Buffalo Dog Bite Lawyers
Experienced Buffalo Injury Attorneys Helping Victims of Dog Bites and Animal Attacks in Western New York
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured due to a dog bite in Buffalo or another town in Erie County, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact our personal injury law office at (716) 842-2200 for a free consultation. Our team of skilled Buffalo dog bite lawyers will fight to get the compensation that you deserve.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that almost five million people are bitten by a dog every year. A dog owner is responsible for the aggressiveness of her or his 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.
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.
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 her or his 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.
One of the first steps our Buffalo dog bite lawyers will take will be to contact the dog owner’s neighbors and others who live within a small radius of the dog’s home. These attempts at contact are helpful, as neighbors of the dog’s owner may report having been chased by the dog or feeling too afraid to let their children near the owner’s yard. All these accounts will only bolster a dog bite accident case.
At Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra PLLC, our experienced Buffalo dog bite lawyers diligently investigate the responsibility of dog owners and their landlords. Information regarding these dogs is critical to reaching successful verdicts in dog bite cases. If you or a loved one is attacked by a dog, contact one of our experienced Buffalo dog bite lawyers for advice and strong representation.
Experienced Buffalo dog bite lawyers serving Buffalo, Niagara Falls, and the surrounding Western New York counties.