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What Is New York’s Dog Bite Law?

Each year more than 350,000 dog bites happen across the US, with many of them occurring in New York. Victims of these vicious, and often devastating, attacks often have questions regarding their rights, ability to sue, and more.

In this guide, we explore New York’s Dog Bite Law and how it may apply to you or a loved one.

A ‘Mixed’ State Can Make Things Confusing

As it relates to dog bites, New York is what we call a ‘mixed state’. Statutes regarding dog bites and attacks blend what is known as a ‘one bite rule’ (more on that below) with a limited degree of strict liability.

What Does This Mean? New York statutes make a keeper or owner of a previously adjudicated ‘dangerous’ canine ‘strictly’ liable for the dog bite victim’s veterinary and medical costs only.

The One Bite Law

New York’s ‘one bite’ law states that the owner of a dog is only liable for injuries caused by the canine’s (or other animal’s) actions, if, and only IF, the owner or keeper has previous knowledge of the animal’s propensity to display vicious behavior in the past.

Circumstances When Dog Owners May Be Held Liable Under NY’s One-Bite Law

In all cases, there must be evidence that the pet owner had knowledge of past behavior exhibited by the animal that may suggest a future attack.

Situations When a Court May Hold a Dog Owner Liable for an Attack:

  • The pet has bitten an individual in the past.
  • The animal has acted in a frightening or vicious manner in the past. Examples may include ferocious and aggressive barking, charging, growling, showing teeth, etc.
  • The dog has been trained to fight or to defend against intruders or attackers.
  • Prior complaints have been issued or reported regarding the dog’s violent or aggressive behavior.

Working with an experienced NY-based animal attack attorney or dog bite lawyer is paramount to establishing liability in court and achieving maximum recovery of compensation under NY law.

Circumstances When Dog Owners May NOT Be Held Liable Under NY’s One-Bite Law

  • When the dog has never bitten or displayed aggressive behavior in the past (or when this cannot be proven)
  • If the plaintiff was trespassing on the private property of the defendant without the consent
  • In situations where the plaintiff may have intentionally provoked an attack

New York Dog Bite Lawyer – Have Questions About Your Rights as a Dog Bite Victim in New York?

Nearly one thousand individuals across the US require medical attention due to dog bites daily. If you find yourself among these unfortunate victims, you may be wondering what type of legal recourse you have against the owner.

Although New York has some of the most lenient dogs bit injury laws in the nation, an experienced dog bite attorney from our firm can make a world of difference and can ensure your claim is positioned to achieve maximum compensation if won.

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