Nassau County Dangerous Dog Bite FAQs
By reviewing the answers to Nassau County, NY dangerous dog bite FAQs, you can learn what to do after a bite injury, the applicable laws in New York, your various legal options, and more. Keep in mind that these apply in most cases however, there could be exceptions.
A personal injury law firm that represents dog bite victims in Nassau County can help you with your case. Most dog bite lawyers provide free consultations. During this time, you can speak with a knowledgeable team member who can assess your case and answer questions based on the circumstances of your injury.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) After a Dangerous Dog Bite in Nassau County
These are some of the most commonly asked questions from dog bite victims, prospective clients, and others who seek legal advice after a dangerous dog bite in Nassau County, NY.
What Should I Do Immediately After a Nassau County Dog Bite?
When someone else’s dog bites you or a loved one:
- Contain the dog or ask their owner to do so for your safety
- Call 911 if you have serious injuries or believe that anyone is still in danger
- Get the dog owner’s name and contact information
- Ask about the dog’s shot records and health history
- Seek medical attention right away if necessary
- Clean minor wounds with soap and water
- Discuss even minor wounds with a doctor as soon as possible
- Contact the Nassau County Department of Health at (516) 227-9663 or file an animal bite report online
Sometimes, a dangerous dog might run free, which makes it more difficult to contain the animal and identify its owners. If possible, check the dog’s tags for information or dial 911 and ask for help to protect yourself and others.
How Do I Report a Dangerous Dog or Bite Injury in Nassau County?
Nassau County offers several ways to report a dog bite. The Nassau County Department of Health handles dog bites. As mentioned above, you can call the office or use their online form to report the bite. If you file online, they will likely contact you about the incident if you have significant injuries.
How Do I Know If a Nassau County Dog Is Dangerous?
A newly passed local law created a dangerous dog registry in Nassau County. Nicknamed “Benny’s Law” after a lawmaker’s pet that suffered serious injuries after an attack, this law ensures that people who live near a dangerous dog know it. Local police and the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) work together to make and maintain the registry.
When the courts determine a dog is dangerous, the owner must notify others in the area about the address where the dog is located, when their dog last attacked another animal or person, and share identifying details about the animal.
A series of events must take place before the government can deem a dog dangerous, including:
- An unprovoked attack
- Police response
- Animal control removing the dog
- A determination from a judge after hearing from the victim and the dog’s owner
Why Are Children More Likely to Suffer Dog Bite Injuries?
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, children account for more than half of all dog bite victims. Their injuries are also more likely to be severe and life-altering. Children cannot protect themselves from a large animal like someone who is taller and stronger. They are also less likely to understand the dog’s body language, which often gives an early clue about the dog’s temperament.
Unfortunately, children are also more likely to act in a way that provokes or distresses a dog. They do not know how to act properly on their own, so parents should teach good habits and always supervise children around dogs.
Why Is Medical Care So Important After a Dog Bite?
Dog bites have an extremely high risk of infection. Even if you do not believe you have lacerations or serious puncture wounds, going to a walk-in clinic or urgent care for wound cleaning is a good idea. They might also prescribe medication to help prevent future infection.
Of course, more serious injuries require additional treatment. If you or a child experiences significant bleeding or other major injuries after an attack, do not hesitate to dial 911 or go to your nearest emergency department.
What Are the Most Common Dog Bite Injuries?
Dog attacks can lead to:
- Scratches or abrasions
- Puncture wounds
- Bruising around the area
- Tearing or ripping injuries
- Nerve damage
- Crush injuries
- Scarring or disfigurement
Complications with many dog bite injuries can include infections that necessitate amputation, scarring that limits movement or abilities, and more.
Who Can I Hold Liable for a Dog Bite in Nassau County?
A dog’s owner is generally the liable party after a dog bite injury. However, state laws prevent victims from holding them liable unless there is a known history of dangerous or threatening behavior.
This doesn’t deprive you of options after a bite injury. Speak with a personal injury law firm serving Nassau County today to assess your next steps based on the facts of your case and applicable laws.
What Does the One-Bite Rule Mean?
