Syracuse Dog Bite Attorney

Dangerous dogs pose serious concerns for adults and children throughout Syracuse. While most dogs are friendly, even seemingly relaxed dogs can turn on you when you least expect it. Dogs are still animals with certain instincts, and may attack under the right conditions.

Especially with a dog you know or have met before, you never expect that they will attack you or your child. But that can happen, and when it does, it can be both frightening and painful.

At Finkelstein & Partners LLP, we know the concerns and questions you have after suffering a dog bite. Whether the dog has attacked you or your child, our team of experienced Syracuse dog bite attorneys can answer all of your questions and be your guide through the legal process ahead.

Dog bite injuries can lead to serious and lifelong consequences for the victim. Our goal is to help you hold the negligent party liable for your dog bite injuries, working toward collecting the maximum compensation so you do not pay a penny out of your own pocket.

Why Dogs Attack

The simple truth is that most dogs bite out of fear. It’s a defense mechanism for dogs. When they are fearful of someone or something, they show teeth and possibly bite.

Other dogs bite for territorial reasons. Some dogs are trained to guard property and protect their owners. If they fear that someone is there to harm them or their owners, they may attack, even if their fear is misplaced.

Even just startling a dog can make the dog fearful of you and react with a bite, even if they know you. Dogs have sharp teeth and even a quick bite can break the skin.

What to Do After a Dog Bites You

If you are injured by a dog somewhere in Syracuse, the most important thing you can do is treat your dog bite immediately. You need to make sure your injury is treated quickly by using a clean cloth to apply pressure to the bite area, using topical disinfectant if available, and then seek medical attention.

Taking these four steps after a dog bite can increase your chances of making a full recovery.

  1. Seek medical attention. Dogs carry lots of bacteria in their mouths. That bacteria can be harmful to humans and when a dog bites you, some of the bacteria may enter your body. Seeking immediate medical attention will help ensure that you are healthy. If your doctor finds an infection, the faster they can begin treatment, the less likely it is that you will suffer long-term consequences.
  2. Find the dog’s owner. If you know the dog or its owner, find out if the dog has been vaccinated. If you do not know the dog or its owner, contact animal control to help you locate the dog’s owner. If you cannot determine if the dog has been properly vaccinated, you may need to undergo rabies vaccination. If left untreated, you could face a lifetime of serious medical needs.
  3. Keep a journal. After your dog bite, write down everything you remember about the attack. Describe what you were doing and why you think the dog attacked you. As you progress through your medical recovery, keep notes about how you feel, what activities you can and cannot do, and your level of pain. Over time, you may forget the extent of your daily struggles. Keeping a journal can help your legal team show what you had to endure to get better, potentially increasing your compensation.
  4. Contact Finkelstein & Partners LLP. For over 50 years, we have been helping dog bite victims in Syracuse recover compensation for their injuries. Our main goal is to shoulder the legal stress and guide you through the Syracuse dog bite claim process. This gives you the chance to put all of your effort and energy on your physical recovery, while we work to get you every dollar you deserve.

Syracuse Dog Bite Bite Complications

Seeing your skin cut from a dog’s sharp teeth is worrisome on its own, but you could face much more danger that you cannot see.

Nearly 20 percent of all dog bites become infected. This is why it is vital to your physical health and well-being that you seek medical attention right away. You need to make sure that your body is taken care of and you get the treatment you need to get back to your regular life as quickly as possible.


If left untreated, rabies often leads to death. The virus attacks the human brain and is spread by the dog’s saliva entering your body through the bite. While the best way to prevent rabies is by vaccinating dogs, if you suffer a dog bite and are unsure the dog has had a rabies vaccine, you must seek medical attention immediately to ensure your life is not in danger.


This virus is less severe than rabies but still poses a threat to humans. People with weakened immune systems can suffer serious consequences if bit by a dog with capnocytophaga.


Also passed through the dog’s saliva, this will cause a painful, red infection where you suffered the dog bite. It can also cause joint swelling and difficulty moving.


Upon entering your body through the dog bite, staphylococcal can affect all of your body’s organs. It often causes skin, lung, and urinary tract infections and can lead to life-threatening infections if not properly treated.


This toxin enters your body through a dog bite. It often causes high blood pressure, fever, and respiratory failure. In people with weakened immune systems, it can also cause paralysis.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often thought of as something that soldiers deal with upon their return from war. But any traumatic, life-altering event can cause PTSD. Victims of mass shootings, serious car accidents, and even dog bite attacks are known to suffer PTSD, especially children. Overcoming PTSD can be extremely challenging as the disorder can be debilitating, leaving the victim with little ability to go about their daily life.

