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Dog Bite Lawyer NYC

Dog Bite Lawyer NYC - New York City Personal Injury Lawyer I Greenberg & Stein, P.C.
Dog Bite Lawyer NYC – New York City Personal Injury Lawyer I Greenberg & Stein, P.C.

Dogs are by far the most domesticated animal on earth, inhabiting our homes, parks, and other public areas. Our dogs can feel like family, and bring endless joy to our daily lives. Man’s best friend can be a person’s worst nightmare when they are not well trained.

Dogs may bite humans because they are feeling scared, anxious, or protective of their owner. Bites inflicted on children are the most common because kids often approach dogs quickly and excitedly, trying to pet and hug them. Overall, an estimated 4.5 million dog bites occur each year. An estimated 1 out of 5 of them require medical attention. (more…)

Blog > Animal Attacks > Tags > Can I Sue For A Dog Bite In New York?

Can I Sue For A Dog Bite In New York?

Dog bite incidents are far more common than you might think. There are nearly 4.7 million dog bite occurrences every year in the United States. Some of these bite injury cases require medical attention. According to the CDC, more than 360,000 people needed medical treatment. Across the country, there are different bite laws that determine if the dog owner can be sued or not. In New York, it is possible to sue the dog owner or keeper under certain circumstances. Nonetheless, the amount of compensation that the plaintiff may be given is highly dependent on the facts of the incident.

A bite victim who was attacked by a dog deemed dangerous due to previous attacks, for example, will not be compensated in the same way as someone who was bitten by a dog with no history of aggressive behavior. It’s worth noting that in New York, you can sue not only for dog bites on humans but also for dog bites on companion animals or farm animals.

Can I Sue For A Dog Bite In New York
Can I Sue For A Dog Bite In New York? Contact Us to Get Help

When is a dog owner liable for bite injuries caused by their pet?

Dog owners or keepers may be held liable for the injuries their pets cause to other people, companion animals, or farm animals in these cases:

  • If the dog has attacked before

When the plaintiff is able to prove that the dog has bitten another person, companion, or farm animal in the past. 

  • If the dog was trained to attack

When owners train their dogs to attack other people and/or animals, it is considered that the owner is aware of the dog’s capacities and violence. 

  • If the dog has shown vicious propensities

A vicious propensity can be aggressive barking, jumping on other people, or chasing people. Some dog breeds are considered to have a higher propensity towards viciousness. 

When may an owner not be liable for a dog attack?

In some circumstances, the dog owner is not accountable for the damages that their dog has caused. These are some of the circumstances in which the owner may be released from liability.

  • If the dog was provoked

In situations in which it can be proven that the dog was provoked, assaulted, or tormented by the plaintiff, the owner cannot be held liable for the damages caused by the dog.

  • If the plaintiff was trespassing the owner’s property

In cases in which it is discovered that the attacked person was trespassing the dog owner’s property, the owner may not be liable for the plaintiff’s injuries. 

  • If the dog was protecting its owner or puppies

When the dog is protecting its owner, puppies, or anyone from its household from the plaintiff’s actions, the owner or keeper may not be held accountable.

Can You Sue Someone If Their Dog Bites You
Can You Sue Someone If Their Dog Bites You? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us to Get Help

How does the dog bite law work in New York?

Dog bites are subject to a variety of laws and regulations in the United States. The state of New York is no exception. “Strict liability” and “one-bite rule” are the two most frequent approaches. Authorities in certain states only utilize one of these two ways. New York, on the other hand, is a little different from the rest. New York is classified as a mixed state. In some circumstances, “strict liability” may be appropriate, whereas in others, the “one-bite rules” apply.

Strict liability

When the dog that bit someone was previously declared dangerous, strict liability is used. A dangerous dog is a dog that behaves in a manner that a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or risk of death. If the dog has a history of hostility and it can be established that this is not the first time it has bitten someone or another animal, the owner is responsible for all medical and/or veterinary costs incurred as a result of the dog bite. 

One-bite rule

If, on the other hand, the dog has never bitten anyone before, the owner may not be held liable for the damage inflicted by the dog. This is what is commonly called the “one-bite rule”. It simply says that the dog gets a bite off the hook, but any further bites will result in repercussions. Nevertheless, this does not mean that if it is the dog’s first bite the owner is completely safe. If the plaintiff is able to prove that the owner was negligent, they can be penalized.

