At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, we strive for more than just winning a case. Our clients are considered part of the family, and we treat each one with the utmost level of respect and dedication they deserve. When our clients come to us for help, they are facing some of the most challenging times in their lives. We never underestimate the level of pain and suffering each situation can bring. Our exceptional team provides quality services that are unique to each individual’s needs to ensure you are educated and supported throughout the entirety of the legal process. If you need Long Island Dog bite lawyers contact our team today!
In 1987, Jim Winkler, Sandy Kurtz, and Rich Winkler established the law firm of Winkler, Kurtz & Winkler, LLP in Port Jefferson Station, New York. As one dynamic firm, these three young men brought together years of shared experience in the areas of personal injury law and family law. From the start, Winkler Kurtz, LLP has been devoted to helping Long Islanders get back on their feet after a tragic accident or the loss of a marriage.
In 2005, Winkler Kurtz, LLP expanded the firm by developing our Estates, Wills and Trusts department due to high demand from existing clients for services to help plan for terminal illness and death. Today we have seven attorneys, each of whom has developed a commitment and proficiency to one field of law.
James R. Winkler
James R. Winkler is a Partner at Winkler Kurtz, LLP with over 35 years of concentrated experience in the area of matrimonial and family law. Known for his impressive litigation abilities, Jim has successfully settled numerous family matters and domestic relations over his career to secure favorable results for his clients and their loved ones.
Richard D. Winkler
Richard D. Winkler is a founding partner at Winkler Kurtz, LLP with over 30 years of expertise to offer his clients. Concentrating his entire career in the area of personal injury law, Rich understands that his clients have a choice when they hire an attorney on Long Island, and it’s his goal to make everyone who walks into his office a “client for life.”
HOW MUCH CAN I SUE FOR A DOG BITE?
A dog bite can cause serious injuries. The emotional scars may be even deeper. If the dog that bit you was previously reported for aggressive behavior, you might have a cause of action against its owner based on the legal theory of negligence per se. For more information, contact our Long Island dog bite lawyers today at Winkler Kurtz, LLP.
What’s Negligence Per Se?
Negligence per se is a common law concept in which liability is imposed without a showing of actual carelessness if certain facts are proven. In dog bite cases, negligence per se can arise where the owner knew or should have known that the dog had dangerous propensities—such as prior attacks on people or other animals—and failed to prevent injury by taking reasonably prudent steps.
Understanding New York Dog Bite Cases
The concept sounds intimidating, but it’s actually pretty simple. Here’s what you need to know about negligence per se in New York dog bite cases.
(1) The owner knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous propensities. If you were bitten by a dog, your burden is to show that the owner knew or should have known of the animal’s propensity to attack without provocation. This is usually proven by showing that the dog had bitten someone before, but you can also prove it by showing that the dog exhibited other aggressive behaviors.
(2) The owner failed to prevent injury with reasonable care. If you can show dangerous propensities and lack of precautions on the part of the owner, then you have shown negligence per se. But you still have to show that the owner’s failure to take precautions was negligent—that is, that a reasonable person in the same situation would have taken measures to protect others from the dog.
(3) The injured party was not at fault. If you were partly or totally responsible for your injury, you cannot collect damages, even if negligence per se exists. This is an application of the general rule that a person who negligently injures someone else cannot recover for his own injuries based on the other person’s negligence.
(4) The injury proximately resulted from the dog bite. If you can prove facts showing all four elements—dangerous propensities, lack of precautions on the owner’s part, negligence on the part of the owner, and your lack of fault—then you have a cause of action for negligence per se. But there are additional requirements that must be met before you can collect damages. If you were bitten by someone else’s dog while lawfully in a public place or on private property, you will not be able to recover if the injury resulted from your own negligence in the “operation of any vehicle,” unless the bite or other injury resulted from a sudden slip or fall while you were walking.
(5) Damages are limited by statute. If you can bring a successful negligence per se claim, damages are limited to medical expenses or other reasonable costs incurred as a result of the injury, and punitive damages are not permitted.
(6) Damages may be reduced by comparative negligence. Even if your dog bite claim meets the requirements for negligence per se, your total recovery can be reduced by any percentage that you were at fault. For example, if your case meets the requirements of negligence per se and a jury awards you $20,000 in damages, but you were 10 percent responsible for what happened, your total recovery will be reduced to $18,000.
Other Important Notes Regarding Dog Bites
In addition to negligence per se claims based on previous attacks by the dog or its owner’s knowledge of such an attack, owners may also be liable under a theory of negligence per quod . In order to establish this theory, you must prove that the dog was in fact dangerous—for instance, there were previous attacks by the animal.
