There are specific laws and statutes in every state of the U.S. that cover what to do when a dog bites you, a child or another adult nearby. In New York State, these laws are quite clear, as stated in the New York Agriculture & Markets Code section 123 of the Laws of New York. They address the dog owner’s potential liability when a dog injures a person or another animal. Various aspects of the situation in which a dog bite occurs and what, if anything, seemed to provoke this injurious canine behavior must be examined.
Dog Bite Attorneys Near Me to Contact
If you witness or are the victim of a dog bite in New York State, your best course of action is to contact the law offices of a highly experienced accident attorney like Peter Briskin, Esq. You can schedule a free consultation with one of the dog bite lawyers near me and near your neighborhood to determine, or better understand, the legal rights of an individual who has suffered a bite inflicted by a canine, according to state laws. Since every case is somewhat different and some are more complicated or serious than others, the outcome of some dog bite injuries is determined by a lawsuit to reach a final settlement in court, decided by a jury.
Whether your dog bite complaint is settled in or outside of court, there are multiple factors that can affect the outcome. For example, has the dog that inflicted the bite ever bitten a person or another animal before? Has a dog attack lawyer, any city or state office, or any government agency ever received a complaint about this dog causing similar injuries by biting at an earlier time?
The age of the bite victim is an important factor in legal rulings relative to dog bites. In some instances, the victim of the bite may be held accountable, or somewhat accountable, for the attack or incident. These instances include dog bites that occurred when the victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property or when the victim provoked the dog to attack in some way. Your expert accident attorney will discuss the impact of these factors to you in detail.
Can the Dog Owner Be Held Responsible for Injury Due to a Dog Bite?
During your consultation, your dog attack attorney will discuss the possibilities of negligence on the part of the biting canine’s owner. It is true that some dog owners are not very responsible in terms of curbing any potentially dangerous or threatening behavior that may lead to dog bite injuries being inflicted by their pets. Particularly if you were chased, knocked down or dragged by a dog and then bitten by this animal, this behavior is evidence that this dog has not been well trained. In some cases, it may also reveal that the animal has been ill-treated. If you were bitten when you and the dog were on a town or city street, roadway or sidewalk or in a park or other public area, and the dog was not on a leash, this also indicates the dog owner’s negligence.
What Questions Does State Law Require Answers To Pertaining to Dog Bite Complaints?
Under current New York State Law pertaining to injuries to persons or other animals by dogs, answers must be obtained for several questions, as follows:
1. Was the victim actually bitten or injured in another way by the dog?
Sometimes individuals are knocked down or entangled in a dog’s leash and dragged by the animal. When such incidents occur, the victim may suffer dog attack injuries such as scrapes, cuts or deeper gashes that resemble bites, but may actually have been caused by obstacles, debris, bushes, uneven pavement or rocks and rough ground that he or she fell on or was dragged over. Especially if the victim was dazed or received a blow to the head due to the fall, the victim may not be certain that the open cut or gash on a limb, hand or foot is actually a bite. This can be best determined by a doctor, nurse or another medical professional who examines the wound.
2. Did the accused dog have “vicious propensities”?
Vicious propensities are behaviors that reveal a proclivity to act in a manner that risks harm to others (both other people and other animals). The determination of whether a certain dog has or does not have vicious propensities must be made in each individual case. Since the burden of proof of the presence of vicious propensities in each case lies with the plaintiff, the plaintiff’s lawyer will investigate to obtain evidence to support this claim by the injured client.
Important Facts About Vicious Propensities in Dogs
- Proof of prior similar potentially harmful acts of a dog of which the dog owner is aware serves to establish the owner’s knowledge of vicious propensities (see Benoit v. Troy & Lansingburgh R.R. Co., 154 NY 223, 225 . Also, evidence that the canine had been witnessed growling, snapping or baring its teeth could result in a triable issue of fact being raised concerning knowledge of this dog having vicious propensities.
- Whether the owner acted to restrain the dog and the way in which the animal was restrained also have potential relevance (see Hahnke v. Friederich, 140 NY 224, 226 ; see also Rider v. White, 65 NY 54, 55-56 ). If this dog has been maintained as a guard dog, this fact may result in the inference that the dog owner did have knowledge of the dog’s vicious propensities. (See, Hahnke, 140 NY at 227.)
3. If the dog did have “vicious propensities,” did the dog owner have knowledge of these behaviors?
If proof is established that a biting dog’s owner did have knowledge that this dog does possess vicious propensities, the owner will face serious liability for any harm caused by this canine due to these potentially harmful behaviors (see Strunk v. Zoltanski, 62 NY2d 572, 575-576 ). Under no circumstances does this disposition entitle the dog owner to one automatic “free bite” without penalty. Peter Briskin