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Dog Bite Lawyers in New York City

Dog bites can cause serious injuries, and the financial costs caused by an attack could be considerable. Our personal injury lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve after a dog bite. Our firm has years of experience helping injured New Yorkers in personal injury cases. We’ve helped our clients recover millions in settlements.

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NYC’s Dog Bite Laws and Leash Regulations

Not every dog will bite someone, but there’s a chance they may attack, especially if they feel threatened. In New York City, dog owners are held accountable for any injuries caused by their pets, especially if the dog has shown aggressive behavior in the past. If a dog attacks without justification or provocation, the owner can be sued for damages, including property damage and pain and suffering.

Under NYC leash laws, dog owners must ensure their pets are restrained at all times when in public. Failure to comply can result in legal consequences if the dog injures someone.

At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., we recognize the severity of dog attacks, particularly when NYC leash laws. Our experienced dog bite lawyers are dedicated to helping you navigate the legal process and secure the compensation you deserve. With decades of experience and a track record of successful outcomes, we’re here to advocate for you. Let us help you recover from the aftermath of a dog bite incident.

NYC Dog Bite Injuries

In New York City, where bustling streets and crowded neighborhoods intersect with pet ownership, the risk of dog-related injuries is a serious concern. Dog bite injuries can be devastating, often extending beyond the initial wound and resulting in significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens.

Physical Trauma

Dog bites can cause various types of physical trauma, ranging from minor cuts and bruises to severe lacerations and puncture wounds. In some cases, the force of the bite can lead to broken bones and crush injuries, particularly in vulnerable areas such as the hands, arms, or face.


Dog bites are highly prone to infection due to the bacteria present in a dog’s mouth. If not promptly and properly treated, these infections can lead to serious complications, including cellulitis, sepsis, and even life-threatening conditions such as rabies or tetanus.

Brain Injuries & Concussion

Severe dog bites can also result in traumatic brain injuries and concussions, particularly if the victim is knocked down or struck by the force of the attack. These injuries can have long-lasting effects on cognitive function, mood regulation, and overall quality of life.

Soft Tissue Damage

Beyond the immediate wound, dog bites can cause extensive damage to the soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This can result in long-term pain, limited mobility, and the need for rehabilitative therapy or surgical intervention.

Scarring & Disfigurement

Depending on the severity of the bite and the location on the body, dog attacks can leave permanent scars, amputation, and disfigurement. Facial injuries, in particular, can have profound psychological and social implications, affecting a victim’s self-esteem and quality of life.

Emotional Trauma

In addition to physical injuries, dog bites often result in significant emotional trauma, especially for children and vulnerable individuals. The experience of being attacked by a dog can lead to anxiety, depression, PTSD, and a lasting fear of dogs or public spaces.

Secondary Complications

Complications such as nerve damage, loss of sensation, and chronic pain can arise from dog bite injuries, impacting the victim’s overall health and well-being. In severe cases, secondary complications may require ongoing medical treatment and rehabilitation.

Fatal Dog Bites

In the most tragic cases, dog bite injuries can result in wrongful death. If a dog attack leads to fatal injuries, the surviving family members may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their loss, including funeral expenses, lost income, and the emotional toll of losing a loved one.

Liability for New York Dog Bite Injuries

New York dog bite liability involves establishing either the dog owner’s negligence or a violation of dog-related laws, with strict liability often applying. For instance, New York City’s leash law states that a person cannot take their dog into a public space or unfenced area without a leash or chain shorter than six feet long. A dog owner ignoring laws like this one could be found negligent and liable for damages their dog causes.

Potentially liable parties for a dog attack include:

Dog Owners

Primarily responsible for the dog’s actions, especially if aware of its vicious tendencies.

Dog Walkers

Responsible if negligent in controlling the dog or aware of its dangerous behavior.

Landlords/Property Owners

Liable if aware of a tenant’s dangerous dog and fails to take reasonable precautions.

Dog Caretakers

Anyone entrusted with the dog’s care or control is accountable if negligent in preventing an incident. This can include groomers, pet sitters, etc.

Strict Liability vs Negligence

Strict liability holds dog owners accountable regardless of their knowledge, while negligence requires demonstrating a failure to exercise reasonable care. Understanding these legal principles is crucial when seeking compensation for dog bite injuries.

How to Prove a Dog Was Dangerous

This can involve showing that the dog exhibited vicious tendencies and that the owner was aware of these behaviors. A dog may be considered dangerous if it has a history of attacks or displays aggressive behaviors like jumping on visitors. If the dog’s actions result in injury, the owner could be held liable for damages.

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How Can a Dog Bite Lawyer Help My Claim

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, seeking assistance from a skilled and compassionate New York City dog bite lawyer is crucial in protecting your rights and pursuing compensation for your injuries.

