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Understanding the Dog Bite Laws in NY

Under the dog bite laws in NY, if someone is bitten by a dog and injured, the owner of the dog will be strictly liable to pay for the medical bills to the injured person if that person is not covered by insurance. However, Dog Bite Laws in NY state that  New York is a “One Bite State” when it comes to suing the dog owner for personal injuries. With this in mind, if you or someone you know has been injured as the result of a dog bite, it is advisable to contact a dog bite lawyer in New York to help you better understand the dog bite laws in NY.

Dog Bite Law NYC – the “One Bite State”

In order to recover a monetary judgment in a lawsuit for being bitten by a dog, the victim will have to show that the dog is vicious and that the owner knew or should have known about such vicious propensities. Obviously if the dog had previously bitten someone else the victim will easily be able to show the dog had vicious propensities.

However, a prior bite is only one way of showing vicious propensities. In fact, the Courts of New York have previously held that if a victim can prove that the dog has a dangerous nature and the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s dangerous behavior, then the one bite rule will not apply. Some examples of a dangerous nature could be that the dog had previously been known to growl, snap or bare its teeth or the dog had a tendency to snap at people. The owner may have let it be known that the dog is an “attack dog“ or warns people that “the dog bites“.

Landlord Liability

A landlord can be held liable for a bite injury caused by a tenant’s dog if the victim can prove that at the time of the initial leasing the landlord had actual knowledge of the presence of the dog and the dog’s vicious propensity to bite humans. This can be very important if a victim is bitten by a dog owned by a tenant who did not have insurance coverage. Under Dog Bite Law NYC, the victim may be able to seek recovery against the landlord.

Dangerous Dog Breeds

The breed of the animal and the animal’s past history may be taken into account as well to determine the vicious propensity of the dog. If you own a dog who’s breed has previously been deemed “dangerous” the Courts may take this into account as to whether the dog owner was aware of the dog’s vicious propensity.

The top 10 most dangerous dog breeds (according to the centers for disease control)

  • Pit Bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Huskies
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Chow Chow
  • Presa Canario
  • Boxer
  • Dalmatian

Dog Owner’s Insurance Coverage

If you are the owner of a dog you should make sure that your home owners or renters’ insurance policy will cover you for any dog bite incidents. Coverage should include protecting you for both medical expenses and potential lawsuits for monetary damages. You should contact your insurance company and inform them that you do have a dog in your household and want the appropriate coverage.

Dog Bite Lawyer New York

If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog please give us a call, and we will provide you with a free consultation and advice on your potential claim.

Here at the Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner, we have great experience in assessing injuries and their causes.  For  a free consultation, give us a call today.

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Stuart M. Kerner, PC.

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Bronx, NY 10463

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