If you get injured by a dog bite in New York, you may be surprised how the law applies to your case. In this post, we’re going to share stories of a couple of different recent situations where people were bitten by dogs, then let you know how claims work if you want to seek compensation.
Stories of Dog Bites
If a dog attacks you or someone you know, you can legally fight back to protect yourself or another animal. These stories prove the point.
In a recent Coxsackie incident, a man was walking his golden retriever when a neighbor’s pit bill came charging at them. The pit bull bit the retriever, then the man.
The man’s wife saw the attack and urged her father to get his gun before going outside. The pit bull also bit the wife. Then the wife’s father shot the pit bull in the head four times. The man may file for compensation for his medical expenses.
In another attack, a Pittsburgh woman was driving in April 2017 when she saw a 12-year-old boy being attacked by two pit bulls while walking his husky. The woman honked her horn, which caused one of the pit bulls to leave the scene.
She used a child booster seat in her car to strike the other pit bull, which bit her. She hit the dog again and it fled. The woman and boy were both treated for dog bites, and she was honored by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission for her act of bravery.
Even after the attack, you can fight back with a person injury lawsuit.
New York Dog Bite Laws
Here is a breakdown of the laws on dog bites in New York.
Municipalities have the right to require that dogs are confined in evening and overnight hours until one hour past sunrise, or any other appropriate hours. These confinement hours must be posted in the local newspaper. Law enforcement officers have the right to seize or destroy loose or wandering dogs during confinement hours and are not liable for damages.
The witness of a dog attack can issue a formal complaint with an animal control officer or police officer in the municipality where the incident occurred. If the dog is believed to be dangerous according to New York statutes, the law enforcement officer will proceed with the case.
A dog is determined to be dangerous if it attacks or kills another person, pet, or farm animal for no apparent reason. It is also dangerous if it presents a reasonable, serious, and unjustified threat of imminent serious bodily injury or death.
A judge will hear the testimony and determine whether the dog is in fact dangerous. If so, the dog can be seized, and the following consequences may be administered by law:
- Neutering or spaying
- Evaluation by a behavioral specialist
- Confined for a certain time period
- Restrained on a leash in public places
- Muzzled in public places
- Required to be insured on a liability policy of up to $100,000
- Euthanized under extreme circumstances
The dog’s owner will be responsible for all associated costs plus the victim’s resulting medical bills. Even if the dog’s owner took reasonable measures to secure the dog, he or she could still be held financially responsible.
If the dog’s owner is found to be negligent in permitting the dog to bite someone, he or she can face a civil penalty of up to $400. If the negligence causes serious physical injury, the civil penalty is up to $1,500. These are separate from any claim that the injured individual might wish to pursue related to negligence with the help of a skilled NY injury lawyer.
If the dog has been previously determined to be dangerous and then causes serious injury or death by biting someone, the dog’s owner will face a misdemeanor charge and the associated penalties.
Winning a New York Dog Bite Case
If you were injured by a dog bite, it’s wise to contact an experienced New York personal injury attorney who can help you receive the maximum compensation.
A four-part burden of proof must be met in dog bite cases. Here are the elements that must be proven:
The dog’s owner had a duty to provide a reasonably safe experience for you. (Example: walking your dog near the dog owner’s property without fear of being attacked.)
Breach of Duty
The dog’s owner failed to meet the duty. (Example: leaving a gate unlatched so the dog could escape.)
Because the dog’s owner caused a breach, you were injured by a dog bite.
You incurred specific damages for the injuries that resulted from the dog bite.
If you’re still not sure whether or not your situation qualifies for a potential injury claim, reach out to a knowledgeable legal professional and give them the details. They will know better than anyone whether pursuing compensation is worth your time and effort.