Contact Our Long Island Dog Bite Lawyers
If you’ve suffered an injury due to another party’s negligence, we can help. Dog bites are a serious matter, but our Long Island dog bite lawyers are here to provide you with assistance. Give us a call today at 631-928-800 or fill out the form on our website by clicking here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Naturally, if you’re new to a personal injury lawsuit, you likely have several questions about the process, timing, and anything else in between. At Winkler Kurtz LLP, we strive to provide our clients with the clearest transparency regarding any questions you may have regarding your legal case. We understand our clients needs, and we cater to you in regards to any potential questions that may arise throughout the entirety of our legal battle with you.
For all other potential questions, our staff has compiled a list below of some of the most frequent personal injury questions that have been asked at our Long Island office:
The word to keep in mind in regards to personal injury is negligence. Were you injured as a result of someone else’s misconduct? Accidents are often the driving key when it comes to a case involving personal injury cases. Examples of accidents such as these can include car accident (most common), slip and fall cases, wrongful death, defective or damaged products, and many others. See below for a list of potential cases, and consider if you’ve been a victim of negligence for any of the following:
- Aside from cars, other automobile accidents i.e. motorcycle, truck, bicycle, etc.
- Pedestrian accidents
- Construction accidents and work related injuries
- Medical malpractice (one of our specialties)
- Wrongful death
- Hospital negligence
- Surgical errors
- Struck by an object
- Machinery or equipment injury
- Falling off a ladder or scaffolding
As specialists in the realm of personal injury, we proudly support our clients and help them gather the compensation they not only require but deserve. For a full listing of all our personal injury specialties, please give us a call today.
If you were injured in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, in all likelihood, you will have a personal injury case. Review of your situation will be necessary, which is why we ask our prospective clients to schedule their free consultation with us. That way, we don’t waste your time or money and can give you an answer after reviewing the facts regarding your situation. The fact of the matter is that all personal injury cases can vary. But we always try to cater to our clients needs and provide them with the necessary resources.
Bodily injury is also key when identifying if you have a case. If you have a physical injury that will require medical expenses to recover from, you may be entitled to compensation. Should you also miss time from work, you can also be eligible to receive compensation for any lost wages.
Unfortunately this is a vague response, but it really does depend on your situation. Should a settlement be reached, your personal injury case may resolve a lot faster than most people’s cases. However, if a settlement is not reached, your case will then need to go to civil court after filing a personal injury lawsuit. This will likely extend the timing of the process and can extend the case to last even longer. If you accept the first settlement offer, then on average, your case could be resolved within 9 months. At maximum, it can take up to a couple years for a resolution to be reached for your case. It also depends on the nature of your case. Typically, car accident cases are resolved sooner as opposed to those involving medical negligence.
In most cases, your personal injury claim will likely not need to be brought to court. Settlements are the most common resolution when it comes to personal injury cases. These settlements are negotiations that are discussed between your personal injury lawyer on Long Island at Winkler Kurtz and the negligent parties’ insurance company. We work tirelessly for our clients to help you attain the settlement value that you deserve regarding your personal injury case. In the unlikely event that a settlement is not reached, we can file a lawsuit on your behalf and bring your case into civil court. Damages and fault will need to be agreed upon from there, but as always we will provide you with the strongest possible legal representation.
DOES HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE COVER DOG BITES IN NEW YORK?
While common coverage for homeowners usually includes liability insurance, there are several other specific claims that may be brought under it as well. Other covered claims include damage to items inside your home, your personal items, injuries on your property and even damage or loss of trees or plants on your property.
Homeowner’s insurance does cover dog bites. New York is a “no-fault” dog bite state which means that insurance coverage for incidents will apply regardless of who was at fault. If you are walking down the street with your children and a dog attack you, homeowner’s insurance will cover all damages that result. If you live in New York and are looking for Long Island dog bite lawyers, please contact Winkler Kurtz LLP.
However, if the incident occurs in your own yard or on your property, it is important to note that dog owners are responsible for their pets’ behavior. If you are bitten by an off-leash dog in your backyard, it is possible that your insurance company will leave it to you to collect damages from the dog owner.
Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Dogs in New York
When You are Charged with Dog Bite Liability
New York law requires that all dog owners have at least $50,000 in liability insurance. This covers any injuries or property damage caused by your dog when he is away from your property. Your homeowner’s insurance will provide this coverage, even if your dog has never been to blame for any accidents in the past.
Effects of Dog Bite Insurance on Your Homeowner’s Insurance Rates and Coverage
Many consider a dog bite to be one of the most financially devastating mishaps that can occur. Not only do you have the potential for severe injuries, but you also could be held responsible for extensive medical bills and even property damage. The idea of having to cover the damages yourself is enough to make any dog owner worry about their insurance rates after an incident.
New York state has “no-fault” laws that protect all dog owners following a bite incident. Insurance companies are not allowed to hike your premiums or drop you because of a dog attack that occurs after 1986. If the incident did occur on your property, homeowner’s insurance will cover all costs for medical bills and property damage without any impact on your rates so long as this was an unprovoked attack.