Under state law, victims cannot sue the dog’s owner after an attack unless there was evidence to show this might occur. Under Bard v. Jahnke, a dog’s owner must know about the dog’s vicious propensities before they are legally responsible for the dog’s actions. Many people refer to this as the ‘one free bite’ rule, although a prior bite is not always required.
This rule applies to any action that could endanger the safety of other people or property. Establishing a dog’s vicious propensity is often difficult unless a previous victim reported a similar attack. Therefore, reporting a dog bite is always important, regardless of the severity.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Dog Owner After a Bite?
If you have suffered a bite or other injury as a result of a dog attack, you can file a lawsuit against the owner or person harboring the dog if you can prove prior vicious propensity of the animal. These actions are based in strict liability and can provide compensation for economic and non economic damages.
What Insurance Covers Dog Bite Injuries?
In many cases, a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover damages caused by a dog bite injury. Victims can file a claim and ask the insurer to pay for their medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages. The next step is usually settlement negotiations. Reaching a settlement agreement means the case does not need to go to trial.
Sometimes, insurance providers have specific exclusions in their policies. For example, an insurer might refuse to cover bites caused by dogs with bite histories.
The Dog’s Owner Blames Me for the Attack. What Should I Do?
Dog owners often claim that the victim provoked the dog, trespassed, or otherwise caused or contributed to their own injuries. While this is a common occurrence in dog bite cases, you do not want to try to counter these allegations alone. They could prevent you from recovering fair compensation.
Working with an attorney who is familiar with dog bite laws in Nassau County can help tremendously. An experienced attorney should know how to show the dog’s owner is responsible for the injuries you suffered, therefore clearing your name if you played no role in provoking the dog.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Handle My Dog Bite Case?
Yes. This complex process requires understanding the applicable laws. Working with a dog bite attorney makes it easier to develop a strong case and hold the dog owner accountable.
An attorney can protect your rights and fight for the payout you deserve based on the facts of your case. You should not have to navigate this process alone. Most dog bite law firms work based on contingency, so you should not have to pay upfront fees to hire an attorney for your case.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me Recover Compensation for My Injuries?
A dog bite lawyer knows how to handle all aspects of a dog bite case, whether it requires negotiating an insurance settlement, suing the owner, or handling both processes concurrently. Having an attorney on your side means that you can focus on healing while someone else manages your case.
A skilled attorney will understand the applicable laws, including determining the vicious propensities of an animal and whether a negligence case is a better option. They can also investigate your situation and gather the evidence needed to build a compelling argument about what happened and who carries legal responsibility for the injuries.
Again, dog bite attorneys handle dog bite cases based on contingency, charging no upfront fees and only asking clients to pay attorney’s fees if and when they recover compensation for them.
How Can I Learn More About My Options After a Nassau County Dog Bite?
To learn more about your legal rights and next steps following a dog bite in Nassau County, discuss the case with a dog bite lawyer. Many injury firms provide free initial consultations for injured parties and their families.
During this free case assessment, the legal team can learn about the attack and your injuries and ask questions about your case. Then we consider your legal options and explain how the firm has handled cases similar to yours.
You can also get answers to your specific questions and discuss any concerns you might have during this consultation. Other topics of discussion frequently include the firm’s contingency fee and information about their attorneys.
How Long Do I Have to Sue the Dog’s Owner for Compensation?
State law gives injury victims on Long Island a limited time to sue the liable party. If you choose to file a personal injury suit in Nassau County, you generally have up to three years from the injury date to do so. For cases of wrongful death, the law generally offers only two years.
Exceptions do exist that could change this timeline. For example, you likely have much less time to act if you need to sue a municipality for its role in your injuries. A law firm can review your case and ensure that you meet all applicable deadlines.
Connect With a Personal Injury Law Firm Serving Nassau County to Learn More
If you or a family member suffered injuries in a dog bite in Nassau County, you have options. The laws that apply in these cases are often complex, but you do not have to navigate the claims process alone. Working with a personal injury attorney in Nassau County allows you to focus on healing while they handle the rest.