Dogs have long been known to be an owner’s best friend, but some have a tendency to act the complete opposite around people who are not their owner or family. Dogs have the potential of causing bites that require serious medical attention. So, what can you do if you have been bit by someone else’s dog?
New York’s dog law statute states that the owner of a dog that is considered dangerous, will be strictly liable for medical costs from injuries inflicted by the dog. Strict liability does not require the victim to prove negligence on the part of the owner in order to collect medical costs.
Under the law, a dangerous dog is defined as one that injures or kills a person, domestic animal, farm animal, or companion animal absent any reason. Additionally, a dangerous dog could be one that behaves in a manner so that a reasonable person would believe the dog poses a serious and unjustified threat of severe injury or death. There is an exception for dogs assisting the police. In addition, if you were provoking, harassing or annoying the dog, which caused the dog to attack you, your behavior can exempt a dog from dangerous status.
For all other damages, New York follows the one-bite rule. Under the one-bite rule the owner will be liable for damages caused by injuries inflicted by the dog if the victim can show that the dog is vicious, and the owner knew or reasonably should have known of the dog’s dangerous tendencies. If you are a victim, proof of the dog biting you once before would meet this requirement. Furthermore, history of the dog acting dangerously, such as growling aggressively would also most likely suffice.
Dog bite victims may be eligible to recover for medical expenses, physical and emotional pain and suffering and more. Contact Rosenberg & Rodriguez so we can evaluate the circumstances surrounding your case.