Determining Who Is Responsible for Your Syracuse Dog Bite

Determining liability can be more difficult than you might think. Different states have different laws surrounding dog bites. Some states use strict liability, meaning the dog’s owner is liable for any injuries the dog causes. Other states use a one-bite rule, meaning that once a dog bites someone one time, the dog owner knows the dog might do so again and needs to take appropriate action.

To make things more confusing, New York uses both rules. If a dog is considered dangerous, the dog owner is strictly liable for the medical costs of the victim. Besides medical costs, the dog owner may also have to pay a fine if they acted negligently or failed to properly restrain the dog.

New York law also provides for criminal penalties in certain situations. But you should be aware that any criminal conviction or penalties the dog owner may be required to pay will not cover all of the medical bills you may face.

While it may be clear the dog owner is liable for their dog attacking you, it might be less clear as to how you collect compensation. That’s where the experience and skill of Finkelstein & Partners LLP can help you. Our team of knowledgeable Syracuse dog bite attorneys can help you determine who is to blame for your dog bite injuries and help you recover maximum compensation from them. Your ability to recover from your dog bite injuries can depend on the lawyer you choose.

Getting Compensation for Your Syracuse Dog Bite Injuries

No amount of money will reverse the suffering you have endured. No amount of money will reverse the changes you have faced in your life. The compensation you may collect, however, will make sure that you do not suffer financial hardship because of your dog bite injuries.

When you partner with a trusted dog bite lawyer in Syracuse, your lawyer may try to collect compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Present and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs

The majority of your medical expenses may come in the future. A dog bite might seem like a relatively harmless injury, but dog bites can prove fatal or leave you with a lifetime of medical needs.

A severe dog bite injury may prevent you from working in the same capacity as before. This can hinder your ability to make a living and pay your medical expenses.

Your Syracuse dog bite attorney can help you determine how much money you may lose throughout your life as a direct result of your dog bite injuries. This can increase the amount of compensation you can recover, ensuring that you do not pay a dime out of your own pocket for your medical expenses or financial losses.

Filing a Syracuse Dog Bite Lawsuit

To attempt collecting money from the dog’s owner for your dog bite injuries, you may need to file a lawsuit against them. You need to file your lawsuit soon, and that’s why you must speak with an experienced dog bite lawyer in Syracuse as soon as possible after your injuries. If you miss this important filing deadline, you could miss out on your chance to recover compensation from the dog’s owner.

The point of filing a lawsuit is to ensure that you do not suffer more than you already have. Your goal is to collect compensation so you can cover your medical expenses and any financial losses you face resulting from your dog bite injury.

The last thing you may be thinking about after a dog attacks you is filing a lawsuit. If you know the dog’s owner, you may not want to file a lawsuit at all. But remember that in most cases, you are really filing a claim against their insurance, not them personally.

When you partner with a trusted dog bite attorney in Syracuse, they take on the burden of dealing with your legal claim so you can focus all of your effort and energy on your physical health and well-being. With the right legal team at your side, you can get the peace of mind that your case is in good hands and your best interests are at heart.

andrew finkelstein
Syracuse Dog Bite Attorney, Andrew Finkelstein

Syracuse Dog Bite Settlement Negotiations

Part of the role your legal representative will play in the attempt to collect maximum compensation for you is negotiating with the insurance company representing the dog’s owner. Most dogs are on their owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy, as dogs are considered property.

The dog owner’s insurance company will want to settle your case quickly. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible for your claim. Obviously, your goal is different.

That’s why an aggressive Syracuse personal injury lawyer can be the answer to your problems. Your lawyer can be the legal advocate you deserve, standing up to the big insurance company, fighting tooth and nail to help you collect every dollar you deserve. You and your family should not bear the financial burden suffered after your dog bite injury. Let your lawyer fight to protect your rights and help you collect the compensation you need to get back to your regular life.

Get Help From Experienced Dog Bite Lawyers in Syracuse

Dog bite cases might seem simple, but they are in reality anything but. Because New York is a mixed state when it comes to dog owner liability, that can create hurdles that even experienced dog bite lawyers must work to overcome. Not all lawyers can handle complex dog bite injury cases. Finkelstein & Partners LLP can, and with over 50 years of helping dog bite injury victims recover, we welcome the opportunity to help you.

Contact Finkelstein & Partners LLP today at (315) 453-3053 to find out how we can help you collect every dollar you deserve so you can get back to the life you love.


108 West Jefferson Street,
Suite 401
Syracuse, NY 13202


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Finkelstein & Partners, LLP – Winning Serious Injury Lawsuits Since 1959