Rochester Dog Bite Lawyer

Here in Rochester, a peaceful stroll can take an unexpected turn when a dog attacks. If you or a loved one are a victim of a dog attack, contact a seasoned Rochester dog bite lawyer from Lacy Katzen LLP today.

Dog Bite Lawyer | Helping Dog Attack Victims in Rochester, NY

Dog attacks are traumatic experiences, and, often, result in extensive injuries. Dog attack victims need a competent legal advocate who can effectively fight for the compensation they need to get their lives back on track. A Rochester personal injury lawyer at our firm is prepared to fight for you, every step of the way.

Understanding New York’s Complex Dog Bite Liability Laws

New York operates on a mixed system of liability when it comes to dog attacks. Unlike the strict liability standard adopted by some states, New York is a “mixed” state, indicating its dog bite law combines the “one-bite rule” with a degree of strict liability. The law holds the owner of a dog strictly responsible for injuries it causes if the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s propensities to bite or other behaviors that might cause injury. In New York, a victim must demonstrate that the dog had a dangerous propensity to behave badly, and that the dog’s owner was aware of this. This bad behavior need not necessarily be a prior bite. It could be other behaviors indicating the dog would be likely to injure such as snapping, growling, baring its teeth, and even aggressively barking and lunging. Even seemingly non-aggressive behavior- like a big dog with a propensity to jump on people or chase bicycles can result in liability of the dog owner if that behavior causes injury. Example: if you know your St. Bernard has a history of jumping on people, you are responsible to control the animal because his jumping may cause injury if he knocks someone down.

This standard can also be applied to others who are left in charge of the dog such as a caretaker, dog sitter or even a landlord if they are familiar with the dog’s propensity to act in a dangerous way.

Steps to Take After a Dog Attack

Experiencing a dog attack can be traumatizing, but taking swift and methodical steps post-incident can help safeguard your rights:

  • Seek Medical Attention: First and foremost, ensure you get the necessary medical care. Dog bites can cause open wounds, tissue damage and pose a risk of infection. Your medical professionals may want to ensure the dog has been vaccinated against rabies.
  • Report the Incident: Notify local police and animal control or dog warden about the attack. Ask if they have any record of prior incidents involving the dog.
  • Gather Information: If possible, obtain details about the dog; name, color, size, weight, markings, the name and address of the dog’s owner and where the dog lives.
  • Gather Witness Information: This includes anyone who witnessed the attack and also anyone who is familiar with the dog and may have seen the dog acting aggressively.
  • Document the Scene: If possible, take pictures of your injuries, the location of the attack, the dog itself, and any other relevant details.
  • Hire an Attorney: A knowledgeable dog bite lawyer can offer guidance, evaluate the merits of your case, and navigate New York’s intricate dog bite laws.

Compensation Available for Dog Attack Victims

Victims of dog attacks can face a plethora of challenges: mounting medical bills, psychological trauma, and even lost wages due to recovery time. Thankfully, New York law allows victims to seek compensation for:

  • Medical Expenses: This includes past, current, and anticipated medical costs related to the attack.
  • Pain and Suffering: Compensation can be awarded for both physical pain and emotional and psychological trauma caused by the attack.
  • Lost Wages: If the injury prevented you from working either temporarily or permanently, you could be compensated for lost income.
  • Property Damage: If the attack led to property damage, such as torn clothing or something more expensive, such as broken designer or prescription glasses, compensation may be claimed.

When to contact a Dog Bite Lawyer: it is Important to Act Promptly

In New York, there is a limited timeframe during which you can file a lawsuit for a dog bite.  Generally, this time limitation is three years from the date of the bite but can be extended for children and in other limited circumstances. However, when you are injured by a dog, it is important to act promptly if you intend to bring a claim. Investigation immediately after a bite can be critical to your case. The dog may be moved, given away or even euthanized before there is an opportunity to investigate. Locating witnesses familiar with the dog such as neighbors and delivery people can become much more difficult over time.

New York’s dog bite law is designed to protect victims and hold owners accountable for their dog’s actions if there was reason to believe the dog was dangerous. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a dog bite in New York, it’s essential to be aware of your rights and the legal avenues available for seeking compensation. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate the complexities of New York’s dog bite law, so you receive the compensation you deserve. Contact Lacy Katzen LLP for a free initial consultation today.

Why Choose Lacy Katzen

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Over 73 Years of Experience
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