In 2018, about 27,000 people underwent plastic surgery because of dog bite injuries. Besides the physical pain, dog bite victims can suffer from mental anguish and the stress of missed income and large hospital bills. If a dog has attacked you at a dog park, it is essential to understand your legal rights.
New York’s Dangerous Dog Classification
An injured person in New York State can hold a dog owner strictly liable when the dog receives a dangerous dog classification by the judge. Under New York State Law, the definition of a dangerous dog is one that attacks a person, causing serious injuries, and has a history of vicious propensities.
If a judge finds the dog dangerous, the dog bite owner is liable for any medical expenses suffered by the victim because of the owner’s negligence in their supervision and control of their dog under New York State law.
To prove that a dog is dangerous, you must use firm evidence to show that the dog caused your injuries. You can get legal representation to help you collect evidence, negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company and represent you in court.
What to Do After a Dog Bite Attack in a Dog Park
If you have been involved in a dog bite incident at a dog park, there are several actions you can take to ensure you protect your legal rights.
1. Check posted signs at the dog park
Check to see if there are any signs about dogs being off-leash and the prohibition of certain breeds visiting the park. The dog park may have a posted waiver explaining all the risks involved, including the possibility of a dog bite.
Since New York State doesn’t have statewide leash laws, you need your lawyer to review the local laws regarding dogs on leashes while in public.
2. Call the police
Call 911 and let the police dispatcher know of the dog bite attack. The responding officer can help you locate the owner of the dog. They can also interview and get written statements from witnesses at the scene who saw the incident. The officer can then forward your complaint of the attack to the judge under oath.
3. Exchange contact information
If a dog bites you at a dog park, ensure you have the dog owner’s name, address, and phone number. Having their contact information can enable you to check the dog’s vaccination history to ensure it’s up-to-date with its vaccinations.
4. Obtain medical care
If possible, take pictures of your wounds to show the severity and extent of the dog bite before your medical treatment. Wash your wound, apply antibiotic cream, and wrap the wound in a sterile bandage. Get medical attention as soon as you have cleaned and bandaged your wound.
5. Document the progression of your injuries
Medical records and bills related to treating your injuries can help your lawyer assess the total amount of compensation you are owed. Video and photos can also show how your injuries developed and if your injuries resulted in scarring and immobility.
Journaling the bite’s impact on your mental health can also reveal the extent of your mental anguish.
6. File a personal injury claim
Dog bite victims can file a personal injury claim with the help of the Syracuse dog bite lawyers at Catalano Law. Your lawyer can calculate the amount of your medical expenses and assess lost wages if you had to take time off work to recover.
We can also pursue mental anguish, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life and loss of a body part if relevant.
Your lawyer can then create a legal strategy to prove the dog owner’s liability and their dog’s viciousness in court. If the judge finds the dog is dangerous, the judge can order spaying, neutering, or permanent confinement.
They can order the dog owner over the age of 21 to keep their dogs on a leash on public premises. The judge can also order the owner to use a muzzle to prevent their dogs from attacking others in public.
Work with New York Dog Bite Lawyers to Achieve Justice
When you or a loved one suffered a public dog bite attack, you need legal representation to help you recover compensation. The dog bite attorneys at Catalano Law can review your case and discuss your legal options. We can pursue a settlement from the dog owner’s insurance company and if necessary, by litigating the case in court.
Request your free case evaluation today and explore your legal options.