If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, you could potentially recover monetary compensation for your damages through a dog bite claim. But certain circumstances could potentially keep you from recovering compensation, such as why or where the bite occurred. This is why you need to speak with an experienced dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after obtaining appropriate medical care for the wound. Your lawyer can examine the details of your case to determine if you have grounds for a claim and if so, help you file the claim and pursue the money you deserve.
When a Dog Bites, Who is Responsible?
New York uses a combination of a “one bite” law and limited strict liability. Once a dog is determined to be dangerous, the dog’s owner is strictly liable for any damages caused by the dog’s bites. These damages can include medical bills for a human victim or veterinary bills for a dog or other domestic animal harmed by a dangerous dog’s bite. If the dog was not previously deemed to be dangerous or if the victim is seeking compensation for damages other than medical bills, the victim must prove that the owner was somehow negligent in restraining the dog or preventing a bite.
But for a dog to be considered dangerous, it must have bitten the victim out of aggression without justification for doing so. As the law states, a dog must have previously caused harm or “behave in a manner which a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury or death” in order to be deemed dangerous. Dogs that bite because of the victim’s actions, such as provoking the dog, harming the dog, or unlawfully entering the dog’s owner’s property may be spared the “dangerous” label because their bites were justified.
Where Did the Bite Occur?
In accordance with the liability rules discussed above, a dog’s owner may be held liable for damages resulting from his or her dog’s bite no matter where the bite occurred. This can even be potentially true if the victim was trespassing on the owner’s property.
When dogs are in public, they should be kept on leashes and under control. If you were bitten because a dog was not leashed or otherwise out of its owner’s control, you may be able to claim that the owner was negligent. Negligence refers to any failure of the owner to keep others safe by preventing dog bites.
Work with a Brooklyn Personal Injury Lawyer
Any dog can bite if it is provoked, frightened, or suffering from a neurological disorder. If you have suffered a dog bite, speak with an experienced dog bite attorney to determine if you have grounds for a personal injury claim to seek compensation for your damages. To learn more, schedule your initial legal consultation with a member of our team at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. Our experienced personal injury law firm is located at 26 Court Street in Brooklyn.