How do I report a dog bite in Nassau County? And Other FAQs
Nearly 400,000 people require medical treatment each year from dog bites. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that about 4.7 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Of those requiring treatment, 42% are children under the age of 15, with the highest rate of dog bite related injuries affecting children between the ages of 5–9. For those victims over the age of sixteen, 7.9% of their injuries happened while they were working. Jobs delivering the mail, food or parcels; working with animals at shelters or clinics, as well as those in the building trades have all been bitten by dogs badly enough to require medical attention.
The vast majority (64.9%) of injuries to very small children aged four and younger were to the head or neck region. Wounds to the extremities account for an even higher percentage of injuries in older children and adults (86.2%). Of all dog bites, wounds to the upper extremities, such as the hands and arms, account for nearly half (45.3%). Injuries to the lower extremities such as the legs and feet account for 25.8%, with head and neck injuries following closely behind with 22.8%.
While the idea of a dog bite immediately conjures images of the bite puncturing the skin, this is by no means the only type of injuries that could be sustained. Dog attacks can include all of the following:
- puncture wounds
- contusions, abrasions, or hematoma
- cellulitis or infection
- amputation, avulsion or crushing
- fracture or dislocation
These types of injuries are traumatic events that can easily result in costly medical bills, loss of income, permanent injury or disfigurement, or death.
Help for Dog Bites Victims in Nassau County
If you’re a resident of Nassau County, contact the personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. to discuss the details of your encounter with a dangerous dog. We’ve built a reputation for helping people who have been the victims of bites from a dangerous dog recover compensation for their injuries and the pain and suffering that can accompany them. With the experience that they bring to the table, the attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P. can help you and your family cut through the confusion and trauma associated with a dog attack, and fight to make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Call today for a free consultation to find out if you have a case. We have experience in handling all kinds of dog bite incidents including:
- children bitten in the head, neck or extremities
- people bitten while while working delivering food, mail or packages
- people harmed by a dangerous dog
- injuries caused while trying to flee from a dangerous dog
- injuries caused from being knocked over by a dangerous dog
Contact our team of experienced lawyers for a free consultation to find out how we can fight for your fair and complete compensation at (631) 451-7900.
Learn more about dog bite injuries by checking out these FAQs:
- How do I report a dog bite in Nassau County?
- What should I do after a dog bite?
- Should I see a doctor for a minor dog bite?
- Can I sue if someone’s dog bites my child?
- What is the NY one bite rule?
- Should I report a minor dog bite?
- Should I see a doctor for a dog bite?
- Is there a dangerous dog registry in Nassau County?
- What is Benny’s Law?
- Does personal liability insurance cover dog bites?
- Which dog breeds are excluded from coverage by personal liability insurance?
- What happens if a dog owner doesn’t have insurance?
- How can I prevent a dog attack?
- What happens if your dog bites someone in Nassau County?
- Can I get compensation for a dog bite?
- Who is liable in a dog bite accident, can a Nassau County dog bite lawyer help me?
How do I report a dog bite in Nassau County?
If you or a loved one is bitten by a dog, you should not hesitate to report the incident. Not doing so could seriously jeopardize your chance of receiving compensation for your injuries. By filing a formal complaint you immediately improve your circumstances when it comes time to move forward with a court case. This report provides the necessary proof that may be needed later. No proof could make pursuing a favorable court ruling difficult at best.
Not only does filing a report help your situation, it is a necessary step in establishing the offending dog as “dangerous.” This can go a long way to help keep your community safe. Because New York is a “one-bite rule” state, in order to recover compensation for pain, suffering and/or mental trauma, the report you file can help to establish the dog’s history as potentially being a dangerous animal. This does not require that you establish the dog actually bit someone previously, but you must establish the dog previously exhibited behavior showing a vicious propensity which could include growling or snarling, nipping, or lunging. By no means is this an exhaustive list.
File a report with the Nassau County Department of Health at 516-227-9663.
Nassau County Dept. of Health will need the following information:
- The dog bite victim’s name and address
- The location where the dog attack took place
- The date and time of the dog attack
- The name and any contact information about the owner or other person responsible for the dog
- The date of the dog’s last rabies vaccination
- Any medical treatment that you received as a result of the bite
Need to know who to contact if you’ve been bitten by a dog elsewhere on Long Island? Learn how to report a dog bite on Long Island.
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What should I do after a dog bite?
This really depends on whether or not you know the dog. If you are the owner of the dog that bit you, then you should have the dog’s medical history including a complete record of their shots.
