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Dog Bite Victims Deserve Fair and Full Compensation

Published May 24, 2011 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

Binghamton injury lawyer Scott C. Gottlieb says the recent attack of a 6-year-old boy raises the issue of whether New York’s dangerous dog owners should be required to carry higher minimum liability insurance.

“With the recent pit bull attack of a 6-year-old boy making news in Elmira, it may be time to revisit the liability insurance requirements of the city’s dangerous dog ordinance,” personal injury lawyer Scott C. Gottlieb said.

Under some New York jurisdictions, the owner of a dog that is deemed to be “dangerous” according to New York law must provide the city’s animal control department with proof of liability insurance of at least $50,000 or a surety bond in that amount.

“An issue that often arises in animal attack cases is securing compensation,” said Gottlieb, an experienced New York dog bite attorney whose Binghamton personal injury law firm, Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, represents dog attack victims throughout central New York.

“Victims need compensation to pay for a variety of necessary medical expenses that result from a vicious animal bite, such as emergency room visits, hospitalization, surgical repair to the eyes, nose or ears, plastic surgery or psychological counseling,” Gottlieb said.

“Medical costs have risen sharply,” says Gottlieb, “and the $50,000 floor may no longer be an adequate minimum amount of insurance.”

According to Gottlieb, bites and attacks by dangerous dogs are a public safety issue in Binghamton, New York and across the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 900,000 people each year suffer dog bite injuries that require medical treatment.

Although certain breeds are widely considered to be dangerous, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers and Doberman pinschers, a city’s dangerous dog ordinance may not specify breeds.

Instead, the ordinance may adopt the definition of a “dangerous” animal found in New York State’s Agriculture & Markets Law. Under this definition, a dog is dangerous if it attacks, injures or kills a person or another animal or “behaves in a manner which a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death.”

If a dog bite victim can establish that a dog is vicious, and the owner knew of the dog’s dangerous traits, then the owner may be held strictly liable unless it’s shown that the victim somehow provoked the animal or incited the attack, Gottlieb said.

“Establishing liability can be complicated in dog bite cases, and once liability is proven, there is the additional issue of securing compensation,” he said.

Even though most homeowner insurance policies will cover dog attacks, not everyone is required to carry homeowners’ policies, according to Gottlieb.

“These are complex matters that require an experienced New York lawyer who is skilled at handling dog bite cases,” Gottlieb said. “At our law firm, we have that background, and we are dedicated to working hard to hold dangerous dog owners accountable and secure the funds that dog attack victims need to recover and move on.”

Contact Our Binghamton NY Injury Lawyers Today

If you were injured or a family member was injured or killed by any animal, you can sue the person who has, or should have had, control over the animal. Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, can help. Our firm works with accident reconstruction and economic experts to help prepare your case, and we treat each client with care and respect. We also provide assistance with other legal problems that arise during the pendency of the case. Contact Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, today for a review of your case.

As you work on recovering from your injuries, let our Binghamton, New York accident attorney’s office take care of the rest, including the paperwork, insurance documents and other legal issues related to your accident. Contact our personal injury attorney today at (607) 235-2754 or use our online contact form. There is no charge for the consultation.

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