Attorney Greg Bagen has been serving the Putnam County community for 40 years.

Putnam County’s Trusted Personal Injury Attorney

You’ve been injured and you want your money fast. You also deserve a fair deal. Greg Bagen has a winning record as a personal injury lawyer, and that fighting reputation helps him and his clients at the settlement table. He knows when to fight and when the battle is already won because a fair settlement can get you paid quicker.

Over $40 million collected on behalf of his clients.

Attorney Bagen has recovered over $40,000,000 for his clients during his career, including the only verdicts of over $1 million in personal injury cases among all local attorneys.

There are NO UPFRONT COSTS and you pay NO FEE unless you receive compensation.

How can we help you?

Who is Attorney Bagen?

Greg Bagen is the most experienced personal injury and medical malpractice attorney in Putnam County. He is one of less than 50 board certified trial attorneys in New York State and has been representing members of his local community for more than 40 years.

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Recent Blog Posts

What to expect from your first meeting with an injury attorney

After suffering a serious injury, it’s normal to be stressed. You may be feeling pain and worrying about what comes next. As you consider your recovery, the well-being of your family, and the financial burden that lost work and medical bills will bring, you may be asking yourself whether meeting with a lawyer is the right thing to do.

Let me put your mind at ease. The first thing to know is that I do not charge a fee to review your case. The second thing is that just coming in for a consultation doesn’t mean you’ve made a decision on whether to pursue compensation or which lawyer to use. In my experience, even if you’re nervous about meeting an attorney, by the time you leave my office, you’ll feel better informed to make the right decision, which can really help put your mind at ease.

What to bring with you

Sometimes people are afraid to make the call or meet an attorney because they feel unprepared for the meeting. Leave this one to us. We’ll help make sure you have everything you need for your initial consultation. One thing you can do to help yourself is to keep an injury diary. I explain more about that here.

We’ll give you more details when you call, but here’s a general idea. You should come to a first meeting with:

  • All accident related documentation, such as the police report and any violations.
  • Information about the other party, including their insurance company and policy number if you have it.
  • Photographs of the accident scene and of your injuries.
  • Your own car insurance policy.
  • We recommend that you allow us to make the first contact with the insurance company, but if you’ve already done it, bring your claim number.
  • A list of healthcare providers that have treated your injuries from this accident, including the ambulance service, hospital and doctors.
  • Anything else you think could be useful to your attorney.

Think about these questions

In order to better understand your situation, I will likely ask you some or all of the following question. Try to think about them in advance so you’ll be ready.

  • Are you having pain from your injuries?
  • Have there been any repercussions from your accident such as absence from work, difficulty in daily tasks or taking care of your family, inability to participate in recreational activities that you enjoy, or others?
  • Have you given any statements to an insurance company about your accident? If so, what did you say?
  • Have you talked to anyone else about your accident? If so, what did you say?

Give us a call and set your mind at ease

The only way to know if you have a case is to ask an experienced injury attorney. A free consultation can give you the information you need and the confidence to make an informed decision. I’ve been successfully helping neighbors in Putnam County for over 40 years, contact me to find out if I can help you.

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Halloween dog bite injuries and how to stay safe

The topic of dog bite injuries is important to me for two reasons. First, because as an injury attorney I have seen the pain and suffering caused from this type of injury. Second, because I am a dog owner, so I understand that your dog is part of your family and it can be difficult to imagine him attacking someone. Halloween creates a unique situation that can increase the chances of an animal attack. I hope these tips for both trick-or-treaters and pet owners can help lower the risk of an injury occurring.

In this post I’m focusing on the specific risks related to dog bite injuries on Halloween, but I hope you’ll also read my other Halloween post with general safety tips for trick-or-treaters, drivers, and homeowners.

Halloween and the risk of animal attacks

Halloween is a night like no other and while it’s fun for us, dogs can easily become confused and excited by the decorations, flashing lights, and unusual presence of strangers around their home. A dog may perceive the people coming in and out the yard as a threat to himself or his family and react accordingly.