If the dog is owned by someone else, or in the case where you don’t know who owns the dog, things become a bit more complicated. According to NYC Health, here are the steps you should take whether you know who the dog’s owner is or not:
- Get the dog owner’s contact info including name, address and phone number.
- If the dog is unknown, get information for anyone who may be able to identify the dog.
- Care for the bite wound by washing it with soap and water. Seek immediate medical attention if necessary.
- Contact your doctor for guidance on specific wound care instructions.
- Contact the Nassau County Department of Health: 516-227-9663.
- If you feel that the dog poses an immediate danger or risk to you or the community, contact the police by calling 911.
If the dog is unknown to you, you’ll need to try to determine who owns the dog. The dog’s owner should be able to provide you with the dog’s medical history. Additionally, you should try to collect contact information from any eye-witnesses who saw the attack take place.
Don’t forget to file a report with your local department of health. Doing so may not only help your case, but it’s a necessary first step in tracking and preventing the spread of rabies. The local municipality can help. Once a dog bite is reported, the municipality works to identify the dog and confirm it is up-to-date with its vaccinations.
Additionally, it’s very important to take photos and document any wound or injury, as well as any medical attention that you need because of the dog bite.
Should I see a doctor for a minor dog bite?
To determine how severe a dog bite is, The Association of Professional Dog Trainers uses Dr. Ian Dunbar’s Dog Bite Scale. This scale outlines the 6 levels of a dog bite. Only the first level could be considered minor enough not to need the attention of a medical professional. These six levels are:
- Level 1: Aggressive behavior by the dog but no skin-contact by the dog’s teeth. For example, the animal may bite but only make contact with clothing.
- Level 2: Skin-contact by the dog’s teeth but no skin-puncture. This includes nicks and scrapes caused by the teeth when there are no vertical punctures.
- Level 3: One to four punctures from a single bite with no puncture deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth. There may be lacerations in one direction caused when the victim or animal pulls away.
- Level 4: One to four punctures from a single bite with at least one puncture deeper than half the length of the dog’s canine teeth. May also have deep bruising around the wound caused by the animal bearing down or lacerations in both directions from the dog shaking its head from side to side.
- Level 5: Multiple-bite incident with at least two Level 4 wounds or multiple-attack incident with at least one Level 4 bite in each.
- Level 6: Victim killed by the dog.
The smallest scratch can still be enough to transmit germs and diseases like rabies. Therefore, be sure to have any wounds looked at by a medical professional.
Can I sue if someone’s dog bites my child?
Following New York’s “one-bite rule,” if a dog has been shown in the past to be a dangerous dog then you may have a case. Evidence must be presented that shows that the dog that bit the child was both dangerous and that the attack was unprovoked.
Anyone in Nassau County who has a child who has been bitten by a dog or has witnessed such an event can (and should) register a complaint with the local police and the local animal control agency.
To claim damages; however, it’s important to have your dog bite lawyer demonstrate that the dog was a danger in accordance with New York State’s, “one bite rule.”
In 2006, The New York Court of Appeals ruled that in the case of Bard v. Jahnke, 6 N.Y.3d 592, 815 N.Y.S.2d 16, 848 N.E.2d 463 (2006), “the owner of a domestic animal who either knows or should have known of that animal’s vicious propensities will be held liable for the harm the animal causes as a result of those propensities. Vicious propensities include the propensity to do any act that might endanger the safety of the persons and property of others in a given situation.”
What is the NY one bite rule?
New York follows a “one bite” rule that states that the owner of the dog is responsible for the dog bite if the person making the complaint can demonstrate that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was vicious and prone to harming others. In other words, a dog gets one free bite, if there is no other known history of viciousness, before a history of dangerous behavior can be established.
Should I report a minor dog bite?
It’s often impossible to know the entire history of a dog. It’s therefore advisable to report a dog bite. A bite may appear minor at the time, but could later turn into something more serious. Some issues may not present themselves right away in the case of some contusions and other related injuries. For the sake of your community, one dog bite might be a sign of a more serious problem that requires the attention of the local authorities.
Should I see a doctor for a dog bite?
Because your dog bite may not at first seem that severe, you may be tempted to not see a doctor following your attack. This would be a mistake. Dog bites, in most cases, should be examined by a medical professional. Even if the bite doesn’t appear to break the skin or cause serious injury, there’s a long list of complications that can arise later including infections, nerve and muscle damage, rabies, and more. For these reasons, you should see a medical professional as soon as it’s safe to do so.
In addition to the complications listed above, harmful bacteria can live in any dog’s mouth, including:
Deep bites as well as smaller punctures from a dog bite can result in damage to nerves, muscles, and blood vessels under the skin. Don’t let appearances fool you. Even a minor looking bite could spell trouble down the line.
