Available 24/7 for Free Consultations
Free Consultations 24/7

Buffalo Dog Bite Attorney

Dogs are a unique species among other domesticated animals. In the past, they were bred and bought according to a family’s needs. Farmers needed help herding the animals, and hunters needed strong noses for tracking. Recently, the same breeds have been regarded more as family members with their former instincts expected to stay dormant.

Unfortunately, injuries from dog bites are all too common. It can be easy to forget a dog is still an animal. Dogs can and will bite. The skilled Buffalo personal injury attorneys of Towey Law, PLLC have extensive experience handling personal injury cases involving dog attacks. If you or a loved one has suffered a serious wound, call our dog bite lawyers in Buffalo, New York. Our highly sought legal team will secure the compensation you deserve.

Schedule your free consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys today by calling (716) 300-8232.

Why Choose A Buffalo Dog Bite Lawyer From Towey Law?

If you or a loved one has been attacked, you need a dog bite attorney who is dedicated to your case:

  • Founding Partner, Brian Towey, is a native Buffalonian and is committed to serving the people of this city.
  • We provide free consultations to discuss your case.
  • Our team of lawyers support our clients with sensitive representation and aggressive advocacy.

Why You Need Representation for a Dog Bite in Buffalo

Dog bites are never straightforward. Proving liability is the most important element in a personal injury case. However, liability is often and easily challenged.

For example, suppose the owner claims the victim antagonized and teased the dog at the time of the attack. Responsibility for the dog bite could shift onto the victim.

Many dog owners carry dog bite insurance. If the victim is considered equally responsible for the attack, the insurance company may deny the claim.

Insurance adjusters are trained to minimize payouts. They are expert negotiators and are skilled at researching cases for any opportunity to refuse coverage. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injuries due to a negligent dog owner, you need an aggressive dog bite attorney who will fight for your rights.

The esteemed lawyers of Towey Law, PLLC will negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. We will shield you and your family from unscrupulous tactics and protect your right to compensation.

Types of Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bites can lead to a wide range of types of injuries. The actual severity of an injury will depend on several factors related to the incident, including the size of the dog as well as the individual characteristics of the victim (i.e., their ability to get away from the incident quickly or not).

Some of the most common injuries associated with dog bite incidents in Buffalo include:

  1. Puncture wounds. These occur when a dog’s teeth penetrate the skin, often leading to deep wounds that can be prone to infection due to bacteria from the dog’s mouth.
  2. Lacerations. Caused by a dog’s teeth or claws, lacerations are jagged, irregular tears in the skin, which may require stitches and leave significant scarring.
  3. Bruises and abrasions. When a dog attacks, it can cause bruising and abrasions from both its teeth and claws, which may appear as scraped, reddened areas on the skin.
  4. Nerve damage. In severe cases, a dog bite can damage underlying nerves, leading to loss of sensation or function in the affected area, often requiring long-term medical treatment.
  5. Infections. Dog bites can introduce harmful bacteria into the wound, leading to infections such as cellulitis, which may require antibiotics and careful monitoring.
  6. Scarring and disfigurement. Depending on the severity and location of the bite, victims may suffer from permanent scarring or disfigurement, which can be both physically and emotionally traumatic.
  7. Crush injuries. Larger or more powerful dogs can cause crush injuries, where the force of the bite damages deeper tissues, bones, and joints, potentially leading to long-term mobility issues.
  8. Rabies and other diseases. Though less common, dog bites can transmit diseases like rabies, which is a serious condition requiring immediate medical attention.
  9. Emotional trauma. Beyond physical injuries, dog bites can lead to psychological issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), fear of dogs, and anxiety, necessitating mental health support.

Any of these injuries, and others caused by a dog bite, can significantly affect the victim. Dog bite injury victims need compensation not only for their medical expenses related to these injuries but also for the long-term effects, including scarring disfigurement, and emotional trauma.

Dog Bites Disproportionately Affect Children

Across the nation, dog bites threaten the lives of children more than their adult counterparts. Children have a higher risk of serious injury and death from dog bites:

  • Nearly 1.5 percent of all pediatric visitations are for dog bites.
  • More than 50 percent of children have been bitten by a dog.
  • Most children die of blood loss due to their size in proportion to the bite.

If a dog bite has led to the death of a loved one, reach out to our Buffalo wrongful death lawyers today.

According to a recent study by UPMC Children’s Hospital:

  • An estimated 800,000 dog bites are treated each year.
  • 12 percent of adult victims require medical treatment.
  • 26 percent of child victims are treated at an ER.

More surprisingly, dog bites are a “greater health problem for children than measles, mumps, and whooping cough combined.”

