My Neighbor’s Dog Bit Me – What Do I Do?
You have probably heard the expression “a dog is a man’s best friend” at some point in your life. Dogs were domesticated more than 15,000 years ago, making them the first animal to be kept as a pet. That is probably the reason why dogs are the most popular pet animal in the world. It would not be weird to move to a new house and see that your neighbor has a dog. Various dogs have different personalities and behaviors. The manner in which a dog is educated and trained will also have a significant impact on how they behave with strangers. Every year, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States. In some cases, victims are attacked by dogs that live in the same block. If you are attacked by your neighbor’s dog, there are some crucial steps that you must follow to protect your physical integrity and your rights to demand compensation.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Dog Bite?
Get Urgent Medical Attention
Dog bite injuries can be very painful and can cause serious injuries. Seeking medical assistance as soon as possible is crucial. Dogs have very sharp teeth that can easily pierce the skin and damage muscles and soft tissue. Furthermore, wounds caused by dog bites are likely to get infected due to the bacteria in their mouths. Most adults that are attacked by dogs end up with bites and scratches mostly on their arms and hands. However, small children that are attacked by dogs are usually hurt on the neck area and face. Attacks that target the face and neck can be deadly or can leave a kid with permanent disfigurement.
Gather any Witness Information
Following medical treatment, you must collect evidence and any witness information. If you were attacked in your neighborhood, ask your neighbors if they witnessed anything. You must obtain their contact information so that you can call them and obtain their version of the occurrence. It is important to also take photos and videos of the place where the attack took place. If you can, take photos of the dog that attacked you. Do not discard the clothing you were wearing on the day of the assault. Clothes can sometimes be used as evidence, particularly if they are torn or stained with blood.
Find out if the dog has had Rabies shots
Dog bites can be especially dangerous because they are carriers of rabies. Finding out if the dog that attacked you had its rabies shots is not always easy. In some cases, dog owners can be cooperative and they can provide you with this information. Unfortunately, in most cases dog owners will not cooperate with the victims so easily. To find out if the dog has received its rabies shots, see if your county maintains a registry that stores information about animal vaccines.
Follow Your Doctor’s Advice
After a dog bite attack you should not only be interested in pursuing compensation for your injuries. You should also be interested in your own well being. A dog attack can leave you with some long term consequences. It is important to follow your doctor’s advice. If they tell you to rest, you need to rest. You need to do everything to be healthy in the least amount of time possible.
Don’t discuss with the dog’s owner
Many people make the mistake of arguing with the dog’s owner following the incident. You must understand that most dog owners treat their dogs as if they were their own children. As a result, people tend to be overprotective of their pets and may overlook obvious signals of dangerous behavior in them. Starting a discussion with the dog’s owner can cause them to not cooperate with you at all. Try to talk with the dog’s owner as little as possible. Just ask them the information that you need and remain calm. Do not make comments accusing them of anything or insult their dog.
How to Determine Your Dog Bite Injury Compensation?
When you file a claim for compensation for your injuries caused by a dog attack, you must know exactly how much money you are entitled to. In general, you can classify your damages into two categories. Economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses are those that can be quantified and demonstrated. For example, medical bills, lost wages and veterinary bills.
Non-economic damages refers to non-monetary losses such as pain and suffering, inconvenience or mental anguish. Non-economic damages are harder to calculate and they can greatly vary depending on the circumstances of each incident.
Understanding the amount of money that you are entitled to is important but it can sometimes be hard to determine. An experienced dog bite attorney can help you accurately calculate your dog bite compensation.
New York Dog Bite Law – How Does it Work?
In New York, if a dog bites someone, the owner will be held financially responsible for any medical and veterinary bills that the victim may incur. If the dog bite victim wants to pursue compensation for other damages such as lost wages and pain and suffering, the victim needs to prove that the dog’s owner failed to take reasonable precautions to avoid the injuries, or in other words, was negligent. Keep in mind, that the defendant can raise a defense if they are able to prove any of the following:
- The dog was protecting itself, its owner or its offspring
- The person who was attacked was trespassing or committing a crime.
- The dog was being attacked, assaulted or tormented by the dog bite victim.
- The dog was reacting to pain and suffering.
New York Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
If you or one of your loved ones has recently been attacked by a dog and you wish to pursue compensation, seeking legal advice from a dog bite injury lawyer is a great option. An experienced dog bite attorney will help you gather evidence, talk to witnesses, negotiate with insurance companies, determine your dog bite injury compensation and even represent you in court, if necessary. Greenberg & Stein P.C. is a law firm in New York, with some of the best attorneys in the state. Our lawyers have vast experience handling all kinds of cases. We can help you obtain the compensation you deserve for your dog bite injuries. Contact us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.