When a large, powerful dog attacks, these bites can easily result in broken, chipped, or splintered bones beneath the skin. And to make matters worse, any type of dog bite can also result in scarring. This is enough reason not to waste any time in seeing a medical professional.
Damages from the actual animal bite are only one aspect of injuries that can occur in these situations. There are other harms that can come from an aggressive dog. If a dog attacks someone, that person may flee and injure themselves in the process. Running into traffic or an obstacle to get away from an aggressive dog can result in serious injuries, and are more common than one might think.
If those aren’t good enough reasons to see a doctor, there’s yet another one. If you are injured and pursue a dog bite claim, you may need proof that your injuries are a direct result of the dog attack. In order to help present a solid case, your dog bite lawyer should have a proper medical exam on file that could be shown to the court. Without this exam, your lawyer may run into difficulty proving your case to the court and to the insurance companies. Establishing your case with the help of your doctor will help your lawyer argue that your injuries were directly linked to the dog bite.
Is there a dangerous dog registry in Nassau County?
Benny’s Law was passed through the Nassau County Legislative Committees on February 4th, 2021, by unanimous vote. The law is currently working its way through the full legislature and will establish a dangerous dog registry in Nassau County.
If you are bitten by a dog, or have witnessed a dog attack, contact the police immediately, as this law (once passed) will be enforced by the local police services.
What is Benny’s Law?
This law states that if a judge determines that a dog meets the “high threshold” of being considered a dangerous dog, then its owners must mail a copy of the judicial order, as well as notification to neighbors within an 1,000-foot or roughly 6-block radius placing them on notice.
Where did this law come from? In 2019, a Tibetan Terrier named Benny nearly lost his life in a dog attack close to his home in Levittown. This attack sparked new legislation intended to help prevent other dogs from experiencing the same fate.
The legislation goes on to stipulate that the notification of the “dangerous dog” must also include the dog’s identifying traits and address, and an affidavit of mailing must be filled out afterwards.
Dogs deemed dangerous will be placed on a registry compiled by the Nassau County Police Department and the Nassau Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The registry includes a description of the dog, including its breed, weight, age and color, as well as the address where it is housed, the date of the incident, and the duration of its designation as a dangerous dog.
Owners who do not comply with this law face a $500 fine, and an additional $100 for every day that they do not comply with the judge’s order.
Does personal liability insurance cover dog bites?
Certain dog breeds are often excluded from personal liability coverage. These breeds are often referred to as “dangerous.” Pit Bulls have received all kinds of media attention for falling into this category, but there are many other breeds that can be excluded as well.
While some insurance companies like to offer liability that covers some breeds on a case-by-case basis, more and more, insurance companies are trying to lessen their exposure to this type of liability.
If a homeowners’ or renters’ policy is issued, these can cover liability and legal expenses in dog bite claims up to the limits of the policy — typically $100,000 to $300,000, depending on the company. Anything above that amount is the sole responsibility of the dog’s owner.
Often, dog owners may not have coverage at all if they didn’t realize their dog is classified by their insurance company as a dangerous breed.This may leave the dog bite victim wondering if they will be able to recover anything for their injuries. For this reason, getting the council of attorneys who are versed in Benny’s Law, as well as the rest of New York State’s dangerous dog legislation, is very important if you or a family member has been attacked by a dog.
Which dog breeds are excluded from coverage by personal liability insurance?
This is really up to the individual insurance companies to decide, as personal liability coverage can be very different depending on your provider. That having been said, more and more insurance companies are doing what they can to limit their liability in homes where a “dangerous dog” resides. Because of that, many insurance companies will spell out the breeds that are red flags. Below is a list of dog breeds that are routinely singled out:
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
- Staffordshire Terriers
- Doberman Pinschers
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Siberian Huskies
- Great Danes
- Presa Canarios
- Certain Wolf Breeds
- And other Molassers (i.e., thick chested, muscular dogs)
What happens if a dog owner doesn’t have insurance?
Some owners may struggle to get traditional homeowner’s or renters’ insurance because of the breed of dog they own. Some companies simply won’t issue insurance based solely on what type of dog they own. Oftentimes, these insurance companies will offer supplemental liability insurance that covers a wide range of breeds and types of damage. It’s left up to the individual dog owner to seek out and secure this type of insurance. If the person who owns the dog is without insurance, they can still be held responsible if their dog hurts someone. The Insurance Information Institute, outlines the three kinds of laws that can come into play in the event that their dog bites and injures someone. They are:
1) A dog-bite statute: where the dog owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes without provocation.
