Dog Bites and Animal Attacks

New York dog bite injuries are the most common type of animal injuries handled by the personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at Suris & Associates.

In addition to decades of experience in fighting for the rights of victims of animal attacks in the courtroom, Suris & Associates has extensive medical knowledge and experience in dealing with a wide variety of injuries resulting from serious and fatal animal attacks, including, scarring issues, disfigurement, amputation injuries, psychological issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and panic attacks; and developmental delays and emotional problems in children.

Suris & Associates assigns a team of lawyers, investigators and support staff to each of its cases. Your team will build the legal and medical case necessary to fight for the compensation you deserve, in the negotiating room … and in the courtroom.

What You Should Know About Dog Attacks

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association:

An estimated 4.7 million Americans are bitten each year. This is 1 in every 50 people.

More than 1,000 people visit the emergency room each day as the result of a dog bite – the fifth most-frequent cause of emergency room visits.

Most of the victims who receive medical attention are children, half of whom are bitten in the face.

In 2007, 33 people were killed by fatal dog attacks in the United States – this number has doubled since the 1980s and 1990s.

Dog bite losses exceed $1 billion per year, with over $300 million paid by homeowners insurance.

The average insurance recovery to pay for medical bills as the result of a dog bite attack has been reported at $15,000 to $25,000.

Unfortunately, children are the frequent victim of dog attacks – those ages 5 to 9 have the highest rate of dog-bite injury in the nation. Recovery in children can be complicated by psychological issues, such as panic attacks and a lack of trust, and by the medical challenges associated with growth and the healing of scars.

Whether the injury is “severe” or simply consists of “aches and pains” you have a right to be compensated for your loss. As a victim of dog bite or attack, you may have the right to receive compensation for medical bills; lost wages; pain and suffering; and other expenses.

Liability in Dog Attacks

New York law makes the owner or keeper of a dog strictly liable for medical and veterinary costs. However, New York does not recognize owner negligence as a cause of action in lawsuits. Dog bite cases therefore must proceed on the grounds of strict liability by proving the owner had knowledge of an animal’s vicious nature.

New York is a “one-bite” state, which means the owner is strictly liable if the victim can prove that the owner should have known of a dog’s vicious propensities – such as a prior instance of the dog biting someone.

Aside from having bitten before, viciousness can be proved by a history of growling; snapping; baring of teeth; if the dog is restrained in a manner that would befit a vicious animal; or if the animal acts in a manner that bespeaks the intent or will to harm.

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