For example, if the owner did not leash their dog and it attacked someone, this can be considered negligence. Similarly, if the dog has shown vicious propensities and the owner was careless, they can be held accountable for their dog’s actions. 

How the one-bite law in New York affects your injury lawsuit

You will almost certainly not be able to recover compensation for your injuries if the dog has never attacked anybody before and there are insufficient grounds to prove that the owner was negligent.

What expenses can you recover from a dog bite lawsuit?

If the dog has been pronounced as dangerous in the past, you will be able to recover compensation for your medical costs and veterinary expenditures (if a companion or farm animal was injured). Keep in mind that this only applies to physical injury. If you wish to pursue compensation for other damages such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, and punitive damages (rarely awarded), you will need to prove that the owner was negligent. In other words, if you cannot prove the owner’s culpability, the maximum compensation that can be awarded is medical expenses. 

How Much Can I Sue For A Dog Bite
How Much Can I Sue For A Dog Bite? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us to Get Help

How to file a dog bite lawsuit in New York

If you have been attacked by a dog in New York, you need to gather all the evidence necessary to support your claim. You should take pictures of your injuries, and keep medical records and test results that can prove that your injuries were inflicted by a dog. Make sure you have documentation of all the costs you have incurred due to the dog bite incident such as lost wages, therapy costs, and medical treatments. It is also highly advisable to contact a dog bite attorney as soon as possible. A personal injury lawyer will help you build a solid case. If the dog owners have an insurance policy that covers dog bite incidents, your attorney will help you negotiate with the insurance company to receive fair compensation. In case the dog owners do not have an insurance policy, the attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit against them.

If you need legal assistance for a case related to a dog bite, contact Greenberg & Stein P.C. Our attorneys have years of experience working with clients who have been victims of dog bites. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free case consultation with one of our lawyers. 

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Blog > Animal Attacks > Tags > What Happens When A Dog Bites A Child?

What Happens When A Dog Bites A Child?

In the United States, there are more than 800,000 people who are dog bite victims. The majority of these cases are children who were bitten by a dog. Actually, dog bites are the leading cause of children’s emergency room visits. Younger kids are more vulnerable to bite injuries.

When a dog bites a kid, it is very likely that the child’s parents will try to sue the dog owners or keepers. Parents will normally report the aggressive dog to a local dog control officer or a police officer. If a lawsuit is filed against the dog owners, a jury will determine if the owners are liable or not. In most cases, the dog owner or keepers of the dog will have to pay for the medical expenses that the bite victim had to incur.

In some cases, with the necessary evidence, the judge may award compensation for further damages such as pain and suffering or punitive damages. Similarly, the owners may also be penalized with fines or even time in prison. 

What Happens When A Dog Bites A Child
What Happens When A Dog Bites A Child? Contact Us to Get Help.

What should I do if my child is bitten by a dog?

When a dog bites a child, the child’s parents must treat the kid’s injuries as soon as possible. Depending on the severity of the injury, the parents should take the child to the hospital. Some dog bites may seem not too serious but it is not possible to know the full extent of the damage. In some cases, small bites may cause serious damage to muscle, soft tissue, and nerves. Additionally, the dog bite victim might need to take a rabies shot.

Dog bites in children cannot only result in costly medical expenses, but the experience can be so shocking for a kid that they may end up traumatized. Parents should also try to find the dog’s owner or keeper and make sure they provide them with their contact information and insurance policy information if they have one.

Keep in mind that not in all cases the owners can be held liable for the injuries the child suffered. There are some circumstances that will be evaluated to decide if the owners are responsible or not. If you believe that the owners should be held liable for their dog’s actions, contact a dog bite attorney to get legal advice. 

What can I do to prevent my child from being bitten by a dog?

The best way to prevent children from being bitten by a dog is to keep a close eye on them. The majority of dog bite incidents happen on the dog owner’s property. That means that parents are not taking the necessary precautions to keep their kids away from danger.

Kids need to be taught the places where they are allowed to play. In some cases, dog encounters are not avoidable. Parents need to teach kids what is the correct thing to do when they find a dog who is showing aggressive behavior towards them. Kids should not try to pet an unknown dog without an adult’s supervision, for a child it may be hard to tell the difference between a friendly dog and an aggressive dog. Children need to remain calm and try not to scream or run, which may cause the dog to attack immediately.

On the other hand, dog owners must also ensure that their dog cannot leave their property, especially if the dog has aggressive behavior and is trained to attack trespassers. 

Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog Bite Lawyer | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us to Get Help.

What is the impact of canine aggression toward a child?

A dog attack can have long-term physical and mental consequences. The majority of dog bite incidents occur in children aged 4 to 9. Due to their height, dogs prefer to attack younger children in the neck and/or face; however, as children get older, dog bites are more commonly directed at their extremities.

You can easily imagine how dangerous a dog bite to the face and neck can be. Some kids might end up with permanent scarring on their faces that may cause them several problems in their adult life. Emotionally speaking, many children that experienced a dog bite suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some symptoms that PTSD causes are anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, difficulty focusing, irritability, and abnormal behavior.

It can be difficult for adults to understand how traumatic an event of this kind can be. Therapists advise parents to imagine themselves being attacked by an open-mouthed bear in the middle of the forest. For a kid, a fully grown dog looks just like an aggressive bear. Any adult would have a hard time going back to the forest after a bear attack, the same thing happens with kids. Children may grow older and they may feel extremely nervous or scared around dogs, even if they are small and friendly. Taking your child to a therapist after a dog bite injury is very important to help the kid overcome any emotional trauma.

Who is responsible for a dog attack? 

Depending on the circumstances of the accident the owner may or may not be held liable for the physical injuries suffered by the victim. In some states, the “one-bite rule” exists, while other states use “strict liability”. Strict liability means that the dog owners are always liable for the damages caused by their dog. One-bite rule, on the other hand, means that the owner may not be held liable if the dog has never bitten another person before. New York is a mixed state, which means that both approaches are used when determining liability. 

When owners may be held liable

  • If the dog has never bitten anyone in the past but the owner was negligent or their actions were careless and caused someone to be injured by their dog. 
  • If the dog has been deemed as dangerous in the past and bites someone again. 

When owners may not be held liable

  • If the dog has never bitten anyone before but there is no evidence that the owner was negligent at any point.
  • If the person injured was trespassing.
  • If the dog was provoked or assaulted.
  • If the dog was trying to protect itself or its puppies. 
Dog Bite Attorney
Dog Bite Attorney | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us to Get Help.

My dog bit a child. Now what?

If your dog has recently bitten a child, make sure that you notify your insurance company if you have homeowner or renters insurance. Regardless if you have an insurance policy or not, you should contact a dog bite attorney as soon as possible. They will help you understand your legal options.

Are there criminal penalties?

Yes, there are criminal penalties for dog owners that are found guilty. Depending on the severity of the injuries suffered by the victim, the penalties can be more serious. Normally, the dog owner will have to pay for the medical expenses the victim incurred. In addition, they may face fines up to $1,500 and up to 90 days in prison. Finally, the judge may also order euthanasia.

Dog bites can become a serious legal issue. If you have recently been involved in a dog bite incident, contact a lawyer who specialized in cases like these. At Greenberg & Stein P.C., our attorneys have worked with dog bites victims and have helped them recover compensation for their injuries. If you wish to schedule a free consultation with one of our personal injury lawyers, call us at 212-716-4324.

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Blog > Animal Attacks > Tags > What To Do With An Aggressive Dog That Bites in New York?

What To Do With An Aggressive Dog That Bites in New York?

Dog bites can result in very expensive medical bills and a terrible experience. If you ever encounter yourself with an aggressive dog, the best thing you can do is to alert the owner or keeper and make sure they control their dog. Nonetheless, in many cases, dogs bite other people because the owners are not able to control them or they are not present. If the dog is barking at you, you can try to move slowly to get away from them. Do not run or scream, that may cause the dog to become more nervous and aggressive. If you were bitten by a dog, you need to get the owner or keeper’s contact information. Wash the wound as soon as possible, it is fairly common that wounds caused by dog bites get infected. Call 311, immediately, you might need a rabies vaccine. 

In New York City, dog bite incidents resulted in over 6,000 emergency room visits in 2014. The majority of dog bite victims are children and the elderly. Dog bites are the leading cause of non-fatal injuries in children. In 2018, 39 individuals died as a result of dog bites in the state of New York. 

What To Do With An Aggressive Dog That Bites in New York?
What To Do With An Aggressive Dog That Bites in New York? | Contact Us to Get Help

When is a dog “dangerous” according to New York Law?