Keeping yourself and your children safe

A little preparation can help avoid a potential injury for you and your children. Here are a few tips to share with your kids and keep in mind when out trick-or-treating:

  • Never approach a dog, even if he knows you. He may not recognize you with your costume.
  • Avoid houses where you hear a dog barking.
  • Ignore dogs that are out walking with their owners.
  • If someone opens their door and there is a dog there, do not move toward the owner or dog, but wait for them to come to you to give you candy.
  • If a dog escapes from his house or from his leash, stand still, look down at your feet and wait. The dog will likely sniff you and move on. Wait until the dog has lost interest in you before moving.

Keeping your dog out of trouble

If you are a dog owner, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Halloween, but there are some precautions that you can take to keep both your dog and your visitors safe.

  • Close your dog into a room that is away from the front door and doesn’t have a window facing the front yard.
  • Make sure your dog has his favorite chew toys with him.
  • Play music or leave a TV on with the dog to help mask some of the sounds coming from outside.
  • If your dog generally gets excited when the doorbell rings, try to avoid it by waiting outside or by keeping an eye out for people approaching the house. That way you can open the door before they have a chance to ring.
  • Even if your dog is great with people, keep in mind that the dog may mistake children running as a game or certain Halloween props as toys. Situations can escalate quickly, and a scared dog may behave in a way that is out of character. It’s best to keep your dog away from the action.

Introduction to New York State dog bite law

Being attacked by a dog can be a traumatizing experience, as well as a painful one. Like with other kinds of injuries, you may be entitled to receive compensation under certain circumstances.

In New York State, pet owners (usually through their homeowner’s insurance) may be required to cover your medical expenses if you can prove that the attack happened. This generally covers medical expenses that were not covered by the victim’s medical insurance, such as co-pays or deductibles. This is true even if this is the first time that the dog has bitten someone.

In the case of serious attacks, there also can be non-medical damages, for example loss of income or pain and suffering. To receive compensation for these types of damages you’ll have to prove that the dog had “vicious propensities.”

What are vicious propensities?

Vicious propensities essentially means that the dog has previously exhibited behavior that indicate aggressive tendencies. One common way to establish this is by proving that the dog has bitten someone before, although it’s not a guarantee. You may also be able to prove it even if the dog has never bitten anyone before. It’s up to a jury to decide whether the dog displayed vicious propensities and whether the owner should be responsible to compensate you for your injuries.

This is where I would normally give a list of the most common factors that have led juries to find a dog had vicious propensities. However, in this case the best advice I can give is to contact me if you’ve been attacked. There are no factors that can guarantee a successful outcome, it’s a matter of piecing together the facts in each individual case.

Can you be blamed for your injury?

If you are found to be partially responsible for the attack, you may not be able to receive compensation. Potential defenses that can be used to prevent you from receiving full compensation include if you:

  • provoked or attacked the dog;
  • ignored the owner telling you not to touch the dog and did so anyway;
  • ignored warning signs that the dog was excited or agitated and approached him anyway; or
  • were trespassing on private property.

What should you do if you were attacked?

With any injury the most important first step is to seek medical attention. It will be up to the doctor to help you understand how serious your injuries are. The next step is to speak to an experienced attorney who will help you understand if your injuries and the circumstances of the attack warrant legal action. Although I have given a quick introduction covering the basics in this post, every situation is different and only an experience personal injury attorney can help you understand your options.

What if the dog belongs to my friend or family member?

This is a question I hear often regarding all types of injuries and the answer is always the same. Serious injuries come with serious consequences, and should be compensated. In most cases it’s your friend’s insurance that will pay and it likely won’t cost him anything. I have known people involved in this type of case who remained friends and more than just that, were happy about their friend’s settlement. Put yourself in your friend’s shoes, if your actions caused an injury to someone you care about, wouldn’t you want that person to be taken care of?

Helping the Putnam County Community for over 40 years.

