Have you or a loved one been bitten by a dog? Check out these 5 tips after a dog bite, then call our office in Buffalo to schedule a free consultation to receive maximum compensation for your claim.
1. Common Mistakes in Dog Bite Cases
When you’re just walking through the neighborhood and something like this happens to you, you probably won’t think about trying to pin point where the attack came from or how it happened.
The other issue is trying to lock down information regarding any prior bites or prior vicious propensities. Neighbors are often the best resource for that because they’ve seen the dog over the years, often times lunging at the mailman. If you can knock on a door, show the neighbor what happened. then the neighbors become much more helpful because they don’t want anyone else attacked. When people see the damage that this dog has done, they tend to be much more cooperative. This gives us the information that we can use against the insurance company to let them know that this dog, in fact, has had problems beforehand.
2. Understanding Dog Bite Injuries
In New York State, the owner of a dog can be held responsible if that dog attacks a person. In New York, the so-called one-bite rule does not mean that the dog must bite somebody before the dog’s owner is responsible. An attorney simply needs to show that the dog has some type of vicious propensity.
If the dog has bitten someone, it is clear that the dog has a vicious propensity. However, in the absence of a bite, the dog can exhibit a vicious propensity in a number of other ways, including growling and showing aggression toward other dogs or people. If we can show that the dog had a dangerous propensity, we may file a claim against the owner of the dog, who has become strictly liable for the actions of the dog. We do not necessarily have to prove that the owner was negligent; rather, we must only prove the dog’s vicious propensity, and the owner of the dog will become responsible.
The owner will often be able to testify about the dog on her or his own behalf, which can be an attempt to weaken your claim. However, our office typically sends investigators to the neighborhood where the dog bite occurred. This allows us to interview neighbors of the dog’s owner who can state whether they have seen a vicious propensity from the dog. Also, we can use freedom of information in these cases. Through requests under the Freedom of Information Act, we can ask for information from various governmental entities about any records of a previous attack or propensity from that dog.
3. Typical Dog Bite Injuries
- Most dog bites will include a puncture wound, and/or a complex laceration that is not easily stitched up.
- Some Doctors do not like to seal those wounds back up in case of infection from the bite.
4. New York State’s One Bite Rule
- The One Bite Rule allows dogs to bite someone once and get away with it, this allows owners to take responsibility for future issues.
- Beware of Dog signs are a notice of vicious propensity and that the owners are aware of it.
5. Beware of Dog Signs
A common concern among dog bite victims is that receiving prior warning about the presence of a vicious dog on a property renders their cases invalid. This is not the case, at least in New York State. There are jurisdictions in other states throughout the country where a “Beware of Dog” sign or a similar written warning on a property could preclude people from then making a claim for a recovery.
As stated above, in New York State, it must be substantiated that a dog has a vicious propensity. What better way to show this by simply stating that the dog owner him- or herself has put out a sign that notifies passersby about the hostility of the dog? This indicates that the owner has knowledge of the dog’s vicious propensity. Even if there is a “Beware of Dog” sign, we still need to show that there was a vicious propensity prior to the attack. Nevertheless, by no means does the placement of the sign on the property preclude us from being able to recover in the event someone is attacked by a dog.
Have you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog and have questions about these 5 tips after a dog bite? Contact our Buffalo Dog Bite Lawyers to fight for your family.
Attorney Richard Nicotra is a partner with Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra, PLLC and has achieved the highest rating of 10 on Avvo.
The Personal Injury Lawyers at Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra, PLLC fight for the rights of persons who are injured or disabled. We approach each case on an individual basis and personally assist each client with their unique needs. We are involved in every step of the legal process, and ensure that each case receives the time and effort necessary for success. Our attorneys are available to speak with you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call today!
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