How Much Is My Dog Bite Claim Worth?
More than 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs every year, according to statistics provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association. These attacks can range from mild to deadly and should all be taken seriously.
Because this danger is so prevalent in our country, it is important to acknowledge the threat that man’s best friend can pose, know how to avoid dog bites, and be aware that if you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog you should consider asserting your legal rights by filing a dog bite claim.
Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite injuries come in many different forms and are often located on the head, face, or neck. While every attack is different, common dog bite injuries include:
- Torn skin, muscles, and ligaments
- Puncture wounds
If an injury is minor, simply clean the wound. However, if the bite has broken the skin it is important to seek medical attention as dog bites can transmit rabies, tetanus, and other infectious diseases. Additionally, be sure to report the attack to your local animal control agency so that there is an official record of that particular dog’s propensity for aggression.
How to Avoid a Dog Bite
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that most dog bites that require medical treatment are suffered by children between 5 and 9 years old. Because kids are particularly susceptible to dog attacks, parents should take care to teach their children how to avoid dog bites.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends that adults and children alike follow the guidelines listed below to avoid being bitten by a controlled dog:
- Dogs that are sleeping, caring for their puppies, or chewing on a bone should not be approached or petted.
- Stay away from dogs that are exhibiting aggressive behavior such as growling, pulling their ears back, or stiffening their body and tail.
- Always ask the owner’s permission before petting a dog.
- When approaching a dog, always start by sticking out your hand so that the animal can smell you.
- Never reach through a fence to pet a dog as they may become territorial and attack.
Additionally, if you see a dog that is off-leash and wandering around alone, do not approach it. Children should be taught to return home, or to some other safe location, without running or screaming. If the dog approaches you, an attack can best be avoided by standing still and avoiding eye contact.
How We Handle Dog Bite Injuries: When Is an Owner Liable?
Although dog bite laws differ slightly from state to state, dog owners are generally liable if they know that their dog is aggressive or has a tendency to bite. Liable dog owners may be ordered by a court to pay for the injured party’s medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and property damage.
While New York state law does not include a specific dog bite statute, we do have leash and restraint laws that differ from city to city. Additionally, New York’s law on dog bites specifically addresses dangerous dogs under Article 7 of the Agriculture and Markets Law, § 123. This law applies when a particular dog has been determined to be dangerous and requires owners of dangerous dogs to take precautions such as muzzling in public places and maintaining liability insurance.
Average Dog Bite Settlement Amounts
According to the Fiscal Times, the average cost paid for dog-related injuries in the United States in 2015 was $37,214. Additionally, Syracuse.com reports that New York ranks in the top five states nationwide for dog bite claims and that our state’s average claim costs $44,230. The study also found that in 2015 New York’s dog-related claims cost approximately $39 million in total. It is important to remember that those are simply averages, and your claim could be worth significantly more or less.*
How Can We Help?
If you have been bitten by a dog in New York and are interested in filing a dog bite claim, sign up for a free consultation with Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, an experienced Binghamton dog bite lawyer, by calling or contacting us online.
*Disclaimer: The settlement amounts listed above are averages from data collected by third party sources and are in no way an advertisement of potential settlement amounts for cases taken on by Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney. If you have been bitten by a dog, contact our experienced personal injury lawyers to have your claim reviewed by our office.