute applies a standard of strict liability for medical bills and expenses. However, defendants often attempt to deflect liability for other damages.
Some of the most common defenses in civil dog bite cases include:
The animal was carrying out duties associated with a role in law enforcement. This may nullify the claim that the canine qualifies as a “dangerous dog.”
The defendant may claim that the dog was acting in a defensive capacity at the time of the attack. If the victim was committing a crime or trespassing, they may not be owed compensation.
If the dog was protecting itself, its owner, or its puppies, the injured person may have difficulty in securing financial recovery.
The defendant may argue that the bite happened because the animal was in pain or was suffering at the time of the incident.
If the victim was provoking the animal, they may not be owed financial compensation. Examples of provocation can include:
- Tormenting the dog
- Abusing or mistreating the animal
- Assaulting or harming the dog
The canine owner may claim that the victim shares partial fault for the incident. Therefore, it is crucial to speak with Long Island dog bite lawyers if you have suffered an injury. An accomplished legal professional will examine the unique circumstances of your dog bite case. At The Matera Law Firm, we have years of experience in building powerful legal cases for victims of dog bite injuries.
Contact Our Top Rated Long Island Dog Bite Lawyers
If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog, contact the Matera Law Firm as soon as possible. Our accomplished attorneys boast nearly three decades of combined experience. No matter what the circumstances of your dog bite case may be, we can help. Our Long Island dog bite lawyers have the knowledge and experience to effectively fight for you. You won’t pay any fees unless we win your case. Call the Matera Law Firm for your free initial consultation.