Understanding Dog Bite Laws in Buffalo, New York

If you’re a dog owner in Buffalo, New York, it’s important to understand the laws surrounding dog bites. While no one wants to think about their beloved furry friend hurting someone, accidents do happen, and it’s important to be prepared and informed.

Here’s what you need to know about dog bite laws in Buffalo:

Strict liability

In New York, dog owners are held strictly liable for any injuries their dog causes. This means that even if the owner had no reason to believe their dog was dangerous, they can still be held responsible if their dog bites someone.

The only exception to this rule is if the victim was trespassing, committing a crime, or provoking the dog at the time of the attack.

One bite rule

While New York has strict liability laws for dog bites, it also has a “one bite” rule. This means that if the dog has never bitten anyone before, the owner may not be held liable for the first bite.

However, if the owner knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous, they can still be held responsible even if the dog had never bitten anyone before.


In addition to strict liability, a dog owner can also be held liable if they were negligent in controlling their dog. For example, if the owner knew the dog was dangerous and didn’t take reasonable steps to prevent it from biting someone, they could be held responsible.

Statute of limitations

If you’re the victim of a dog bite in Buffalo, it’s important to act quickly. New York has a three-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims, which means that you have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit.

If you wait too long, you may lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries.


If a dog owner is found liable for a dog bite, they may be required to pay damages to the victim. This can include medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

In addition to civil penalties, dog owners may also face criminal charges if their dog causes serious injury or death. Depending on the circumstances, they could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.

Dangerous dog designation

If a dog has a history of aggressive behavior, it may be designated as a dangerous dog by the local authorities. This designation comes with additional requirements and restrictions for the owner, including the requirement for a special license and additional insurance.

In addition, dangerous dogs must be kept in a secure enclosure and muzzled when outside of the enclosure. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in fines or other penalties.

Reporting requirements

Dog owners in Buffalo are required to report any dog bites to the local health department within 24 hours. Failure to do so can result in fines and other penalties.

In addition, animal control may investigate the incident and determine whether the dog is a danger to the community.


The best way to prevent dog bites is to be a responsible dog owner. This includes properly training and socializing your dog, keeping it on a leash or in a secure enclosure, and supervising it when around others.

It’s also important to educate children about how to safely interact with dogs and to never approach a dog without the owner’s permission.

In the unfortunate event that a dog bite does occur, seek medical attention immediately and report the incident to the local authorities.

By understanding the laws and taking appropriate precautions, we can all work together to prevent dog bites and ensure the safety of our community in Buffalo, New York.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite in Buffalo, New York, the law firm of Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra, PLLC can help. Here’s how:


Our experienced attorneys will thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding the dog bite to determine who was at fault and what legal action can be taken.

This may include gathering witness statements, obtaining medical records, and consulting with experts to determine the extent of the victim’s injuries and the long-term effects of the attack.

Legal representation

Our attorneys will provide legal representation for the victim of the dog bite, fighting for fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

We will negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company and, if necessary, take the case to court to ensure that our clients receive the compensation they deserve.


At Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra, PLLC, we understand the physical and emotional trauma that can result from a dog bite. We are committed to advocating for our clients and ensuring that their rights are protected throughout the legal process.


Our law firm has been representing victims of personal injury cases, including dog bites, for over 30 years. Our attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and resources to handle even the most complex cases.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite in Buffalo, New York, contact Andrews, Bernstein, Maranto & Nicotra, PLLC for a free consultation. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve and to ensure that justice is served.


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