Dog ownership entails responsibilities. When your dog bites or attacks another person, you as the dog’s owner may be held liable for any resulting damages. However, under premises liability laws, property owners could be held liable if a dog bites someone on their property.
What Are the Dog Bite Laws in New York City?
New York has adopted a mixed liability approach to cases involving dog bites. In all cases, the state does not hold dog owners strictly liable for damages. However, this does not preclude the possibility of holding a dog owner strictly liable for certain damages.
According to New York’s dog bite laws, the owner of a dangerous dog is strictly liable for the victim’s medical expenses if the dog bites someone. The injured party need not prove the dog owner’s negligence in order to be reimbursed for medical expenses.
A dangerous dog has the following characteristics:
- Attacked, injured, or killed a person, pet, or farm animal without provocation; OR, Exhibited behaviour that would lead a reasonable person to believe the dog posed a risk of severe injury or death.
If you can demonstrate the dog owner’s negligence, you may be able to recover additional damages. For instance, a dog owner may be negligent if they were unable to control their dog at the time of the dog bite or if their dog was not on a leash.
You can also establish negligence by showing that the dog’s owner knew or should have known that the animal was dangerous. Evidence that the dog has a history of behaving aggressively, biting people, fighting with other animals, or baring its teeth could suffice to establish that the dog was dangerous. Other examples of dangerous dogs include prior complaints about the dog or the need to muzzle the dog in public.
When Are Property Owners Liable for a Dog Bite on Their Property?
Laws governing premises liability require property owners to maintain safe premises and warn guests and visitors of any hazardous conditions. If a person has permission to be on the property, the owner may be held liable for damages if the individual is injured.
Property owners may be held liable if they know a dangerous dog is on their property and fail to warn lawfully present individuals about the dog. If the individual is trespassing, the property owner’s duty of care is diminished. However, if the trespasser is a child, the property owner may be liable for damages, despite the fact that the child is trespassing.
Damages Available for a Dog Bite Case in New York City
If a dangerous dog bites someone, property owners and dog owners may be liable for economic and non-economic damages. Damages that could be awarded for a negligence claim include:
- Medical expenses and costs
- Physical therapy and other treatments
- Reconstructive operation
- scarring and deformation
- Income and benefit losses
- Reduced earning potential
- Physical injuries, mental anguish, and emotional suffering cause pain and suffering.
- Loss of life’s pleasure
- Cash-paying expenses
- Permanent handicaps and impairments
- reduced quality of life
The value of a dog bite claim is determined by the specifics of the incident. A victim who sustains significant disfigurement or permanent nerve damage, for instance, may receive a larger settlement than a victim who does not sustain scarring or permanent impairments.
Under New York’s contributory fault laws, your compensation could be reduced if you contributed to the dog attack. For instance, if a jury determines that you were 30 percent responsible for the cause of your injury, your damages are reduced by 30 percent.
After a dog bite, a lawyer can evaluate your case and explain your legal options for recovering damages.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim If I Was Bitten by a Dog on Someone’s Property?
Claims related to dog bites and premises liability have a three-year statute of limitations from the date of injury. Dog attack families have only two years from the date of death to file a wrongful death claim.
There may be exceptions to the aforementioned rules. After a dog bite or animal attack, it’s best to seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
A personal injury attorney can determine the filing deadline for claims. You require this information to avoid missing a deadline and forfeiting your legal recourse against a negligent dog owner or property owner.
Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm
Contact Abrams Law Group for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in an accident and require legal assistance.