What Will Not Be Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance will not cover injuries that result from your dog biting another animal. If you are bitten by a neighbor’s cat, the medical bills and property damage will be your responsibility to pay. Additionally, homeowner’s insurance will not cover any damages if your dog is in the act of attacking someone or if you knew that the dog was dangerous and did nothing to prevent the incident.
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Am I Required To Report My Dog Bite In The State Of New York?
Yes, you are required to report any dog bites that occur in the state of New York. This includes bites that occur on public or private property, as well as those that occur while the dog is off its leash. Dog owners who fail to report a bite may be subject to civil and criminal penalties. If you have been bitten by a dog, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You should also contact your local animal control agency to make a report. In some cases, the agency may require that the dog be quarantined for a period of time. Our Suffolk County Dog Bite Lawyers at Winkler Kurtz, LLP are experts in this area of personal injury.
What Should Be Included In The Dog Bite Report?
When you make a report to animal control, be sure to include the following information so that no detail is missed in the report:
-The name, address and phone number of the dog’s owner
-The name and contact information of the person who was bitten
-A description of the dog, including its breed, color and approximate size
-The location of the incident
-The time and date of the incident
-Any witnesses to the incident
-The extent of the victim’s injuries
If you have any questions about reporting a dog bite, or if you need help filing a personal injury claim, contact our Suffolk County Dog Bite Lawyers at Winkler Kurtz, LLP today. We offer free consultations, and we will not hesitate to fight for the compensation you deserve. Our law firm specializes in the realm of personal injury. And we have specialists who work specifically in handling dog bite cases.
After I Report My Dog Bite, What Should I Do Next?
After you have reported your dog bite, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if your injuries seem minor, it is important to have them evaluated by a doctor. Some dog bites can lead to serious infections, and some victims may require surgery. In addition to seeking medical treatment, you should also contact our Suffolk County Dog Bite Lawyers at Winkler Kurtz, LLP. We can help you understand your legal rights and options, and we will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. We believe that you are entitled to your compensation, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve that goal.
How Do I Know If I Qualify For Compensation From A Dog Bite?
In order to qualify for compensation, you must be able to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent. This means that they knew or should have known that their dog was dangerous, and they failed to take appropriate measures to keep others safe. For example, if the owner knew that their dog had a history of biting people, but they did not keep it on a leash or provide adequate warning to others, they may be held liable for any resulting injuries. If you have been injured by a dog, contact our Suffolk County Dog Bite Lawyers at Winkler Kurtz, LLP to discuss your case. We will review the facts of your case and help you determine if you are eligible for compensation.
Contact Our Long Island Dog Bite Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, contact our Suffolk County Dog Bite Lawyers at Winkler Kurtz, LLP today. We have extensive experience handling these types of cases, and we will not hesitate to fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us now at (631) 928-8000 or fill out our online form to schedule a free consultation.
The Primary Differences Between Lost Income & Earning Potential After a Dog Bite Injury
When you suffer an injury following an accident due to the negligence of someone else, there are several ways you may suffer afterward. Not only can an injury affect your health, but it can also affect your ability to perform your job, either temporarily or permanently. You may need to take time off of work to heal. At Winkler Kurtz, LLP, we help our clients with their personal injury cases so they can reach the compensation they deserve and move forward on their path to healing. To learn more about the differences between loss of income and lost earning potential, continue reading below.
What is Lost Income?
When an injury has forced you to take time off work either temporarily or permanently, you can claim a loss of income. This amount can be calculated using your salary or wages and multiplying it by the amount of time you will be out of work. This amount can include actual lost wages and future lost wages, as well as any benefits of which you are entitled. To be reimbursed for your lost income, you will need to show the following:
- The time you spent out of work because of your accident, injury, and recovery.
- The amount of money you would have made during this time.
If you are unsure how to gather the evidence to support your claim, our team at Winkler Kurtz will always be available to help.
Loss of Earning Potential
Another element of a loss of income claim is the loss of earning potential. In this case, a victim can seek reimbursement for the amount of money they would have made in the future if they were not injured. A critical difference between lost income capacity and lost income is that it is prospective rather than retrospective. The damages a victim may be rewarded for lost earning potential are based on:
- How long a victim will be unable to work.
- Their age and health before the injury.
- If they will eventually be able to return to work.
- Their life expectancy before the injury.
- How their performance will be limited.
- Their career goals and work ethic.
While it is relatively easy to prove lost earnings, it is more challenging to demonstrate a loss of earning potential. Healthcare professionals may need to provide testimony to illustrate the extent of a victim’s injuries and how their ability to work will be affected in the future. Our team will work with you to examine all areas of your situation and help you build a case that enables you to achieve the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Long Island Dog Bite Lawyers
Suffering an injury can be costly. If you are out of work due to an injury and are looking to recover damages, our team at Winkler Kurtz, LLP. is here to help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will evaluate your case and help you take the necessary steps to yield your desired results. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation.