Dog Bite Attorneys | Lawyers for the Injured

Dog Bite2022-07-20T14:13:19+00:00

Personal Injury Lawyers Criminal Defense Attorneys Albany NY

Legal Assistance for Dog Bite Victims

Skilled Legal Counsel for Dog Bite Claims

Roughly 4.5 million dog bites occur every year in the United States. Although some of these bites are not serious in nature, some bites cause serious physical damage to the victim of the bite. If you have been bitten by a vicious dog and require hospital treatment, surgery, or other medical treatment, you should contact a lawyer.

A dog bite victim can be compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering. At LaMarche Safranko Law, we fight to obtain compensation for the full value of your harms and losses.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dog Bite Cases

Our personal injury lawyers provide answers to some important questions below.

If I’ve been bitten by a dog, can I be compensated?2023-06-06T18:06:52+00:00

Yes. A dog bite victim can be compensated for out of pocket medical expenses, lost wages, and past and future pain and suffering as long as it is shown that the dog had “vicious propensities” and that the owner of the dog knew, or should have known about the dangerousness of the dog. A personal injury attorney can file a claim against the dog owner and will seek money for your damages.

What does “vicious propensities” mean under N.Y. law?2020-07-08T18:24:46+00:00

This means the dog must have a habit of acting in a way that endangers people. Examples of a vicious dog include previous attacks, how the animal acts when it is approached, including barking, thrusting and showing its teeth. In New York, mere barking or an isolated straining at a leash would not demonstrate “vicious propensities”.

What if the dog has no prior history of biting people?2023-10-11T15:37:43+00:00

In order for a lawyer to sue an owner of a dog that bit you, it must be shown that the dog has “vicious propensities”. While a prior bite would demonstrate viciousness, it is not necessary. A dog can still be vicious even without a prior bite. However, there must be some type of behavior by the dog that demonstrates it is vicious.

Are pit bulls or other large dogs considered vicious under the law in New York?2020-07-08T18:24:00+00:00

Not automatically. Just because you were bitten by a Pit Bull, German Shepard or other large dog does not mean you can automatically bring a claim against the owner of the dog. It is still necessary to show that the dog had a history of being vicious and that the owner knew or had reason to know about the dog’s prior dangerous behaviors.

Understandably, the larger or stronger the dog the more serious your injury is likely to be. Therefore, your lawyer will want to know as much detail as possible about the breed and size of the dog that bit you.

Who pays for my injuries if a dog bites me?2020-07-08T18:23:33+00:00

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you can pursue a claim against the owner of the dangerous dog. If the owner of the dog owns a home or has rental insurance, the homeowner’s or renter’s insurance will likely defend the owner of the dog. If it is determined that the owner of the dog knew, or had reason to know the dog was dangerous, the insurance company will pay for your damages through a settlement before trial or by way verdict after a trial. In the case where there is no homeowner’s  or rental insurance coverage, or if the damages are worth more than the available homeowner’s or rental insurance coverage, the dog owner can be personally responsible for paying for the injuries.

How is the value of a dog bite case determined?2020-07-08T18:23:11+00:00

The value of your claim depends on what type of injuries you sustain. In New York there are 2 types of damages: economic and non-economic. The economic damages include lost earnings, and out of pocket expenses such as medical costs. The non-economic damages are the past and future pain and suffering that result from the injuries you suffered. The value of the economic damages can be quantified, and an actual dollar figure can be determined. On the other hand, the value of your pain and suffering will vary depending on the seriousness of the injury, the type of medical care you need, and how long the suffering lasts.

How long do I have to file a claim?2020-07-08T18:22:15+00:00

In New York, you have 3 years from the date of the dog bite to pursue a claim against the owner of a dog that bit you. If the dog is owned by municipality, such as a police dog, a claim must be filed within 90 days of the date of the bite.

How much will it cost me to sue the owner of the dog that bit me?2020-09-18T17:08:21+00:00

If you are injured by a dog bite and hire a personal injury lawyer to bring a claim against the owner of the dog, in most instances it will not cost you any money to hire the lawyer. Rather, the lawyer who represents you regarding your injury claim will work on a “contingency fee” basis. What this means is that if the case is successful, the lawyer will receive 1/3 of the settlement or verdict and you will receive 2/3 of the settlement or verdict. If there are costs to pursue the case, such as costs to obtain medical records, filing fees, expert costs, and/or investigative costs, those costs can also be taken out of the settlement or verdict so you will not have to come up with any money out of pocket.

How can I find out if the dog that bit me attacked someone before?2020-07-08T18:21:10+00:00

If you are unfamiliar with the dog that bit you, a request can be made to the town, city or village where the dog resides to see if there are any prior complaints regarding the dog or tickets issued against the dog in the past. Another option is to speak to neighbors of the dog owner to gather information about the history of the dog. Typically, your personal injury lawyer conducts this investigation to determine if there is a basis to pursue a claim.

If the dog that bit me is owned by my family, will they be personally responsible for paying for my injuries?2020-07-08T18:16:10+00:00

If you are injured, and if the dog has a history of being vicious, and if the owner of the dog has a liability insurance policy, you can receive compensation from the insurance policy rather than from the dog owner personally. You do not have to go after the personal assets of your relative or the owner of the dog that bit you.  You can rely on the money available within the confines of the insurance policy. This is a decision that always remains yours to make, similar to settling a case if an offer is made versus going to trial.

If a dog bites me and I have no insurance, will the dog owner’s insurance pay for my medical expenses?2020-07-08T18:15:19+00:00

It depends. If the dog owner has a homeowner’s insurance policy, there may be a medical payments provision in that policy to cover some of your immediate medical expenses. However, if the dog owner’s homeowner’s policy does not have a medical payments provision, your only remedy is to bring a claim against the dog owner. While the dog owner’s homeowner’s liability policy may ultimately pay for your pain, suffering and out of pocket expenses, including medical bills, payment from the liability policy takes much longer to pay out. In the event there is no medical payment policy available, perhaps the best option is to apply for private insurance if you can afford it, or if you can’t afford it, apply for needs based medical insurance such as Medicaid.

Timeline of a Personal Injury Case

Recent Verdicts & Settlements

Worksite Injury
Plaintiff was an ironworker who was injured when he fell from a ladder, suffering fractures to both elbows resulting in permanent loss of strength and loss of range of motion in both arms. His impairment limited the number and types of employment opportunities and limited his future earning potential.


Bicycle Accident
Plaintiff suffered two dislocated shoulders and a dislocated elbow after he was struck by a vehicle, which negligently swerved onto the shoulder and into the bike lane.


Automobile Accident
Plaintiff was a passenger in a vehicle which went off the road and rolled over, causing him to suffer significant permanent injuries, including skull fracture; fractured mandible requiring surgical placement of plates and screws; facial fractures and lacerations; sternal fracture; spinal fractures; lacerations to spleen, liver and lung; multiple rib and toe fractures; tinnitus and hearing loss; post-traumatic stress disorder; facial scarring and numbness.


Wrongful Death
Plaintiff, a 49-year-old man, was discharged from the hospital with critically low levels of potassium, which precipitated a fatal arrhythmia at home and subsequently caused his death. His family brought a claim against the hospital for medical negligence and wrongful death.


Federal Employers Liability Act/FELA
Plaintiff suffered a significant back injury while working for CSX.


Farm/Tractor Accident
The infant plaintiff fell from a tractor being operated by a farm employee and was run over by the tractor. The 10-year-old boy suffered a femur fracture requiring surgery, multiple facial fractures requiring surgery, foot and toe fractures and loss of consciousness.


Worksite Injury
Plaintiff, a roofing contractor, suffered a fractured skull, cervical spine fracture and fractured ribs after falling from a roof. The injuries left him with chronic pain and fatigue, limited tolerance for walking, lifting, or carrying and limitations in his hearing and vision.


Medical Negligence
Plaintiff suffered injuries as a result of negligent monitoring of prescription medication.


Nursing Home Negligence
An 87-year-old man was discharged from a local hospital on the afternoon of his death and returned to his assisted living facility. His health began to deteriorate throughout that evening; a nurse was told to check on him but never did. Facility staff found him unconscious on the floor in his room later that evening; paramedics were unable to revive him. It was claimed that the facility failed to obtain appropriate medical advice, assistance and treatment.


Worksite Injury
Plaintiff was injured when a fork from a forklift truck fell on top of his left leg, severely fracturing the tibia and fibula, requiring numerous surgeries and resulting in a permanent, partial loss of use of his leg.


Negligent Assault
Plaintiff was assaulted outside of a bar in Saratoga and as a result suffered a traumatic brain injury, a fractured skull, brain swelling and brain bleeding, facial contusions and bleeding, as well as lacerations and bruises on his body.  He also suffered from short and long term memory deficits and other cognitive deficits.


* Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.

LaMarche Safranko Law Testimonials


Vicki Testimonial Transcript
Well, I met George in 2014. My son was arrested for a criminal offense, and George—he has this ability, it’s just who he is. He’s genuinely empathetic and he’s very compassionate and he has the ability to just make you feel safe. You know? I just always felt I was in great hands and my son was in good hands and that we would have a good outcome of our situation and we always have. And he’s brilliant. He’s a brilliant lawyer. He’s very skilled and very creative. He has excellent rapport with all the judges and DAs and officials, and he’s always found a rehabilitative outcome for my son which I genuinely appreciate.

Laurie Testimonial Transcript
George was referred to me by my estate attorney. They go way back and it was a great referral, I don’t think I could have done any better, it was a very good match for me. Something that was really really instrumental in the whole thing was George keeping us up-to-date on what was going on and very much included. I was invited to be at all the depositions if I wanted to be and he gave me all the written depositions to read through, so I was always up-to-date on what was going on and I felt like a part of the process. I would definitely recommend George to other people. In fact, about 2 weeks ago I did. A friend of mine was in a pedestrian car accident, she was the pedestrian and is in pretty rough shape, and he was the first person I thought of so I actually asked him if it would be in his purview and he said yes. And I know that she’s very happy with him so far.

Jules Testimonial Transcript
What brought me to the firm was a personal incident where Andrew was recommended to me very highly by a family friend who’s also an attorney, and Andrew represented me to great satisfaction in that case. What impressed me the most about Andrew was his direct straightforward approach, and he has this incredible way of setting you at ease and yet telling you the good and the bad of a situation. I felt that he was very much a straight shooter and lived up to the reputation that preceded him. I would recommend them and Andrew Safranko to anybody in the world. They’re just that class of a group of people.

Chuck Testimonial Transcript
Well, I came to LaMarche Safranko Law because I knew Andy was here and he’s helped me in the past and I just feel so comfortable coming to him because you know you’re going to get the best outcome that you can get in a criminal law field. He’s done such a fabulous job for me and I’ve seen what he does for me, so I’m sure he’ll do the same—put out the same effort and energy and zeal it takes to win their case like he has mine. I would feel very comfortable recommending him.

“Dear Andy,

Thank you so much for everything you have done for our son over the last three years.  This has been a very challenging time for our family and the knowledge that our son has an attorney as capable and amazing as you are has given us peace of mind!

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Parents of a client from Cropseyville, NY

“My family and I cannot thank George and his staff enough for all of the support and guidance they have given us over the past six months. Anyone who has ever suffered a personal injury knows how difficult they are to overcome, but I’m glad we had such an intelligent and hardworking attorney on our side so I could focus on my recovery rather than on the details of the case….

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A personal injury client from Waterford, NY

“Dear George, Andy and Staff,

Thank you all for your kindness and all your help in getting back to my wellbeing and life.  I could not have done it without you all.  Everything is going so well again.  I recommend you highly. Thanks Again!”

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A client from Troy, NY

“Dear Mr. Safranko,

Thank You so much for answering my question, and so expediently!

The dedication, respect, and consideration with which you treat your clients, current and past, is remarkable. It is why I reached out to you when searching in my time of need, and why I would highly recommend…

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A client from Albany, NY

“I can honestly say that the best decision I’ve ever made was retaining George LaMarche as my attorney. I was in a situation where everything wasat risk; my career, livelihood, and the ability to provide for my family. In desperation, I contacted over a dozen attorneys. The majority of the lawyers I spoke with promised results without seeing paperwork or knowing valuable facts….

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A client from Albany, NY

“No one likes to be in a bad situation, but if you need a lawyer George is your man. Not only does he point you in the right direction he offers good advice for your future. As much as we bring him business he does not encourage that next time anticipation….

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A client from Albany, NY

“Throughout the attorney client relationship regarding my personal injury lawsuit, George and his staff continually exhibited tremendous amounts of legal knowledge, skill, and a vast amount of expert resources that ultimately resulted in a final judgment in my favor.  George was there every step of the way to explain where we stood and what to expect next and there was never a need to question his professional judgment…

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A client from Troy, NY

“I wanted to express my deepest appreciation to Mr. Andrew Safranko for the exceptional job he did in regards to my legal representation. Mr. Safranko displayed the utmost in professionalism and discretion during the entire court process, and took the time to explain each and every step….

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A client from Schenectady, NY

“I cannot thank George E. LaMarche lll and his team for the excellent legal work they provided for my son, and in extension, our entire family. His experience, knowledge of the law, networking ability and communication is second to none. In our case, our son was wrongly accused by a small town police officer and charged with 5 tickets…

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A client from Altamont, NY

“The staff at LaMarche Safranko Law took care of  whatever I needed, it was just fabulous. It was top shelf, if I called, I got George. If he was in a meeting, they left him a message. He called me right back after the meeting. Everybody was very courteous and very nice there. If I left a voicemail, everybody got back to me quickly. The level of service  was very, very good and I would Highly recommend them.”

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A personal injury client from Cohoes, NY

“I am an attorney who found himself in the middle of a serious, personal legal matter that compromised not only my personal life but my professional life as well. I immediately contacted Andrew (Andy) Safranko, Esq. Andy worked tirelessly and extremely hard to bring my legal situation to a very favorable resolution. In so doing, Andy not only saved certain aspects of my personal and professional life

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Anonymous Attorney from Albany, NY

“Dear Andrew and George,

I cannot thank you enough for your hard work, diligence, and selfless manner that you put towards my legal difficulties in Colonie. From the first moment I met you, you helped reassure me that things were going to turn out in a more favorable manner than I originally thought. Clearly, the final result of my court case displays the quality of time and work that you put into this….

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A client from Colonie, NY

“I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your excellent representation on my recent matter. I have worked with lawyers, and in law firms much of my professional life, but I have never encountered the rare mix of skill, integrity and humanity in one individual—you….

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A client from Rensselaer, NY

“The arrest of my husband in 2008 was an extremely difficult and emotional time for our family. The arrest turned our lives upside down. It was sudden and unexpected and had tragic emotional as well as financial consequences. I had no idea what to do under the circumstances….

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A client from Upstate New York
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