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Dog Bites

New York City Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog Bite Injury Cases in Brooklyn & the Surrounding Areas

Each year, approximately 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs, with
about 800,000 bites requiring medical attention. In about 66 percent of
the cases, victims were on or near their own property, and most victims
knew the dog. Although public opinion blames certain breeds – such
as pit bulls and Rottweilers – a U.S. study conducted between 1979
and 1998 revealed that the 238 fatalities resulting from dog bites that
occurred in that time involved at least 25 different breeds.

In rare cases, victims may be liable for dog bites and attacks, such as
when they conduct criminal activities on private property protected by
a guard dog. But in the majority of cases, dog owners bear responsibility
for their dogs, even if the victim might have prevented the incident by
avoiding a dog or knowing how to properly approach it.

The New York City dog bite attorneys at the Brooklyn-based law firm of
Rubenstein & Rynecki have nearly five decades of experience helping
victims of dog bites pursue compensation for their injuries and damages.
We understand how physically painful and emotionally traumatic dog attacks
are, which is why we provide compassionate, caring attention to each and
every one of our clients. When you choose our team to represent you, we
will be there for you every step of the way.

Contact us online or call
(718) 522-1020 today to request a free initial consultation with one of our New York
City dog bite attorneys.

On This Page:

New York Dog Bite Laws

When it comes to dog bite injury claims, there are two types of statutes
that typically come into play. Under strict liability statutes, dog owners
are generally
always responsible when their dogs bite and/or attack others, causing injury.
In states that follow what is known as the “one-bite” rule,
however, victims must typically prove that the dog had a propensity to
bite or attack and that the owner knew about or should have known about the risk.

In dog bite cases, the state of New York follows both a strict liability
statute and a one-bite rule, depending on the circumstances. Most dog
bite cases fall under the one-bite rule; generally speaking, if you, your
child, or your loved one was bitten by a dog, you must prove that the
dog was likely to bite and that the dog’s owner knew or should have
known that this was the case in order to recover compensation for certain
damages, such as lost income or pain and suffering.

However, the state follows the rule of strict liability in cases involving
“dangerous dogs.” Dog owners are also strictly liable for
medical expenses related to dog bites. This means that a victim can seek
compensation for all medical bills and related expenses resulting from
a dog bite, even if the dog owner tried to restrain the dog or prevent
it from biting.

What Is a “Dangerous Dog?”

New York defines “dangerous dogs” as those that:

  • Have attacked, injured, and/or killed another animal or a human being
  • Act aggressively, meaning in a way that causes a reasonable person to believe
    the dog could cause serious and imminent harm

There are some exceptions to this. If a dog acts aggressively or causes
injury/death, but there is justification for its behavior, the dog may
not be considered dangerous. Law enforcement dogs are also exempt from
“dangerous dog” classification while acting in the line of duty.

When Are Dog Owners Liable for Injuries Caused by Bites?

Dog bites can result in serious injuries and, depending on the circumstances
of the bite or attack, the owner of the dog could be held liable in a
personal injury or
wrongful death case.

Consider the following situations in which the owner could be considered liable:

  • The owner let the dog run free despite existing leash laws in the area
  • The dog has a history of being easily excited or violent, and the owner
    fails to take any reasonable steps to protect other people from the dog,
    such as leaving the dog in a locked room when house guests are visiting
  • The fencing, rope, or chain used to restrain the dog is not strong or secure enough
  • There was no “beware of dog” sign on the premises where a dog lived

While it is good to keep certain rules of thumb in mind regarding dog bites
and dog owner liability, it is also important to remember that different
cities, boroughs, and regions may have varying laws – so some of the
examples listed above may not apply in a particular area, while others
that are not mentioned could apply in your case.

Regardless, even in the strictest dog bite law jurisdictions, there are
certain situations in which dog owners
cannot be held liable for dog bites.

