Bronx Dog Bite Attorneys
The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond is a small firm, but Ivan Diamond has produced big results for his injured clients. His mission is to hold wrongdoers accountable for the damages their actions caused. Contact the Bronx dog bite attorney at Ivan Diamond today.
Dogs are wonderful companions but sometimes their pleasant temperaments do a sudden about-face. When they’re sick or frightened, or they see danger in simple human actions, dogs become aggressive and attack. The more aggressive assaults can cause disfiguring wounds, life-threatening injuries, and fatalities. Dog bites also risk transferring rabies, Pasteurella, MRSA, and other significant infections.
The NYC Health publication, Preventing Dog Bite-Related Injuries Among New York City Residents, describes the city’s growing dog bite problem. A 2017 study analyzed dog bite statistics covering 2007 to 2014 and documented these important facts.
- As of 2014, 500,000 dogs lived in New York City.
- Annually, New York City dog bite victims averaged 6,028 emergency visits and 315 hospitalizations.
- New York City children ages five to 12 were most at risk for dog bite injuries.
- Nationally, dog bites are the leading cause of children’s non-fatal injuries.
- Over the seven-year period studied, New York City dog bites increased by 12 percent.
- In all age groups, males are at greater risk for dog bite than females.
- Only 3 percent of the bites involved stray dogs.
NYC Health sees dog bites as a growing problem with “significant public health impacts.” Dog bites are costly as well. In 2017 alone, emergency and inpatient treatment for dog bites accounted for $17 million in local hospital costs.
Dog Owners Should Pay When Their Dogs Cause Injuries
Attorney Ivan M. Diamond believes that when people don’t prevent their dogs from injuring others, they should pay for the harm their pets cause. Ivan Diamond handles personal injury cases only. He has used his time, energy, and firm resources in recovering damages for injured clients throughout the New York City area. He understands complex legal and liability issues. He’s seen how serious injuries changed his clients’ lives.
Ivan Diamond’s Personal Injury Results
Ivan Diamond seeks the most effective solutions for resolving his clients’ injury claims. Wherever possible he has settled his clients; cases through negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. But, when opposing parties refuse to pay their fair share, Ivan Diamond has no hesitation about pursuing legal action in city and state courts.
Each case has unique injuries and liability issues so Ivan Diamond can never promise a specific outcome. As a dedicated plaintiff’s attorney, however, he believes his past results speak for themselves.
What Types of Injuries Can Dog Attacks Cause?
A dog’s incisors are uniquely designed for tearing and shredding flesh. That makes them efficient weapons for causing injuries. Dogs attack both children and adults but children sustain the most serious wounds. When a dog bites, its teeth easily penetrate and damage a child’s skin, muscles, and bones. Children’s immune systems have difficulty fighting off post-bite infections.
When plastic surgeons analyzed three years of pediatric dog bites treated at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital trauma center in Valhalla, New York, they found that a large percentage of the child victims were preschool age. They also determined that younger patients required more corrective surgery and that dogs primarily attacked children’s heads and necks. Dogs also caused a variety of additional injuries in adults and children, such as:
- Severe tears and lacerations;
- Puncture wounds;
- Skin, muscle, and tissue damage;
- Rabies, MRSA, Pasteurella, tetanus, and other infectious diseases;
- Permanent disfiguring scars;
- Emotional and psychological trauma; and
When Is a Dog Owner Liable for a Dog Attack?
Unlike many states, New York’s dog bite laws give victims of dog attacks somewhat restricted legal rights. A dog owner will not be held liable for simple negligence in handling or failing to control a dog that attacks. Legal liability depends, instead, on whether the victim can show either that:
- The dog caused injury after having previously been legally declared “dangerous”—in this case, dog owners are held “strictly liable” for the victim’s medical costs; or
- The dog owner knew or should have known that the dog had dangerous tendencies, and failed to prevent the attack.
The upshot of those rules is that it can be difficult to recover damages from a dog owner the first time the owner’s dog attacks and injures someone, because the owner can argue that the dog had up to that point been gentle and non-threatening. But after a dog has bitten someone at least once, and the owner knows about it, the owner will likely be held legally responsible for subsequent attacks that could have been prevented.
