Canine teeth

When encountering a dog, they are typically friendly animals. Often referred to as “man’s best friend,” dogs are welcomed into many families with open arms. However, while some dogs are indeed friendly, those without proper training or owners who ignore their pet’s vicious tendencies may exhibit aggressive behavior toward strangers. Unfortunately, these furry companions can attack someone without provocation, resulting in devastating injuries. If you have been seriously injured by a dog and need quality legal representation, contact a skilled Westchester County Dog Bite Attorney who can help you consider your legal options. Please continue reading to learn about dog bite laws in New York. 

Do I have the right to take legal action for a dog attack injury in New York?

If you have suffered a dog attack injury, you are entitled to pursue legal action against the dog owner for their pet’s actions. In New York, dog attack cases are handled under a combination of strict liability and negligence. This means that dog owners may be held liable if they attack someone regardless of a canine’s history of previous attacks or dangerous propensity. Dog owners are held strictly liable for the medical expenses that result from their dog attacking someone, even if they used reasonable care to restrain their pet from harming others. Therefore, New York only authorizes victims to recover medical damages through a lawsuit, not damages for claims of general negligence.

Ultimately, this means that the principle of negligence is followed for all other expenses related to the dog attack injury. Through this concept, dog owners are only responsible if they fail to use reasonable care to warn others about the dog’s vicious tendencies or safeguard others from harm. To recover monetary compensation for a dog attack injury, you must prove that your injuries are severe, establishing that the owner knew their pet had acted aggressively or attacked others in the past and failed to use reasonable care to warn others about the potential danger.

When may a dog owner not be liable?

While victims can usually hold dog owners accountable for their pet’s aggressive behavior, there are instances in which a dog owner may not be held liable for an attack. If the victim provoked the attack, deliberately annoyed, abused, tormented, teased the dog, or even attempted to assault the owner, the owner may not be liable. In addition, if the victim were trespassing, meaning they did not have consent to be on the dog owner’s property, even if the dog has a history of attacking someone, the dog owner would not be found negligent.

As you can see, there are instances in which a dog owner may not be held liable, which is why it is crucial to retain the legal services of a dedicated attorney from the legal team at Hausman & Pendzick, who can help you hold responsible dog owners accountable for their negligence. Our firm is prepared to effectively represent your interests to recover damages that will help you get back on your feet again.