If you’ve been seriously injured by a dog bite, it’s already a traumatic and painful time for you. We are here to help, and we’re happy to offer a no cost and no obligation consultation where we will give you an honest evaluation of your case and help you understand your options. Contact us to make an appointment today.

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A newborn baby sitting in a car seat in a hot car.

What to do if you see a child or pet in a hot car.

Children and pets being left in hot cars is a topic which has been getting more attention recently, and for good reason. No one sets out in the morning to put their child or pet at risk in a hot car, and yet in 2018, 52 children died in hot cars. It was the deadliest year on record for the past 20 years, according to The National Safety Council (NSC).

When can it get too hot inside a car?

We all know that it gets hot inside of a closed vehicle in the summer, just think of when you open the door on a sunny day and feel a rush of hot air. Have you ever thought about just how hot it gets inside the car and how long it takes? According to the website, even with the windows cracked, the inside temperature in a car can reach 125 degrees, with 80% of the temperature increase occurring in the first 10 minutes.

How does this happen?

You may associate heat related deaths to extreme temperatures, but in fact, even on mild or cloudy days, the temperature inside a car can reach life-threatening levels. Although it may seem strange, this isn’t just a problem on very hot days. Children have died from heatstroke inside cars when the outside temperature was as low as 60 degrees.

According to an NSC study, there are three primary circumstances resulting in deaths of children in hot cars:

  • A caregiver forgetting a child in a vehicle
  • The child gaining access to an unsupervised vehicle
  • Someone knowingly leaving a child in a vehicle

Is it against the law to leave a child or a pet in a vehicle?

New York State does not have a specific law which makes it illegal to leave a child unattended in a car, however people can still be arrested for doing so. In these cases, the charge is typically “endangering the welfare of a minor.”
On the other hand, there is a law in New York State (AGM § 353-d) prohibiting the confinement of companion animals in vehicles in extreme temperatures. Unfortunately, those found guilty of a violation will only be punished with a fine of not less than fifty dollars nor more than one hundred dollars for a first offense.

Is it legal to break into a vehicle to save a child or pet?

Many people take for granted that the law will protects someone whose actions were necessary to save a life, whether it be a human life or that of a pet. The laws across state lines vary, but in New York, you are not legally allowed to break into a vehicle in order to rescue a pet, instead you must call the police. The current law allows only public officials such as law enforcement and humane officers to legally break into a car to rescue an animal. If you decide to act anyway, the owner of the vehicle can sue you for the cost of repairs to the vehicle.

These situations can be tricky. The first thing you should do is call 911. They will help you evaluate the situation based on how long the child or pet has been left alone, help you identify symptoms of heatstroke, and most importantly, they will send professional help, which could be the difference between life and death.

Take a second look in the back seat

NSC offers a suggestion to parents, pet-owners, and caregivers to help avoid accidentally forgetting your child or pet in the car. Place an object in the backseat so that you are forced to take one last look before existing the car. This can be your purse, briefcase or even your left shoe. When you’re not using the vehicle, keep the doors locked so children cannot gain access. Remember, there is no safe time to leave children alone in the car, even if you are just running a quick errand.

When you leave your child or pet in someone else’s care, you may want to suggest these tips along with a reminder of the extreme danger posted by hot cars.

What if someone else left my child in a hot car and he or she sustained serious injuries?

If you trusted your child to a babysitter, daycare center, or other caregiver and that person put your child at risk by leaving him or her alone in a hot car, they may be liable for damages. If they suffer serious physical injuries or in the worst case scenario lose their life, you may be able to seek compensation from the individual responsible, or in the cases where they are an employee, such as a daycare center, you may also be entitled to compensation from the business.

Helping injury victims in Putnam County for over 40 years

Attorney Greg Bagen has been an advocate for injury victims his whole career. He helps his friends and neighbors in Putnam County to receive the fair compensation they deserve when their serious injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence.

If you’ve been injured, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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