Dogs may be your best friend, but they’re also the source of a lot of animal attacks. New York law allows people to seek damages when a dog attacks you or another animal you own, but to do that you have to report the attack.
Reporting a dog bite in New York is a simple process, but you have to know who to contact. It differs from county to county. Here’s what you need to know to make sure your report goes to the right place, and what you need to do after an attack.
First Steps to Take After a Dog Bite
The very first thing you should do after a dog bite is call 911 for medical assistance. Dog bites can become infected easily and there is a risk of rabies. Even if you think the attack was small, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
You should also know that you can report an animal attack even if you’re not bit. Getting scratched or getting injured by falling down after an animal jumped on you are also reportable offenses.
You should report a dog bite or other animal attack within 24 hours, but if you are severely hurt, then you may need a friend or family member to do it for you. The hospital might have the contact information, or you can call the non-emergency number of your local police department.
For a free legal consultation with a lawyer serving New York, call (212) 732-2929
Information You’ll Need for the Dog Bite Report
In the heat of the moment, it may be hard to get some of the information they’ll ask for. Try to get the following information for your report:
- When and where the bite happened
- What kind of animal, breed, and color
- Contact information of the animal owner
- Your contact information
- Where you were injured
- What you were doing when you were attacked
- Whether you received medical treatment
A dog owner may be reluctant to give you that information, but calling 911 for help should summon police. They can question neighbors to find out who owns the animal.
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Where Should I Report the Dog Bite?
The dog bite should be reported to the office in your county responsible for handling animal attacks. If you are attacked in New York City, you’ll want to report an animal bite with the NYC Department of Health.
If you live on Long Island in Suffolk County, call the Department of Health Services at 631-853-0333. If you live in Nassau County, call the Health Department at 516-227-6993. For all other counties, the best place to start is calling your county health department.
If you call 911 after your attack, the operator or the summoned professionals may also know who needs to be contacted for your local county. Try to report within 24 hours. This is good for both legal reasons and health reasons.
After the Dog Bite Report Is Filed
After someone files a report, New York law requires animal owners to quarantine their animals for a rabies check for 10 days. Your local reporting department will also check to see if the animal has attacked anyone in the past. This is crucial for damages.
New York is a “one-bite rule” state. If a dog hasn’t been proven to be vicious or hasn’t had a history of a prior attack, you may not be able to pursue a claim for damages against the dog’s owner or other parties. However, if it can be proven, then you may be able to recover non-economic damages like disfigurement, mental anguish, and pain and suffering.
If you have been seriously injured by a dog attack, contact an experienced lawyer to protect your rights. Dog owners will usually not admit that a dog has had prior instances of vicious behavior or prior dog bites. The dog bite lawyers at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates will conduct a careful and thorough investigation of your case which may include interviewing neighbors and other entities to determine if the involved animal has shown prior dangerous behavior.
Reporting a dog attack is also responsible behavior that benefits your community. If you don’t report your dog attack, the pet owner may not know that their dog is dangerous, or worse, a subsequent attack on another may have been preventable.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Dansker & Aspromonte Associates have been fighting for the rights of injury victims since 1988. Call our attorneys for a free consultation. You may be entitled to substantial compensation for your physical, psychological or financial damages. If we are able to accept your case, you will not be required to pay us any money up front. We only earn a legal fee when you recover compensation.