New York Dog Bite Law: What Dog Owners and Bitten Victims Should Know

New York Dog Bite Law: What Dog Owners and Bitten Victims Should Know
Calendar icon March 12, 2021

Dog owners are required to take care of safety around their pets by law. Every dog can bite, no matter how well trained, calm, big or small they are. If you won a dog you have rights and responsibilities to keep them guarded and to prevent them from potentially biting another person.

If you were bitten by a dog, you have the right to seek justice on your side. You can file a lawsuit against the dog owner and seek a compensation claim for your injuries as well as the pain and suffering you’ve been through.

If you were recently bitten by a dog, you should consult with a  New York personal injury attorney.

What Should Dog Owners Do If Their Dog Bites Someone?

Both the owner and the victim should judge the medical complications of the dog bite. This can be a stressful moment, but they should remain calm. Exchange information with the victim – name, the insurance company, if your dog was vaccinated, just anything that is important in this case. If there was a witness nearby, ask them to share their contact info as well.

The victim should immediately seek medical help. The doctor should record their injury, and include photos of the bites, as well as info of the dog breed, size, color, and other identifying features.

The victim should report the dog bite attack to the local SPCA or local police department. They should seek legal help from a personal injury attorney.

What Protections Under the Law Will Protect Dogs That Have Bitten a Person Who Provoked Them?

This is a very possible scenario – a trained and peaceful dog, bites after being provoked. Under New York law if a dog attacks out of provocation, the law allows several defenses that the dog owner can use in their civil liability claim.

For instance, the owner can use the following:

  • The dog attacked while protecting its home against trespassers or someone who wasn’t legally allowed on the property or was trying a criminal activity on the property.
  • The dog was protecting its owner or even its puppies when it bit the person.
  • The dog was experiencing pain or suffering when it bit someone.
  • The dog was provoked, tormented, abused, or assaulted by the bitten person.

When Should Dog Owners of Aggressive Dogs Contact an Attorney?

If your dog bit someone and you could face a personal injury lawsuit or claim by the other party, you can face a misdemeanor which is known as “harboring a dangerous dog”. It’s best to contact an attorney as soon as possible (make sure the attorney has experience with animal law cases).

When Should the Bitten Person Contact an Attorney?

The bitten immediately or as soon as you can. Contact a personal injury attorney who has a history with dog bite cases. Before calling your attorney, be sure to have the insurance company info of the dog owner. It’s important not to answer additional questions asked by the owner’s insurers without your attorney. If they offer you an amount for your medical expenses, avoid accepting it. Also, you shouldn’t sign anything or go to meetings before consulting with your lawyer.

This way the insurance company may lead you to sign something that won’t work for your case. Any answer you give will be used against you, so they can deny the settlement or offer a low amount. Also, if you accept any settlement, you risk it being low. Maybe you feel that it’s a good option to accept the money and pay for your medical expenses, but you can’t be sure if there will be any complications with your injury. Once you have accepted the settlement, you can’t seek a new one.

One Bite Law

This rule means that the dog only has “one free bite” before its owner faces legal troubles. However, if the owner knew their dog was aggressive (even though they haven’t bitten anyone before) they will be held liable.

However, this can be quite difficult for proving (unless you know the dog and its owner).

If you’re a victim of a dog bite, make sure to contact an experienced lawyer who has a history with such cases.

The same goes for dog owners. If your dog has bitten a person who was trespassing or provoked your dog, you have the right to a good defense.

Here at Cellino Law, we have experience with dog bite cases; schedule your first free consultation and we’ll give you all the answers.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.

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