While legal action for a dog bite may seem like a niche category, approximately 4.7 million dog bites happened within the United States in one year alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Serious dog bite injuries, or being mauled by a dog, can cause deep puncture wounds in which the skin is shredded or crushed. This can result in significant bleeding and injury that can lead to disfigurement or even death. Medical attention can be required for these serious injuries.
Regardless of the degree of the bite, rabies is always a factor when it comes to dog bite. If you are unsure if the dog that has attacked you has been properly, always seek a rabies shot immediately after the attack.
The dog’s owners are ultimately responsible for any harm or injury that befalls you due to their negligence with their dog. If proper legal action is taken, the dog owner will have to pay for the victim’s injury and medical expenses, even if the dog does not have a history of being dangerous. Certain states have different ‘breed specifications’ for which breeds can be considered dangerous, such as pit bulls.
It is ultimately the dog owner’s responsibility to ensure their dog is kept under control. The dog owner is responsible for any damage or harm their pet may cause to you or someone you love, especially if their dog has a history of being aggressive in the past. A ‘dangerous dog,’ according to New York State Law, can be described as any dog that has attacked a person or persons without any justification for the attack (such as self-defense). This can include companion animals, domestic animals, service animals, and even farm animals.
There are some contingencies, however, when it comes to exceptions such as trespassing. If you sustained a series dog-related injury while committing a crime such as trespassing (the owner of the property did not give you express permission to be on their property), the dog and the owner’s cannot be liable for any injuries you sustain on the premise. If you are attacking the dog’s owner, for instance, and are attacked in turn by the dog, the dog and the owner are also not responsible for any injuries you sustained while committing the crime. Abuse or torment of a dog is also an exception, as the dog has the right to protect itself under extreme duress.
When determining if you should file a lawsuit after sustaining a serious injury by a dog, you should first determine whether or not the owner of the dog is liable for the attack. You will also need to document your injuries and share any relevant information pertaining to the attack, such as medical expenses and repairs to damages inflicted on your property, to your attorney. If an owner is deemed negligent and has allowed the dog to attack you, or if the dog was previously considered a “dangerous dog,” you have the right to seek financial compensation for your pain and suffering.
Speak to our experienced legal team at Jon K. Davis, PC, if you feel you or a loved one has a claim against a negligent dog owner for any injuries or damage you or your property has sustained. Call (516) 730-3446 for a free legal consultation with our dedicated attorneys. You may also send us an email to initiate a consultation. We are always available for your convenience, and to help you navigate these tricky legal waters.