According to New York Law, these are the two main characteristics of a “dangerous dog”:

  • A dog can be deemed as dangerous if it has attacked and caused injuries or death to a person, companion animal, or farm animal with no justification or reasonable explanation. 
  • If the dog shows aggressive behavior that leads a reasonable person to believe that the dog can cause injuries or death without justification. 

If the case goes to court, the plaintiff may present further evidence to prove that the dog is dangerous. A previous dog bite incident may cause the court to believe that the dog is, in fact, dangerous. Nevertheless, the dog shall not be declared dangerous if the defendant is able to prove that: 

  • The dog attacked an individual that was trespassing the defendant’s property.
  • The dog was provoked or was a victim of assault or abuse.
  • The dog was protecting itself or was reacting to pain or suffering.
  • The dog was protecting its offspring.
  • The person who was bitten had previously abused the dog, leaving it traumatized.

Can I be sued if my dog bites another dog?

Yes, you can be sued if your dog assaults another dog and that dog is hurt or killed as a result of the attack. Fines or prison time may be imposed on the dog’s owner. The severity of the injuries and the dog’s history will determine the sanctions. A judge may order the dog’s euthanasia if it was previously declared dangerous. 

What is New York’s dog bite law?

In New York, dog owners can be held liable for all medical expenses caused by a dog attack. The plaintiff does not need to prove that the dog owner was negligent to recover compensation if the dog injured or killed a person, pet, or farm animal. 

The victim may also be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering, emotional damage, lost wages, and even punitive damages if they are able to prove that the owner was aware of the dog’s vicious propensities or dangerous tendencies. 

What happens if my dog bites someone in NY?

Similar to the scenario where a dog attacks another dog, if your dog bites another person, you can be sued. If the judge determines that your dog is dangerous, you will have to pay for the injured person’s medical bills.

Depending on the situation you could face up to 90 days of imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,500, and the jury may award the plaintiff compensation for other damages. Euthanasia can also be ordered by the judge.

What To Do With An Aggressive Dog That Bites in New York?
Greenberg & Stein | Dog Bite Lawyer | Contact Us to Get Help

When should I contact a New York dog bite attorney?

After a dog attack, one of your first responsibilities should be to contact a dog bite attorney. After you’ve gotten the contact information for the dog owner and had your injuries treated, the next step is to contact an attorney. If the dog that attacked you was not provoked and you believe that the incident has no justification you might be entitled to compensation.

When it comes to dog bites incidents, New York laws are outdated in comparison to other states. If you aim to pursue fair compensation for your injuries, seeking the assistance of a dog bite attorney is absolutely necessary.

How do I report an aggressive dog in NY?

To report an aggressive dog in New York, you should contact your local dog control officer or the police. You will have to make a complaint to them. The dog control officer or the police officer will ask for the details of the incident. Once they have the details they will let you know what the next steps are to provide a statement to a judge.

If the officers believe that the dog is dangerous, they will report that to a judge. Regardless of who submits the complaint to the judge, they will investigate the case and decide if the dog can be deemed as dangerous and the penalties that the owner will face in case they are found guilty. 

What you should do if you’re bitten by a dog?

If you were bitten by a dog, first you will need to make sure that the owners are aware of the incident. You will need to gather their names, phone numbers, and liability insurance policy (if they have one). Next, you will need to seek medical assistance for your injuries. Make sure to keep all medical records related to the incident. They can be used as evidence in the future.

Following this, contact a personal injury lawyer. Having someone that knows about New York laws and has experience handling dog bites cases will be very helpful if you wish to receive compensation for your injuries. 

At Greenberg & Stein P.C., you will find some of the best dog bite attorneys in New York. Our legal team has vast experience handling cases related to bite injuries and animal attacks. We understand how expensive medical bills can be and how terrifying that experience can be. Our attorneys are committed to helping our clients get fair compensation. If you have recently been attacked by a dangerous dog, contact us at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free consultation with a member of our legal team to review your case.

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Blog > Greenberg & Stein > Tags > Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable?

Are Personal Injury Settlements Taxable?

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Taxable Person Injury Settlements

A personal injury lawsuit can be a long and exhausting process, but it is often essential in order to secure adequate compensation for one’s injuries. Nonetheless, when everything comes to an end, there is one more thing to consider: taxes. It is critical to understand that after receiving compensation, a portion of the settlement may or may not be taxable. For example, compensatory damages, as the name implies, are the sums of money paid to compensate for expenses incurred as a result of the accident. Compensatory damages are not typically taxable. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are frequently taxed. There are, of course, exceptions and some unique instances. It is always a good idea to consult your accountant and attorney if you have any questions concerning your settlement or taxes.