These include the following:

  • A trespasser is bitten by the dog
  • A veterinarian is bitten while treating the dog
  • A person provokes the dog, such as by teasing the dog or hitting it, and
    is bitten as a result (except in cases involving children)

After a dog bite or attack in New York City, it is important to act quickly
to ensure the best possible chance of recovering compensation in a personal
injury case. Seek medical attention immediately and then consult a New
York City dog bite lawyer to review your legal options.

Damages in New York Dog Bite Cases

Dog bites and attacks can result in serious injuries that may require immediate
medical attention. This is especially true when the victim is a small
child, which, sadly, is the case most of the time. Victims may require
hospitalization and various ongoing treatments to prevent infection and
other complications. They may be unable to return to work for days, weeks,
or even months. And, often, these hardships pale in comparison to the
physical pain and emotional distress caused by the attack.

At Rubenstein & Rynecki, our attorneys fight for maximum compensation
for our clients, including the following damages:

  • Current and future medical expenses
  • Lost income/wages
  • Lost earning ability/disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety, depression, and related mental health disorders
  • Disfigurement
  • Lost enjoyment of life

When a person is tragically killed by a dog, our attorneys can help surviving
family member seek justice. We have successfully brought wrongful death
lawsuits against responsible parties, allowing families to secure the
monetary resources they needed to navigate the healing process.

How Long Do You Have to File a Dog Bite Claim in New York?

Dog bite cases fall under the general personal injury statute of limitations,
meaning you have three years from the date of the bite/attack to file
your lawsuit. In nearly all cases, if you do not bring your claim within
the three-year time limit, you will lose your chance to sue and will not
be able to recover compensation for your damages.

We encourage you to reach out to our New York City dog bite attorneys as
soon as possible if you or someone you love was attacked by a dog or any
other animal. Whether it was someone’s pet or a stray, our attorneys
can help you understand your legal options and immediately begin building
your case.

What to Do If You Are Bitten by a Dog

Even a relatively minor bite can become a vital medical concern due to
the possibility of disease. If the owner is present, you need to obtain
contact information and try to ascertain whether the dog received all
legally required immunizations. You should also obtain the dog’s
tag numbers, if possible. See a doctor right away to assess your injuries
and start treatment.

Then, schedule a free consultation with an experienced New York City dog
bite lawyer at Rubenstein & Rynecki to learn about the most appropriate
legal options for your circumstances. If your doctor confirms that you
have only minor injuries, we may recommend you file an insurance claim
against the policy of the dog owner. But for moderate to severe injuries,
you may need our skilled support to take legal action through an out-of-court
settlement or a lawsuit.

Get the Support You Need from Rubenstein & Rynecki

If you suffer a dog bite injury, it costs nothing to schedule a free consultation
with a New York City dog bite lawyer at Rubenstein & Rynecki to discuss
your case and learn how we can help. Representing victims since 1972 and
founded in 1996, our Brooklyn law firm has the experience, skills, and
resources needed to help you pursue the monetary damages you deserve.

If we do not recover compensation for you, you do not pay! We provide legal
services in English, Spanish, Russian, Romanian, Greek, and Creole.

Reach out to our team at
(718) 522-1020 or
contact us online to get started with a complimentary case evaluation today.

We Know Each and Every Case Personally

Hear the Difference From Past Clients

Rubenstein & Rynecki talk business on the streets on NYC
  • Very professional.

    “Rubinstein and Rynecki were wonderful from start to finish.”

    – Jessica B.
  • Professional and transparent from start to close.

    “I was taken well care of and was always provided with professional advice and direction.”

    – Alex B.
  • Super organized & extremely professional.

    “The team at Rubenstein & Rynecki are the best! Very straight forward, super organized & extremely professional.”

    – Mike C.
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Our Team’s Difference

Rubenstein & Rynecki
  • Aggressive in the Courtroom
  • No Recovery No Fee
  • Won’t Under Settle Your Case
  • Accessible & Available
  • Compassionate With Our Approach
  • New York City Born & Raised

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