Suffolk County Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites can cause catastrophic personal injuries, including deep wounds and scarring – most especially on a dog bite victim’s arms, face, and hands. Fortunately, New York dog bite laws are favorable to dog bite victims and provide them with several methods of legal recovery against the owners of dangerous dogs.
If you have sustained injuries in a dog bite case, you may be entitled to monetary compensation under New York law. An experienced Suffolk County dog bite lawyer will be able to review the facts and circumstances of your individual case and be able to advocate on your behalf. If you have been bitten by a dog, contact a skilled personal injury attorney who will fight for you. En Español.
New York Dog Bite Statutes
Under New York law, the owner or keeper of a “previously adjudicated dangerous dog” can be held strictly liable for the dog bite victim’s medical costs and veterinary costs. In order for the dog bite victim to recover other types of damages, the dog bite victim must prove that the dog had the dangerous tendency to bite people and that the dog owner was fully aware of this vicious and dangerous propensity on the part of the dog.
Pursuant to Agriculture & Markets Law, Section 121, the owner or lawful custodian of a dangerous dog may be deemed strictly liable for medical costs resulting from an injury or injuries caused by the dangerous dog. Under the statute, the ‘owner’ is the person who keeps the dog. Moreover, a ‘dangerous dog’ is one that either attacks, injures, or kills a person, companion animal, farm animal, or domestic animal. Or, a dog that behaves in a manner which a reasonable person would believe poses a “serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death.
Vicious propensities include the “propensity to do any act that might endanger the safety of the persons and property of others in a given situation.”
It is also important to note that at trial, a jury may consider any evidence of a dog’s dangerous propensity and that ‘dangerous propensity’ is not just limited to prior bites. For example, if the evidence shows that a dog frequently growls or snaps its teeth at people, then that evidence could be introduced in order to demonstrate the dog’s dangerous propensity.
Under New York law, a dog bite victim may not ordinarily recover compensation for personal injuries on the ground of negligence alone – unless the defendant dog owner knew or should have known that the dog had vicious or dangerous propensities.
In cases where a dog owner negligently permits a dog to bite a person, where the dog was previously adjudicated ‘dangerous,’ and where the injury is deemed a ‘serious injury,’ the dog owner may be convicted of a misdemeanor.
Under New York law, a ‘serious injury’ is an injury that causes death, presents the risk of death, or causes “serious or protracted disfigurement, impairment of health, or loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.”
Available Damages in New York Dog Bite Cases
A dog bite victim may be entitled to full compensation, including compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, mental anguish, and punitive damages (in the most egregious of cases). A Suffolk County dog bite lawyer can help an individual pursue damages.
Contact a Suffolk County Dog Bite Attorney
If you have been injured in a dog bite incident, time is of the essence. An experienced Suffolk County dog bite lawyer can discuss your case with you and explain all of your legal rights and options. Call now.