The Center for Disease Control estimates that almost five million people are bitten by a dog every year. If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be wondering if you are eligible to receive compensation. Here are 3 things to know in a dog bite case.
3 Things to Know in a Dog Bite Case | What to Do After a Dog Bite
In a situation in which a dog is loose and encounters another person, knocking that person down, biting the person, or otherwise causing an injury, the injured party must first seek medical attention. Hospital personnel will later ask the injured party if he or she thinks that the attacking dog was up to date on vaccinations and shots—especially rabies and distemper. If the person is injured but can gather information at the scene, he or she should obtain as much information possible about the dog and its owner. The owner can be held responsible for all the injuries caused in the attack if it can be shown that the dog had a propensity for certain aggressive behaviors and that propensity can be demonstrated.
3 Things to Know in a Dog Bite Case | Determining Liability
A dog owner is responsible for the aggressiveness of his or her dog if it can be shown that the dog had a prior propensity for aggressive behavior. In a dog bite case, the court must consider additional factors such as whether the owner has violated an ordinance (e.g., leash laws) and whether this alleged violation contributed to the injury. These ordinances are law is not absolute, of course, and if the owner has knowledge of a dog’s “vicious propensity,” the owner may be held liable. A dog may be determined to have a vicious propensity, if it lunges at passersby, snarling and growling; has attempted to bite or nip previously, even if the attempts did not result in an actual bite; or if the owner advertises the dog is vicious by way of “attack dog” signs or through verbal bragging to others. In addition, landlords may also be liable if they had notice or should have known of the dangerous nature of their renters’ dogs.
3 Things to Know in a Dog Bite Case | One-Bite Rule
New York State has specific legislation regarding liability in dog bite cases: the one-bite rule. This law dictates that a dog owner cannot be held responsible for his or her dog biting another human being unless the dog has bitten another person before. If it can be proven that the dog had a vicious propensity and that the owner knew of this propensity, the owner should have been more careful of the dog’s interactions with other people. Physical examples of the owner’s prior knowledge include “Beware of dog” signs and fitting the dog with a muzzle while walking in public.
If you have been injured by a dog bite, please contact our experienced Buffalo dog bite lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.