What Type of Settlements Are Not Taxable?

The majority of settlements that reimburse for medical expenditures incurred as a result of a physical injury (personal injury claim) are tax free. 

  • Motor vehicle accident settlements: This kind of settlement is among the most frequent types of non-taxable personal injury settlements. As a result, the amount of money received to pay for medical bills cannot be taxed by the State of New York or the IRS. Keep in mind that this only applies to bodily harm, not property damage. 
  • Slip and fall settlements: Personal injury settlements awarded in circumstances where someone slips and falls as a result of the property owner’s negligence are tax exempt.
  • Wrongful death settlements: This kind of settlement occurs when the deceased person’s relatives submit a lawsuit or claim. In most circumstances, relatives may be compensated for monetary support, medical expenditures, prospective income loss, and death benefits. Most of these damages are deemed compensatory, which means they are not taxable in most situations. 
  • Lost wages: Settlements that award reimbursement for lost wages are not taxable only if the loss of income is directly related to a physical injury or sickness.
  • Other non-taxable personal injury settlements include those obtained in medical malpractice lawsuits, dog attacks, construction or work injuries, and claims involving a defective part or product that caused harm to someone. 

What Kinds of Settlements Are Taxable?

If a portion of the settlement is awarded for a damage that is not considered a compensatory damage, it is subject to taxes. 

  • Punitive damages: Punitive damages are legal compensation that must be paid by the at-fault party in addition to compensatory damages for committing a crime or infraction. Punitive damages are not commonly awarded in court. Nonetheless, when someone obtains compensation for punitive damages, they must keep in mind that this portion of the settlement is not tax deductible. 
  • Pain and suffering: This kind of damage is difficult to categorize as taxable or non-taxable. As long as the injuries are evident, the amount of the settlement used to pay for medical expenses is normally non-taxable. However, because pain and suffering are subjective, the portion of the settlement that pays for pain and suffering is tax exempt in circumstances where the emotional anguish is directly caused by the injuries received during the occurrence. If the mental discomfort is caused by an external factor, any payment awarded for this damage is taxable. 
  • Interests: Settlements that accumulated  interest for any reason. The amount earned by the interest is taxable by both the IRS and New York State.

 Do I Have to Disclose a Personal Injury Settlement to the IRS?

When you file your tax return, you must include in your income the portion or portions of the settlement that are not tax exempt. For example, if you earned $100,000 from a personal injury case but only $80,000 is compensatory damages, you must declare the remaining $20,000 in income. If you deducted any out-of-pocket medical expenses from the previous year’s tax return and were later compensated as part of the settlement for these expenses the following year, you must declare this share as income.If you are unsure whether the amount received qualifies as compensatory damages or not, consult with an accountant and your lawyer.

How Are Personal Injury Settlements Paid Out?

Personal injury settlements are usually paid in two forms:

  •  Lump Sum:The plaintiff receives the whole amount of money awarded in this mode a few weeks after the settlement is achieved. Normally, the amount of money is deposited into an escrow account to clear the payments and guarantee that the payee has enough money. Following that, any pending lains, legal and attorney expenses will be deducted from the settlement amount. Finally, the law firm will give the plaintiff a check for the surplus money.
  • Structured Settlements: This type of settlement mandates the payee to pay the awarded sum in a predetermined number of installments over a set period of time. Payments may increase or decrease over time, or they may remain constant during the agreed-upon term. Similarly, the payment schedule might be agreed upon monthly, quarterly, or annually.

Regardless of the type of payment chosen for the settlement, the rules and regulations for taxable and non-taxable settlements remain the same. 

Free Consultation With a Personal Injury Lawyer

For most people, being in an accident and filing a personal injury claim can be a daunting process. In some circumstances, claimants will need to gather evidence to back up their claims, fill out a lot of paperwork, and deal with injuries that may need them to miss work. Finally, when a settlement is made, the majority of people will almost probably have to deal with a difficult tax return. Hiring a personal injury attorney can make things a lot easier. At Greenberg & Stein P.C. You will find some of the best personal injury attorneys in New York. From start to finish, our legal team will guide you through every step of a personal injury claim. Our skilled attorneys have represented many clients and assisted in the recovery of millions of dollars in compensation. Call us at 212-969-8755 to set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys to go through your case.