Are Dog Owners Responsible When Their Dogs Attack?

When not properly trained or supervised, dogs can be dangerous animals. In fact, from broken bones to lacerations, people suffer all types of injuries as the result of dog attacks and accidents involving other animals. In some cases, dog-related attacks can leave you or a loved one with permanent scarring and severe emotional distress.

It is important to know, however, that if a dog knocks you down, bites you or otherwise injures you while you are fleeing from a potential attack, that dog's owner is responsible for the dog's behavior — and he or she may be liable for your damages.

New York Dog Bite Laws

Under New York law, in order to obtain fair compensation after a dog bite or animal attack, you must typically be able to establish that the dog that attacked you had a prior propensity for violence and that the dog's owner knew, or should have known, of these violent tendencies.

In many cases, this is proven by providing evidence indicating the dog has previously bitten or attacked another person. While this is often referred to as the one-bite or one free bite rule, you do not necessarily have to show the dog previously bit someone, but instead just have to provide evidence proving prior instances of vicious behavior. It could be as simple as a neighbor's account of the dog baring its teeth.

In addition, a dog's owner may also be responsible for you paying your medical expenses under New York's Dangerous Dog Statute. This statute clearly states that dog owners are liable for medical costs when their dogs cause injury to others, but only if the dog is considered dangerous under the law, which is defined as:

  • A dog that attacks and injures or kills a person, pet or farm animal without justification
  • A dog that behaves in a way that would make a reasonable individual think the dog poses a serious and imminent threat of physical injury or death

Every situation is different, however, which is why it is always best to speak with an experienced attorney if you have suffered a dog-related injury.

Contact The Law Firm Of Keogh Crispi Today — We Can Help

When pet owners take proper care of their animals, attacks and dog bites rarely occur. Indeed, like many other personal injuries and premises liability cases, dog bites and other similar attacks are solely the result of negligence by one person or another.

Contact Keogh Crispi today for help. Our attorneys will conduct a detailed investigation in order to establish a prior pattern of behavior for the animal in question. While owners will always defend their pets, there may be other people who are familiar with the dog such as neighbors and mailmen.

Our lawyers can help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve. Located two blocks from Grand Central Station, we can make home and hospital visits to clients throughout the city, and we are available 24/7. Call us today at 212-518-2417, or email us online, and schedule your free initial consultation.