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What Should I Do After a Dog Bite Injury and Who is Liable?


Dogs are one of our best and most favored companions and many often think of them as a member of the family. Unfortunately, sometimes man’s best friend can harm others, especially when under the watch of a negligent and careless owner. Dog owners are legally responsible to keep their pets from inflicting injuries on others or from damaging property. If you sustained a dog bite, you might be able to hold the owner liable and obtain compensation that can cover the costs of your medical bills and other expenses associated with your injury.

Holding a Dog Owner Liable

Through a civil lawsuit, you could potentially hold a dog owner liable for a dog bite injury, if one or more of the following applies to your case:

  • You can prove you sustained the injury as a result of the dog owner’s negligence. For example, if the owner violated a local leash law or left the gate open, allowing the dog to run out on its own, ultimately causing the incident, the owner could be held liable.
  • A dog bite statute applies, rendering the owner financially responsible for dog bites, regardless of the dog’s history or if the owner was careless.
  • You can prove the owner was aware of the dog’s tendency to be aggressive and cause the type of injury you suffered.

Oftentimes, if it is suspected that the victim provoked the dog, or was trespassing, liability can be avoided. Make sure you secure the skilled legal assistance of a personal injury attorney to increase your chances of effectively holding the dog owner responsible for the incident.

What You Should Do After a Dog Bite Injury

After sustaining a dog bite injury, there are many things you should do, which include:

  • Collect the name and contact information of the dog owner. At this point, you might not even be sure if you are going to pursue compensation since you do not know the extent of your injuries or the expenses they will incur, but you should still have this information available in the event that you decide to file a personal injury claim. Ask the owner if he or she has liability insurance and write down that information as well.
  • If there were any witnesses at the scene, be sure to obtain their contact information as well since you will need them to corroborate your version of events if the dog owner later tries to dispute what actually happened.
  • Take pictures of the dog if you can. You should also take pictures of your injuries and anything in the area that might be relevant or support your version of what occurred. For example, if the owner left the gate open and the dog ran out and bit you, take a picture of the open gate.
  • Seek medical attention as soon as possible. This will not only protect your health, it will also help support your personal injury claim by creating documented evidence of your injury and the treatment you received. As such, always be sure to ask for copies of any bills or records of hospital or doctor visits.
  • Lastly, you need to report the incident to animal control authorities. You could also check the records at the animal control department to find out if the dog has any prior attacks on its record, which could either provide leverage during negotiations or help you win in court.

Dog Bite Attacks in Nassau County

If you were recently bitten by a dog in Long Island, you need a skilled attorney on your side to take legal action on your behalf and ensure you are able to recover compensation. At the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli, we are dedicated to assisting injury victims and holding those liable for their pain and suffering accountable. Whether you incurred physical injuries or damages to your personal property, we can help.

For the knowledgeable representation you deserve, contact our office today at (516) 628-6402 to schedule your free initial case evaluation.
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