Buffalo Leash Laws

In Buffalo, New York, strict regulations are in place to ensure responsible dog ownership and public safety. The city’s leash laws, as outlined in Section 78-18 of the city’s legislation, mandate that every dog owner must restrain their dog to prevent it from leaving their premises. Dogs can be taken off-premises only when securely held on a leash. Owners are held liable for any unlicensed dog found at large, and for licensed dogs, the owner of record is accountable.

Additionally, dogs are not allowed, leashed or unleashed, at special events held on municipal property. Owners will be held liable for any violations in this regard. This rule also applies to parks, playgrounds, and public streets owned by the city or the Buffalo Board of Education.

Liability in Dog Bite Cases

The state of New York uses a blended liability system, which can be confusing. The system combines elements of a strict liability system, a negligence-based system, and a one-bite rule that is common in other states.

  • Strict liability. Under this type of system, dog owners are held liable for any injuries caused by their dog biting somebody else, regardless of whether or not the dog has bitten somebody before or shown aggressive tendencies.
  • Negligence-based. Under a negligence-based system, dog bite injury victims can only recover compensation if they can prove that the dog owner’s negligence contributed to the bite injury.
  • One-bite rule. This type of dog bite rule bases liability for an injury on whether or not the dog’s owner had reason to believe their dog was dangerous, which usually means the dog has bitten somebody before.

Strict liability and negligence claims

The dog bite law(s) in New York combines elements of these different systems, specifically focusing on the one-bite rule with limited strict liability.

In New York, strict liability will only apply to an owner of a dog that has been previously determined as “dangerous.” If it cannot be found that a dog had previously bitten somebody or had a known propensity for aggression at the time of the incident, strict liability will not apply.

However, dog bite injury victims may still be able to hold the dog owner responsible, but they will have to prove that the dog owner was negligent. What this means is that the case moves from a strict liability claim to a traditional personal injury claim, meaning the elements of negligence apply. We encourage you to speak to your attorney about all possible routes of recovering compensation for your particular dog bite claim.

Comparative Negligence in New York

There may be situations where shared fault situations arise concerning a dog bite claim. These situations are likely to come up if a negligence claim has been made against the dog owner, as opposed to a strict liability dog bite claim.

If a dog bite injury victim shared some responsibility for causing the incident, or even most of the responsibility, they may still be able to recover compensation. When we examine the “pure comparative negligence” system in New York, we can see individuals can recover compensation even if they are up to 99% responsible for causing their injury. However, the total amount of compensation they receive gets reduced depending on their level of fault.

Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite injury victims are often able to recover various types of compensation for their losses. However, the types of compensation a person receives in these situations also depend on whether or not they recovered through a strict liability claim or as a result of a more traditional personal injury lawsuit after the dog bite occurred.

Individuals who recover compensation through a strict liability dog bite claim are only able to receive automatic compensation for their medical bills from the dog’s owner. Other types of compensation related to the incident and the recovery process are not included in strict liability claims, including things like lost income and pain and suffering damages.

In the event a person can recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit filed against a dog owner or another party, they may be able to recover a range of economic and non-economic damages. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • All emergency medical bills related to the dog bite
  • Coverage of physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Lost wages and loss of future earning potential
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering damages
  • Scarring and disfigurement damages
  • Loss of quality of life damages

There is no set amount of compensation paid to dog bite accident victims in Buffalo, and why. The reality is that several factors could influence compensation amounts, including the severity of the dog bite injuries, how long it takes a victim to recover, whether or not there was any shared fault, insurance policy limitations, and the overall assets of the alleged negligent dog owner.

How Long Do You Have to File a Dog Bite Injury Claim?

Dog bite injury victims in Buffalo have a limited amount of time to file their claims against an allegedly negligent party. The personal injury statute of limitations in NY specifies that these claims must be filed within two years from the date the injury occurs. Failing to file a lawsuit against the alleged negligent dog owner or other party within this time frame typically means the injury victim will not be able to recover compensation.

Additionally, because many of these claims are resolved through insurance settlements, you should be aware that the insurance carriers have various internal deadlines related to filing these claims. We encourage you to speak to your attorney as soon as possible so you can get your claim filed on time, regardless of whether or not you anticipate an insurance settlement or a trial by jury.

A Dog Bite Attorney in Buffalo, New York Will Skillfully Advocate for Your Rights

A dog attack is one of the most traumatic experiences a person can suffer. Dog bites in Buffalo take a significant physical, emotional, and financial toll. Many dog bite victims accept a smaller settlement from the insurance company than they deserve.

Our Buffalo dog bite attorneys are here to secure the full compensation for your injuries. At Towey Law, PLLC, we know immediate action is crucial to your case. Our personal injury firm can help connect you to the best doctors for your injuries. We will gather key evidence to support your case throughout our investigation, ensuring you recover the maximum compensation possible.

Contact our dog attack lawyers in Buffalo today to schedule a free consultation by clicking here or calling (716) 300-8232.