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While wonderful companions, dogs are also prone to erratic behavior. Even though a dog bite may seem harmless at first, an infection may develop after days or weeks have passed. In some cases, a canine bite can be life-threatening, requiring immediate medical intervention.

At Steve Foley Law Firm, we understand the tribulations of tending with a dog bite. If you have fallen victim to a canine attack, know that you are not alone. Our Albany dog bite attorneys have successfully helped dog bite victims recover the compensation to which they are entitled. Let us help you recover your just award.

Common Dog Bite Infections

A dog bite can lead to any of the following infections:

Staphylococcus Aureus

Staphylococcus aureus, commonly referred to as staph, is a germ that is naturally found in a dog’s saliva. The chances of contracting staph are high following a dog bite.

Symptoms may include the following:

  • Boils: Painful, red lumps at the location of the bite
  • Cellulitis: An infection of the deeper layers of the skin that causes oozing from the infection site
  • Endocarditis: a bloodstream infection that causes the inner lining of the heart’s chambers and valves to become inflamed.

Tetanus

A serious infection of the nervous system, tetanus is caused by a bacteria called Clostridium tetani. The disease can be life-threatening, with symptoms including:

  • Muscle rigidity in the jaw
  • Spasms and stiffness in the neck muscles
  • Tension in the muscles surrounding the lips
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Rigid abdominal muscles

New York’s “One Bite” Law

Each state has its own laws pertaining to dog bites. New York follows the “one bite” law regarding dog attacks. Under the law, there must be evidence that the dog attacked someone in the past for the dog owner to be “on the hook.” Essentially, if a dog owner knew or should have known that the dog is violent or has a proclivity to attack, then the victim may be able to recover compensation.

However, there are circumstances in which the owner may not be held responsible. These include:

  • If the dog does not have a history of biting another person
  • If the victim was teasing or provoking the animal
  • If the victim was trespassing

Penalties

One bite alone is often enough to hold a dog owner responsible for an attack. Under New York law, the dog owner may be fined $400. If a dog seriously injures another person, then the owner may be fined as much as $1,500.

Compensatory Damages

A dog bite victim may recover compensation for their injuries and losses, known as damages. Compensatory damages come in two forms: economic and noneconomic.

Economic damages are any losses that take money directly away from you. These may include:

  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Ambulatory services
  • Surgeries and treatments
  • Rehabilitative therapy

On the other hand, noneconomic damages are losses that impact your quality of life but do not have monetary value on their own. These may include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Infliction of emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement and scarring

Suffered a Canine Bite? Contact our Albany Dog Bite Attorneys Now

The pain from a dog bite can be agonizing. In addition to physical harm, you will likely be consumed with numerous medical expenses. This stress is only intensified when a person’s injuries force them to miss work. If you have recently suffered a canine attack, our legal team is ready to assist you. To schedule your complimentary consultation, contact us online or by calling 716-249-2222.