At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our dog bite attorneys have a demonstrated history of securing significant dog bit settlements in a variety of dog attack cases.

Our team is experienced in handling a wide range of dog bite incidents, from minor bites to serious attacks, and we are prepared to provide legal guidance and aggressive representation to victims of all backgrounds, including children and adults.

Investigate & Determine Liability

HKD will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your dog bite to identify responsible parties. Dog bite cases can be complex, often involving multiple potential defendants, including dog owners, property owners, and animal control agencies.

We will meticulously gather evidence, such as medical records, witness statements, and animal behavior histories, to build a strong case on your behalf.

Negotiate with Insurers & Dog Owners

Dealing with insurance companies and dog owners following a bite can be intimidating, especially when facing attempts to downplay your injuries or avoid liability. Our team is skilled in negotiating with insurers and advocating for our clients’ rights to fair compensation.

We will push back against any attempts to minimize your claim and work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve for your injuries and related expenses.

Seek Max Compensation

We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that dog bite injuries can take on victims and their families. Our lawyers are dedicated to pursuing maximum compensation for our clients, including damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future care needs.

Pursue Justice & Community Safety

HKD is committed to seeking justice for dog bite victims and promoting community safety by holding negligent dog owners and other responsible parties accountable for their actions. By pursuing legal action, you are not only seeking personal justice but also working towards creating safer environments for all New Yorkers.

When you choose Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. to represent you in your dog bite case, you can trust that you are in capable hands. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and learn how we can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

NY Dog Bite Injury Compensation

The first factor in determining monetary damages in a dog bite case in New York is the nature and extent of your injuries. In many cases, surgery or other significant medical procedures are necessary to treat your injuries. For example:

    • A dog bite could be powerful enough to cause a bone fracture;
    • A dog bite on the face, lip, or head could require cosmetic surgery; and,
    • Even relatively moderate dog bites may require stitches, scarring, and disfigurement.

You may be entitled to recover compensation for these medical expenses. You should also note that dog bites are highly prone to infection. It’s possible to seek additional damages when you need treatment for diseases commonly associated with dog bite wounds, like rabies, tetanus, and MRSA.

Beyond your immediate medical costs, you can recover other forms of compensation if you have a case for negligence. You may be eligible to receive monetary damages for:

  • Ongoing medical care
  • Mental health care expenses
  • Other injury-related expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Disfigurement
  • Disability
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Loss of normal life

At HKD, we are proud to have helped many clients receive significant and life-changing settlements and court judgments.

Dog Bite FAQs

How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim?

Under New York’s statute of limitations, you typically have three years after a dog bite to pursue litigation. You could lose your chance at recovering compensation if you don’t file a personal injury claim or a lawsuit in court before that deadline runs out.

Does NY Follow a ‘One Bite’ Rule?

New York does not strictly follow a “one bite” rule. While previous bites or aggressive behavior can be used as evidence in determining liability, there is no explicit “free bite” provision in New York law.

Are There Exceptions to Dog Bite Cases?

It’s possible that a dog owner could use a defense to avoid paying you for your injuries. Some defenses include:

    • You were trespassing upon someone else’s property when the dog bit you;
    • You were tormenting, provoking, or abusing the animal before it attacked;
    • The dog’s actions were a response to pain or injury; or,
    • The dog was protecting its owner or offspring.

Each case is unique, so you should discuss your circumstances with a NYC dog bite lawyer. They can help clarify your situation and help you identify a path towards compensation.

What are Some Safety Tips To Remember Around Dogs

The New York State Department of Health recommends following these tips to avoid a dog attack, but remember that these attacks can happen unprovoked.

  • Get an owner’s permission before petting a dog, and then approach it carefully.
  • Try not to startle the dog.
  • Don’t tease, provoke, or aggravate the dog.
  • Don’t pet dogs while they’re playing with a toy.
  • Don’t pet dogs in containers, behind fences, or in vehicles, as they may feel territorial.
  • Don’t sneak up on a dog while it’s sleeping or eating.
  • Avoid angry or unfamiliar dogs. Keep children away from dogs if the owner isn’t present.
  • Watch for signs the dog is angry: raised fur, bared teeth, ears back, or stiff body language.
  • Do not run from dogs, and don’t yell at them.

A New York Dog Bite Lawyer Can Explain Your Rights

A dog bite can be more than just physically painful—it can also be emotionally and financially taxing. At Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C., our NYC injury team understands the complexities involved in dog bite claims. We’re well-versed in navigating the intricate web of state and local laws, as well as insurance policies, to ensure you receive fair compensation. With our dedicated attorneys, you can rest assured that we will advocate for your rights and fight to secure all you deserve.

Contact HKD today. We offer free consultations, never charge fees up-front, and you owe nothing until we recover compensation for you.

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