What Types of Damages Do Dog Bite Victims Recover?
As with any personal injury matter, a dog bite settlement or jury award seeks to reimburse an injured person for their economic (or special) damages and non-economic (or general) damages. Juries may also award punitive damage, but only in rare instances.
Economic damages include the injured person’s out of pocket costs and projected future costs for these and other expenses.
- Lost income and diminished earning capacity;
- Doctor visits;
- Prosthetics and mobility devices;
- Physical therapy and psychological therapy;
- Transportation expenses;
- Replacement services and personal care; and
- Funeral and burial costs.
Non-economic damages compensate an injured person for psychological and emotional trauma caused by both the dog bite incident and the resultant injuries, such as:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Diminished family relationships;
- Loss of life enjoyment;
- Scarring and disfigurement; and
- Permanent disabilities.
A court awards punitive damages only if the plaintiff shows the dog owner’s actions were wanton and reckless.
Does a Dog Owner Have Any Defenses When Their Dog Bites Someone?
A New York dog bite liability case is based on the dog’s behavior and the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s violent tendencies. Even when a person is injured in an unprovoked attack, they must still prove the owner knew or should have known the dog was inclined to be vicious. Defendants and their insurance companies look for defense strategies that dispute negligence and reduce damages. These may include:
- No negligence: If a plaintiff can’t prove an owner’s knowledge of the dog’s vicious propensity or other negligent acts, it bars the plaintiff’s damage recovery.
- Comparative negligence: New York’s Pure Comparative negligence standard reduces a judgment amount based on the plaintiff’s negligence percentage. For example, if a defendant proves a plaintiff is 20 percent negligent, the plaintiff can only recover a maximum of 80 percent of any proven damages.
- Justified attack: If a defendant proves the plaintiff was committing a crime, tormenting, assaulting, or harming the dog or its puppies, or perpetrating other antagonistic acts, the plaintiff may not be able to recover damages.
- Damages: When a defendant proves his dog didn’t cause the plaintiff’s injuries or that the injuries aren’t as severe as alleged, it reduces or bars the plaintiff’s damage recovery.
Ivan Diamond understands and anticipates these common defense strategies, and prepares his clients cases to avoid them and achieve the best possible outcome.
Bronx Dog Bite FAQ
New York has strict laws regarding dogs, with provisions covering such things as dog registration, rabies shots, and dangerous dogs. When in public, a dog owner must keep their dog on a leash and under control at all times. A dog owner must license their dog yearly. While rabies shots are generally required, some dogs can get an exemption for health and age reasons.
Even with these laws in place, however, sometimes dogs bite. Even if a dog bite seems to be minor, it could cause serious problems and lead to major medical expenses if, for instance, it gets infected. You should seek medical treatment for any bite, and if your injuries are severe enough, you may wish to consult an attorney about your options for recovery. This FAQ covers some of the most common questions The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond receives about dog bites in the Bronx.
What do I do after a dog bit me in the Bronx?
Clean the wound as best that you can and seek medical attention as soon as possible. If the dog’s owner is present, get their contact information. If possible, get pictures of the dog. At the very least, make sure at some point soon after the incident to jot down a description of the dog, particularly if you do not know who the dog belongs to.
You may want to file a report with law enforcement, particularly if the bit is severe and the dog poses a danger. To find out your options to recover compensation, such as medical expenses to treat your dog bite injury, seek the advice of an experienced Bronx attorney.
Who is responsible for Bronx dog bite injuries?
Except in cases where an owner’s dog has filed a lost or stolen dog report, the owner of the dog is responsible for the dog’s bite injuries. In the Bronx, owners must keep dogs on leashes or in fenced yards and under the control of the owner at all times. Dog owners who do not control their dogs could face civil or criminal charges.
What if my friend’s dog bit me in the Bronx?
If a friend’s dog bites you, you might rather not sue. But if you take your dog bite seriously, you may rack up medical expenses and possibly lose income for any time you had to take off from work to treat your injuries. You may experience other injuries for which you should be compensated. Oftentimes, dog owners have insurance coverage, and you may need a lawyer to convince their insurance company to pay for your expenses.
What kinds of injuries have you come across in Bronx dog bite cases?