2) The one-bite rule: where the dog owner is responsible for an injury caused by a dog if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause that type of injury—in this case, the victim must prove the owner knew the dog was dangerous.
3) Negligence laws: where the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because they were unreasonably careless (negligent) in controlling the dog.
In Nassau County, the one-bite rule is followed in the courts. This means that dog owners are liable if they knew or should have known that their dog is dangerous. Does the dog that bit you or your loved one satisfy this criteria? Contact the knowledgeable dog bite lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P., to discuss the circumstances of your injuries.
How can I prevent a dog attack?
Here are the guidelines as laid out by The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The AVMA has a great deal of information for both dog owners and non-dog owners to avoid being bitten by dogs.
For owners of dogs, and people with dogs in their homes, they recommend these steps:
- Socializing your pet — By introducing your dog early and often to other people, your dog will be more comfortable, and not see others as a threat. A leash should always be used when in public and make sure that you’re exercising control over your pet.
- Being a responsible pet owner — Do your research to make sure that you select a dog breed that’s right for you and your life. Some dogs do well in small environments, while some do not. Is the breed you’re interested in good with children? These things and a host of other issues are things to consider before getting a dog. Once you have a dog, make sure to invest your time in proper dog training and regular exercise for your pup. It’s also a good idea to get your dog spayed or neutered.
- Educate yourself and your family about how and when it’s advisable NOT to approach a dog.
In order to keep yourself and your family from harm, the AVMA suggests avoiding approaching or petting a dog in these scenarios.
Do not approach a dog if:
- the dog is not with its owner
- the dog is with its owner, but they do not give permission to pet the dog
- a dog is sleeping or eating
- a dog is sick or injured
- a dog is resting with her puppies or seems very protective of her puppies and anxious about your presence
- a dog is playing with a toy
- a dog is growling or barking
- a dog appears to be hiding or seeking alone time
Lastly, one should pay attention to the dog’s body language. Dogs often give us warning signs through their posture and behavior. These indications can sometimes alert you if the dog is stressed or uncomfortable with your presence.
What happens if your dog bites someone in Nassau County?
In Nassau County, the owner of the dog could be found liable and receive a criminal penalty. According to the laws in New York State, if a dog previously deemed dangerous is permitted to bite someone through the owner’s negligence, and that injury is deemed by the court to be serious, then the person responsible for the dog could be convicted of a misdemeanor and receive up to a $3,000 fine and up to 90 days in jail.
What’s more, if a dog that’s previously been determined to be a dangerous animal gets out and kills someone, the dog’s owner can then be convicted of a class A misdemeanor in addition to any other penalties and civil liabilities.
Can I get compensation for a dog bite?
Nassau County, and in fact all of New York State, follows the policy of “strict liability.” This means that the victim of a dog bite does not need to prove negligence in order to recover medical costs or pain and suffering, as long as the dog’s owner knew that their dog was dangerous, and could cause injury to others.
There are, however, cases when a dog bite would be defensible. These instances could include the following situations:
- The dog was acting to protect them or their property from trespassers or individuals committing a crime.
- The dog was being tormented by the person they bit.
- The dog bite was a reaction to pain or its instinct to protect their person, their family, or property.
- In the case of police dogs, the dog is not liable for a bite wound if the bite occurred in the course of the dog performing their officially trained duties.
Who is liable in a dog bite accident, can a Nassau County dog bite lawyer help me?
If a dog owner in Nassau county or the state of New York is shown to be negligent, and through this negligence allows their dog to attack another person or animal, and that bite results in injury, then the dog’s owner is subject to a civil penalty. However, according to New York law, that penalty usually doesn’t exceed four hundred dollars, (in addition to any other applicable penalties).
As you can imagine, four hundred dollars often doesn’t go very far in covering the expenses that a victim hurt by a dog may incur. The attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck, L.L.P., understand that New York’s one bite rule usually doesn’t go far enough to help victims of dog bites. To help you overcome the limitations of New York’s laws, you need to enlist the services of a firm that genuinely understands the laws that cover Nassau County’s dangerous dogs.
A dog bite can be a traumatic event and should be taken seriously. An aggressive dog can be a danger to you, your family and your community. New York’s dog laws can be complicated, and it takes an experienced team of lawyers to help make sure that you can receive the maximum amount of compensation that you have coming. Contact the experienced attorneys at Rosenberg & Gluck L.L.P., today to receive your free consultation. Get the help you need to receive the compensation you deserve.