Man’s best friend might not be all that friendly to other humans. When someone else’s dog attacks and causes you or a loved one injury, the owner of the dog or a responsible party might be held liable for damages. At Buttafuoco & Associates we can help you understand the intricacies of dog bite cases and answer your most pressing questions at no cost or obligation to you. Call us today at 1-800-NOW-HURT to schedule your free review.
Why would a dog bite me if I didn’t provoke it?
It is a common belief that if a dog bites someone, that person must have done something to provoke it. While this may be true in some situations, it is not always the case. Some dogs are aggressive toward other animals and humans and therefore, should be restrained and kept away from the general public at all times.
Many dog attacks result from an animal who is not controlled properly by its owner. Even if a dog is on a leash, the leash can slip off if it is fragile or improperly secured and the dog run free. Brittle or open fences and gates can also fail to keep a dog confined and away from where it can cause harm.
Dogs often attack when provoked, and provocation can occur in many forms. Any physical actions toward the dog such as shouting, throwing objects or striking are considered types of provocation. Some dogs, particularly those that are pregnant or nursing their young, may attack to protect their territory.
Even generally docile dogs you know well can become aggressive if they are sick or injured, or if you provoke them. Children often unintentionally cause dogs to bite when they pull their tails or fur and fail to notice the warning signs of aggression.
A dog bite or attack can result in the following injuries:
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
Mental trauma can also be a result of a dog attack, as victims often develop a fear of all dogs after the event.
The New York Code & Dangerous Dogs
Estimates show more than 600,000 dogs are living in New York City and hundreds of thousands more in the entire state. The New York Code makes it a violation of state law for an owner or the custodian of a dog to fail to confine or restrain the dog and to fail to exercise due diligence in handling the dog. Furthermore, individual municipalities may enact a night curfew where owners must securely confine their dogs between the time of sunset and one hour after sunrise.
The New York Code also provides laws regarding the identification and management of “dangerous dogs.” When a person files a complaint of an aggressive dog, officials can investigate the complaint and deem the dog dangerous, causing it to be:
- Neutered or spayed
- Evaluated for its behavior and undergo corrective training
- Placed in secure confinement for a period
- Restrained on a leash by an adult
- Muzzled when in public
Local municipalities and controlled areas such as apartment complexes may enforce unique rules regarding dog ownership and oversight. Violations of these laws will factor into your dog bite liability claim.
Who is responsible for my dog bite injuries in New York?
Proving liability in a dog attack case is difficult. You must first identify the owner or person in charge of the dog at the time of the attack. Then, you must prove through pictures, video or witness statements that the attack occurred through no fault of your own. No fault of your own means you were lawfully in the area where the attack occurred, and you did not provoke or encourage the dog to attack.
Finally, you must prove the attack took place because the owner acted negligently in some way. Proof of negligence may include photographs of a broken restraint or a lack of signage on a home with a dog on premises.
Gathering the necessary evidence to support your dog bite injury claim is time-consuming and complicated. At Buttafuoco & Associates, we have handled hundreds of personal injury claims, many of which involved dog bites and attacks. We know the far-reaching effects a dog bite or attack can have on victims and their families, and are highly familiar with the information the insurance companies require for compensating victims.
We prefer you focus on your physical and emotional recovery while we investigate your claim and fight for your right to receive maximum compensation for your damages.
Your financial recovery depends on the degree of your injuries and the impact they have had on your life so far and how they will affect you in the future. With strong evidence, you may be entitled to the following types of damages:
- Lost wages
- Lost time from school
- Medical expenses (the past, present, and future)
- Disfigurement or permanent disability
Speak with a New York Dog Bite Lawyer
Our firm offers potential clients a free, no-obligation consultation. During this meeting, we ask to hear your story so we can help you determine if you have a case worth pursuing. If we decide to accept your case, you pay no upfront fees. Instead, we pay ourselves with a percentage of your settlement. In other words, you pay us nothing unless we win your case. Call us at 1-800-NOW-HURT to get started.