Bronx dog bite injuries may include puncture wounds, scratches, bruising, eye injuries, deep bruising, and emotional scarring, depending on the severity of the dog bite. Even small dogs can do serious damage. Dog bite wounds can lead to further problems if they become infected. Those who have autoimmune diseases are at a higher risk of infection.
Will the dog be put down if I report a Bronx dog bite?
Not necessarily. In the Bronx, whether a dog must be put down depends on the circumstances, including how many times the dog has bitten before, and whether the dog is up to date on its rabies shots. If the dog exhibits symptoms of rabies, it may have to be put down. The only way to determine if a dog has rabies is to euthanize it, since diagnosis requires two samples of the dog’s brain.
What if the dog’s owner wants to talk to me about my injuries?
It is better that you don’t discuss your injuries with the dog owner immediately following a dog bite incident, particularly if you want to collect compensation from them or their insurance company, including for medical treatment. Instead, get the dog owner’s name and contact information and the dog’s license number. Never sign anything the dog owner gives you.
What if the dog owner’s insurance company calls me?
Just as with the dog owner, you should be cautious about communicating with their insurance company. Insurance companies are in business to make money, which means that they will find any reason to deny your claim, or at the least, offer as little as possible. Insurance companies are notorious for looking for any reason to deny a claim or assign at least partial blame to the victim to minimize the amount of the claim.
For this reason alone, retain an experienced attorney to handle your Bronx dog bite case. If you’ve retained an attorney, refer the dog owner’s insurance company to them. You can give the insurance company your name, contact information, and your attorney’s contact information.
What happens if I don’t know who owns the dog or if the dog is a stray?
If you can’t identify the owner, try to get a photo of the dog. If you cannot because your injuries need immediate attention or if you lose track of the dog fleeing for safety, try to get a good description of the dog for Bronx authorities. They will look for the dog and try to find its owner. If the authorities cannot find the dog, you might have to get rabies shots.
What if my dog was bitten by another dog in the Bronx?
In the Bronx, even if the dog bite is to your dog, the other dog owner may still face legal consequences. The owner of the dog that bit your dog could hold responsibility for your dog’s vet bills.
What compensation can I recover in a Bronx dog bite case?
If you suffer from injuries from a dog bite in the Bronx, you could recover economic and non-economic damages, depending on the severity of your injuries. Economic damages are compensation for tangible expenses you incur as a result of an injury, such as medical bills. Non-economic damages are compensation for intangible harms, such as pain and suffering.
Damages you could recover include:
- Expenses for the initial treatment immediately following the dog bite
- Medical expenses for on-going treatment and future medical expenses if the dog bite injury will require ongoing medical care after a settlement or a trial award
- Lost wages if the dog bit injuries caused you to miss work
- Future lost wages if the injuries are severe enough to keep you from working after a settlement or a trial award
- Pain and suffering for any long-term or permanent disabilities caused by a dog bite
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life, companionship, and/or consortium
- Loss of use of a body part, such as a finger, or a bodily function
- Scarring or disfigurement
Contact The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond’s Bronx Dog Bite Attorneys Today
If a dog seriously injured you or a family member, Attorney Ivan M. Diamond may be able to help you obtain the compensation you deserve. He has recovered millions for his clients in New York City and the surrounding areas. To schedule your free consultation, call The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond at (718) 588-2000 or complete our contact form.
The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond
888 Grand Concourse Suite #1L, 10451
“Mr. Ivan Diamond is the definition of professionalism hard work. He’s my first experience with a lawyer (I retained him to represent me in two separate instances) … and he made it a pleasant one! He’s VERY hands on, very attentive, asked the questions, consistently checked up on me and prepared me for any and every possibility. Extremely knowledgeable. I recommend Mr. Diamond to friends and family who we’re all happy with outcome of their personal injury case’s. I consider Mr. Diamond to be family, because that’s how hard he worked for me and expressed real compassion for my circumstances. Hiring Mr. Diamond is a decision you will never regret..” -Bia S.
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The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond888 Grand Concourse #1L Bronx, NY 10451 Phone: (718) 588-2000 Ivan M. Diamond is available for home and hospital visits, as well as weekend and evening appointments.
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