Buffalo Dog Bite Lawyer

Dog bites can be catastrophic, forever changing the life of a victim. If you’ve been attacked by a dog in Buffalo, New York, it’s important to explore your legal options. Through a legal claim for damages, you can demand accountability from a dog owner’s owner and/or another liable party. The experienced Buffalo dog bite lawyers at O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers can help you maximize your recovery.

Dog bite victims and families in Buffalo trust O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers when they’re dealing with debilitating injuries or the loss of a loved one. As accomplished New York trial attorneys with over eight decades of collective experience, we’ve pressed insurance companies and corporations to pay our clients tens of millions in compensation.

Today, our top-rated law firm is ready to help you make things right. We offer a free consultation. Contact our law office in Buffalo, NY at (716) 222 2222 to get started today.

How O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help If You’ve Been Attacked By a Dog in Buffalo, NY

How O'Brien & Ford, PC Can Help If You’ve Been Attacked By a Dog in Buffalo, NY

You need an advocate in your corner if you’ve been bitten by a dog. After all, the dog owner won’t rush to accept responsibility. The insurance company and other potentially liable parties will not put your interests first. You’ll have to force meaningful conversations to get the results you deserve. That’s why you shouldn’t hesitate to enlist the help of our Buffalo personal injury lawyers.

At O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re recognized as Legal Elite in Western New York and the Top 50 Upstate New York litigators by Super Lawyers. Why? We offer compassionate, trustworthy, effective legal representation that consistently makes a difference in the lives of the people we represent.

When you turn to our personal injury law firm in Buffalo for help after a dog bite, you’ll give yourself the time you need to get better. You’ll also take the stress of litigation off your plate because we’ll handle it from start to finish.

We will:

  • Promptly investigate your dog bite case 
  • Evaluate vet records, medical records, photographs, video footage, witness statements, and other evidence
  • Enlist qualified experts to consult as we build your case and calculate your damages
  • Stay on top of all administrative aspects of your case, ensuring claims are filed before applicable filing deadlines
  • Press the insurance company and other liable parties to offer you a meaningful settlement during negotiations
  • Keep you updated on the status of your case and be available to answer your questions throughout
  • Reject unreasonably low settlements and argue your dog bite lawsuit before an Erie County jury, if necessary

We’re serious about helping you get justice for your dog bite injuries. Trust us to be your most dedicated advocate and fight to obtain the monetary award you need to move forward. We offer a free consultation and work on contingency. You pay nothing unless we win compensation for your dog bite injury case.

Contact our Buffalo law office to learn more today.

Are Dog Bites Common in New York?

It’s estimated that 4.5 million people – mostly children – are bitten by dogs across the United States annually. While dog bites can happen anywhere, they’re most common in a handful of states.

According to State Farm, dog bites are common in New York state. In fact, New York ranks in the top 10 for dog bite injury claims nationwide. 

In 2022, State Farm processed 121 dog bite claims, paying out a total of $9.5 million to victims.

This is just a glimpse into one company’s dog bite payouts. Dozens of insurance companies process dog bite claims in New York.

Does New York Have a One-Bite Rule?

First, let’s discuss what the one-bite rule is. Many states have a law in place that protects owners from liability when their dogs attack people or other animals. Essentially, the dog’s first bite is free. Strict liability attaches once an owner knows of their dog’s vicious propensities.

New York does not have a traditional one-bite rule. Instead, the state has adopted a hybrid approach to dog bite cases.

Dog owners can be strictly liable for medical bills and costs of care resulting from a dog’s bite, regardless of whether the dog has a history of aggression.

Dog owners can be strictly liable for additional damages if they knew or should have known about a dog’s vicious tendencies.

You can also pursue compensation from a dog owner if you can demonstrate that their negligence contributed to your dog bite. Negligence might involve violating Buffalo’s leash laws or failing to fix holes in a fence that could allow a dog to escape the confines of a yard.

How Do I Win My Buffalo Dog Bite Lawsuit?

It depends on who you’re suing for your dog bite injuries. Parties other than the dog’s owner might be liable for your dog bite, too.

When you sue a dog’s owner, your case can be based on strict liability and/or negligence.

In a strict liability action against an animal’s owner, you must prove:

  • You were lawfully on the owner’s property or public property
  • You were bitten or otherwise attacked by a dog
  • The dog was owned by the defendant or under their control
  • You’ve suffered injuries and damages

You may also have to contest allegations that you provoked the animal. The owner may try to raise these types of claims to prevent you from recovering compensation.

Dog bite cases can also be a matter of premises liability. If you were attacked by a dog on someone else’s property, the owner of the premises could potentially be responsible for your resulting damages. This would be the case if their negligence contributed to the dog attack.

In a negligence-based dog bite claim filed against a business or property owner in Buffalo, you’ll need to prove:

  • The owner of the premises owed you a duty of care because you were on the premises with their implied or express consent
  • The owner breached this duty of care by allowing a vicious dog to be on the premises or by failing to take appropriate measures to keep you safe or warn of known threats to your safety
  • The owner’s action or inaction caused you to get bitten by a dog
  • You’ve suffered damages, such as medical bills, disability, and distress

In either case, you must prove your dog bite claim by a preponderance of the evidence. Your allegations, as supported by evidence, must be more likely true than not.

Helping You Seek Compensation For All of Your Dog Bite Injuries

A dog, no matter the breed, can inflict catastrophic injuries with a single bite. Their jaws are powerful and can do significant damage, especially when a victim is a young child. 

At O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers, we’re committed to helping you get compensation for every dog bite injury you or your child has suffered, including:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Amputation 
  • Infections
  • Diseases
  • Internal organ damage
  • Nerve damage
  • Eye injury
  • Catastrophic injury
  • Wrongful death

Report your dog bite to the local Buffalo Police Department immediately by calling 911. Then, arrange for prompt medical treatment to reduce the risk of infection and complications. Once your injuries have stabilized, reach out to our award-winning personal injury law firm to discuss your legal rights and options.

What Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims in Buffalo, New York?

As the victim of a debilitating dog bite in Buffalo, New York, you’ll have the opportunity to seek compensatory damages from the owner, an insurance company, or another liable party.

Compensatory awards – which include both economic damages and non-economic damages – can help you with:

  • Medical bills, including reconstructive surgery, prosthetics, and medical devices
  • Disability
  • Rehabilitation
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Nursing care
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical disfigurement and scarring
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Mental anguish
  • Chronic physical pain
  • Embarrassment

Punitive damages may also be awarded by a jury if it’s demonstrated that the owner instructed their dog to attack you or was grossly negligent in caring for their animal.

How Long After I’m Bitten By a Dog Can I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit in New York?

New York has a three-year statute of limitations for most dog bite lawsuits. If you’ve lost a family member because of a fatal dog bite in Buffalo, you’ll have two years from their death to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Parents and guardians have the right to bring a dog bite claim on behalf of an injured child. If this does not happen, the child has until their 21st birthday to file a dog bite lawsuit themselves.

You have to file a legal claim within the applicable timeframe, as established by New York state law. If you don’t, you lose the opportunity to demand compensation from a dog’s owner or another at-fault party.

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Buffalo Dog Bite Lawyer

Turn to O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers for help if you’ve been attacked by a dog in Buffalo, New York. You have the right to hold the dog’s owner responsible for your traumatic experience. Our Buffalo dog bite attorneys can help.

Collectively, our team has over 84 years of experience. During our time practicing law, we’ve demonstrated an unparalleled ability to take on tough opponents and force meaningful results for our clients. 

Contact our Buffalo law office today to learn more. Your initial case evaluation is free.