A recent survey by the American Pets Products Association (APPA) reported that dogs are the most popular pets in American households. The report shows roughly 67% of homes across the country own a pet dog.
It’s no surprise that New York City and Long Island residents enjoy the company of dogs. Unfortunately, although dogs may be excellent companions, these animals can sometimes pose a serious threat to others. Dog bites can cause severe injuries and even death.
New York state enforces strict liability laws that help protect victims and hold owners responsible for the harm caused by their pets under certain circumstances.
Dog bite claims can help victims recover financially from harm caused by violent dogs. If someone’s dog injures you, you should know how liability works and how an attorney can help you recover damages after a bite.
“Dangerous Dog” Laws in New York
Every state has unique ways of handling dog bite cases. Per New York law, dog bites are generally handled under the state’s “dangerous dogs” statute. According to these laws, dog owners are sometimes legally responsible for any bodily injuries caused by their pets.
Although these laws are designed to protect people, the statute also covers other animals harmed by dog bites. For dangerous dog laws to go into effect, any of these two elements must be met:
- A dog attacked and injured or killed a person, pet, or farm animal
- There is reasonable cause to believe the dog poses an imminent threat of harm and injury
Dog Bite Statistics
Although most dog bites that occur are relatively minor, some can lead to severe complications. Thousands of people seek medical attention every year, some even requiring hospitalization.
Some of the essential dog bite statistics for the United States include:
- Over 4.5 million people suffer dog bites each year
- Roughly 800,000 people seek medical attention for dog bites every day
- In 2019, there were at least 49 dog bite fatalities across the United States
- One in five dog bites is considered severe and requires medical attention
- About 30,000 surgical and reconstructive procedures are needed each year to treat dog bites
Even minor dog bites can lead to lacerations, tendon/ligament tears, nerve damage, infections, scarring, and other severe complications. When these injuries are not treated immediately, the results can be devastating.
Dog Owner Liability in New York
New York dog owners are, at times, strictly liable for any medical bills and other losses caused by their pets.
Should a court find that the animal in question meets the legal thresholds for a dangerous dog, owners must provide financial relief for any damage caused, even if they took reasonable precautions to restrain their dog.
When it comes to other injuries or property damage caused by a dog that is unrelated to bites, the victim must provide substantial evidence of negligence. This may be necessary whenever a dog causes someone to slip and fall or causes damage to personal property.
If you’ve suffered a dog bite injury or any other harm associated with a dog, a New York personal injury lawyer will be your best resource in pursuing a claim. Dog bite cases can sometimes become complex legal battles. A seasoned attorney can investigate the incident, compile evidence, and determine the best course of action to help recover any damages you may be entitled to.
Kohan Law Group represents clients in personal injury claims throughout New York City, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Westchester County. Contact us today for a free consultation.