Were you or someone you love attacked by a dog? Check out these 4 dog bite facts, then contact our Buffalo office to learn more.
1. How To Determine if You Have a Good Dog Bite Injury Case
A viable dog bite case is one in which it is possible to prove that the dog has demonstrated at least some vicious propensities. It’s even more helpful if the dog also looks vicious. That visual image tends to help the bite victim’s case. I believe it has much more jury appeal when, instead of a little toy poodle that rips into someone’s face, the dog involved is a Rottweiler or a pit bull.
When it comes to setting up the liability for your case, it’s important to be able to show that you, as the client, did nothing wrong that could have caused that dog to act the way it did. In other words, you were just minding your own business, or you just reached down to pet the dog, and the dog attacked you. Showing those two things – the dog’s propensity for viciousness and that you didn’t do anything wrong – are a couple of important factors that we look for when going forward with a dog bite case.
2. Typical Dog Bite Injuries
Typical dog bites usually depend on the person. We find with young children that they tend to get more injuries to their face. This is because they tend to place their face into the dog’s and the animal gets snippy and ends up biting the child. Some of those cases can be tragic. Some of the other injuries we see are joggers, or people around the neighborhood. They get bitten on the leg or a “defensive wound” where they are trying to fight the dog away and they get bit on the hands. Sometimes those are severe because the hand and wrist have many tendons. If a dog tears or severs a tendon, their ends up being a lot of medical treatment, and maybe even surgery.
3. How to Know If You Have a Dog Bite Case
We have many situations where people are bit by dogs and the first thing you have to find out is whether that dog had its rabies shots. You have to identify who the owner is. You want to report it to the local police agency, or if they have a dog control person, report it to them. They can verify whether or not this dog had its shots. If it didn’t, you might be in a situation where they have to quarantine the dog and test it to make sure that you don’t need to get rabies shots and things of that nature. Beyond that, if it is a serious dog bite situation, the dog bite laws in New York are a little different than some other areas or some other states in that we have to show that the dog had some type of vicious propensity to act in the way it did before your actual incident. We like to get people out canvasing the areas, talking to neighbors, mailmen, UPS drivers, FedEx drivers, etc. People are in that neighborhood all the time that may have had contact with this dog that may be able to shed light on whether or not this dog has some vicious propensities in the past.
We had a case where we got an affidavit from a mailman that actually saved our case and talked about how this dog would go after him every time he delivered the mail. When you have those types of things, it really helps us get over the hump as far as proving the dog’s vicious nature.
4. Dog Bites and Uninsured Owners
If the owner of the dog doesn’t have insurance, you could be out of luck as far as pursuing a claim. We tell people all the time, if there’s not insurance coverage in place to protect you, then unless the guy has a substantial amount of assets, you’re really not going to have an easy time getting recovery from that person. You could get a judgment against him for his negligence in caring for this dog or harboring this dog, but because it’s a negligence situation, he can always file bankruptcy to get rid of that judgment against him. If someone does have some assets, sometimes we can do some things to get you some compensation for your injuries. It’s not always what you would hope for, but it may be something. It makes it really difficult if there’s not insurance involved.
If you have been bitten by dog or any animal, read these 4 dog bite facts, then contact one of our Hamburg Dog Bite Attorneys at Chiacchia & Fleming, LLP to receive maximum compensation.
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