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New York Dog Bite & Animal Attack Lawyer

How a Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights

In New York, a dog bite or animal attack that causes serious injury may provide grounds for a lawsuit. Dog bite injuries can be extreme, and in certain instances may even result in death. However, not every dog bite situation is automatically subject to legal action.

An animal attack lawyer can review your injury and advise regarding legal action.

What Circumstances Can Lead to a Dog Bite Lawsuit?

The New York Code Section 123 addresses and explains what a "dangerous dog" is. In general, a dog qualifies as dangerous if:

  • Without justification, the dog attacks a person and causes serious physical injury or death
  • The dog has a vicious propensity for attacking that was previously known, as evidenced by a previous attack
  • The dog has without justification caused serious physical injury or death to a domestic animal, farm animal or companion animal

“Without justification” means that no reasonable cause exists. Exceptions where the dog or animal can avoid being labeled dangerous include:

  • If someone was trespassing or committing a crime on the owner's property and the dog was protecting the property, the owner or family members
  • If someone provoked the dog by teasing, assaulting it, abusing it or was physically threatening it.
  • If the dog’s bite was a reaction to harm or injury

A dog bite lawyer can review the circumstances surrounding the dog bite and evaluate whether the dog would be considered dangerous.

If a police dog harms someone while acting in the line of duty, no grounds exist to pursue a claim. The law protects police dogs and their handlers.

Who Bears the Liability in a New York Dog Bite Case?

As long as the person was allowed to be on the property and did not provoke the dog, the owner would be strictly liable to cover medical bills to treat the injury. It would not matter that the owner used reasonable care to restrain or control the dog.

In a dog bite case, this legal responsibility is known as strict liability. However, New York law only applies strict liability to the medical costs.

What Is the "One Bite" Rule?

The "one bite" rule refers to the precedent that after the first time a dog has bitten someone, subsequent bites would be subject to lawsuits. Based on the dog’s past behavior of biting, the owner would be strictly liable because he/she should have known about the dog's dangerous nature. Because of previous biting, the owner should have taken necessary precautions to prevent that from happening.

New York still operates on the one bite rule but also applies strict liability to medical bills. Otherwise, negligence law applies to the dog bite case.

How Does Negligence Law Work in a Dog Bite Case?

In a negligence case, the animal attack lawyer would have to prove that the dog's owner knew or should have known that the dog might bite and did not take necessary precautions to prevent the attack. The burden of proof involved in a negligence case is to convince the jury that the owner "more likely than not" knew or should have known.

How could a jury be convinced of this? The dog bite lawyer would have to gather evidence, such as other times when the dog bit someone or acted viciously, neighbors’ testimony about the dog's vicious nature and restraints that the owner usually used for the dog in the past, but did not use in the current dog bite incident.

What Kinds of Damages Apply to a Dog Bite or Animal Attack Case?

Aside from compensation for medical costs, a dog bite victim could receive compensation for pain and suffering, disfigurement, emotional stress, lost income and lost future income.

At Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP https://sacksteinlaw.wpengine.com, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss your potential case.

Call us toll free at 888.519.6400, or contact us in Garden City at 516.248.2234, or in Flushing-Queens, Brooklyn or the Bronx at 718.539.3100. You can also fill in our contact form, and we will get in touch with you.

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