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Personal Injury Lawyer Discusses New York City Dog Bite Laws

Photo of Harlan Thompson

Countless numbers of dog bites occur in New York City every year affecting young children to elderly adults. Dog bites are more common in the summer months as people are out for walks and bicycle rides. The negative impacts of dog bites include scarring, disfigurement, loss of a finger or toe, painful rabies treatment, and emotional trauma.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in New York City it is helpful to understand the New York City dog bite laws. New York combines strict liability with the one-bite rule. Here is a more detailed explanation.

New York City Strict Liability

In New York City dog owners are liable for medical and veterinary costs. The victim does not have the burden of proof when it comes to the liability. The dog owner must pay for medical costs the victim requires.

New York City One-Bite Rule

However, the victim has the burden of proof in a criminal case against the dog owner. The victim must prove that the dog owner was negligent in permitting the dog to bite. Proof must be shown that the owner knew the dog had a tendency to bite an innocent person. Was the dog previously labeled dangerous? Had the dog previously exhibited threatening behavior? If the owner should have realized the dog was dangerous were they negligent in restraining the dog? Was the do not leashed or behind a fence? If the dog escaped and attacked then the dog owner will face criminal penalties for not adequately restraining a dangerous dog.

It may be necessary for the victim to show that they were not at fault for the dog bite. The victim should demonstrate they were on the property legally. For example, if the dog bite occurred during a burglary the pet owner is not liable. In addition, if the pet owner provided you a warning to stay away from the dog and you didn't heed the advice, the owner will not be at fault.

Finally, for success in a criminal case it must be proven that the injury is a serious injury which means it results in death, serious disfigurement, or loss or impairment of the function of an organ.

If you have been attacked by a dog you may find it helpful to hire a dog bite lawyer in New York City. Since the laws are mixed in New York, dog bite cases become complex. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine negligence. Contact us at Pulvers, Pulvers & Thompson for assistance with your dog bite case.

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