You might wonder what to do next if a dog has bitten you. Dog bites are dangerous and can lead to many injuries, which, if left untreated, might result in infections and even death. Many breeds like Rottweilers, Huskies, Pitbulls and many others have caused major fatalities throughout the USA.
New York, like other states, has its policies and legal standards. This article will look at numerous New York statutes that may apply to your case. If there is a dog bite case, dial 311, contact your doctor and report the bite.
What is New York’s Dog Bite Statute for “Dangerous Dogs”?
Section 123 of the New York Agriculture & Markets Code states that typically it is the dog owner’s potential legal responsibility when their dog bites and attacks another person or animal and damages any property.
Who is a dangerous dog as per the statute?
A dangerous dog is one that-
- Attacks someone or an animal and injures them
- Kills someone
- Behaves disturbed and mentally ill
However, the statute clearly states that if the dog is owned by a law enforcement agency and performs its duties, it is an exception and can’t be defined as a dangerous dog.
What do dog owners have to pay for in case of a dog bite?
New York is a one-bite state for damages, which means a dog owner is “strictly accountable” in case of any injuries or damage caused by a dog bite. The owner has to bear the costs for all medical expenditures resulting from injuries.
However, several other damages exist, including emotional pain and suffering, income loss, mental distress, depression, etc., resulting from a dog bite. Such damages are not easy to prove and require a comprehensive case study. The injured person has to prove his claim that the dog owner did not take sufficient action to control their dog.
For example, imagine a dog escaping its yard, breaking into a neighborhood home, and entering their home, spoiling their agricultural produce and biting them. Now, under New York’s liability law, the injured can claim the dog owner and recover the cost of their medical bills. However, the neighbor cannot recover the costs of the ruined produce unless they can prove their claim.
How do dog owners defend themselves against the claim?
In New York, there are several ways that an owner can defend the dog bite claim made by the injured party. These are some examples:
- The dog is a law enforcement dog and was on duty.
- There might be cases when the injured person tried to irritate the dog. If the dog was provoked and attacked the person in self-defense, the dog owner can’t be held liable.
- The dog was protecting its home from someone trespassing or trying to enter the home.
- If the dog bit a human while protecting its owner, or the family members or puppies.
Can the dog owner face criminal charges against them?
In some dog bite incidents, the owner may face a criminal charge. It is governed by Section 123 of the New York Agriculture and Markets Code. According to the law, the dog owner may face criminal as well as civil charges if-
- The owner already knew that their dog is behaving weird and dangerous.
- The owner didn’t take responsibility for keeping their dangerous dog in a safe zone.
- The dog bite resulted in a severe injury or death.
Not Getting Competent Legal Representation
Many dog bite victims try to settle their claims on their own and without the help of a lawyer. That is frequently the most serious mistake. Insurance firms are smart and trained to avoid paying the right settlement. Hence, hiring an attorney to work your case is always recommended.