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Dog Bites

New York City Lawyers Representing Victims of Animal Attacks

Although dogs are beloved pets, dog bites can be extremely painful or even fatal. They can cause infections, permanent scarring and disfigurement, damage to nerves, tendons, or bones that affects your ability to move, emotional trauma, and rabies. If you were harmed by a dog bite caused by someone else's dog in New York City, you may be able to obtain compensation from the dog owner or another at-fault party. At Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP, our New York City dog bite lawyers may be able to help you recover damages if you are injured or a loved one is killed by a dog.

Bringing a Claim Based on a Dog Bite

Dog owners may be charged with a misdemeanor if their dog bites someone, but even if restitution is awarded, it may be insufficient to address the losses of the victim. Criminal charges can be filed if a dog was previously declared a dangerous dog, the owner negligently permitted the dog to bite somebody, and a serious injury resulted. When a dangerous dog gets away from an owner trying to hold him back and kills someone, the owner may face criminal liability as well. Serious injuries are those causing serious disfigurement, protracted impairment, the loss of a body organ or a body part, or death.

If a dog has bitten you, you may be able to file a civil lawsuit for damages to address your losses. The owner of a dog can be held accountable by a dog bite attorney in New York City under a couple of different theories if the dog injures someone else, or injures a companion animal or livestock.

The dog owner or the dog's lawful custodian can be held strictly liable for all medical bills arising from the injuries inflicted by a "dangerous dog." The owner may also be fined. A dangerous dog is one that attacks or injures people, companion animals, or livestock without justification or acts such that a reasonable person would believe that the dog presents a severe and unjustified immediate threat of death or significant physical injuries. (The exception is a law enforcement dog that is carrying out its duties.) When a victim provoked the dog in question into acting violently, the dog may not be designated as a dangerous dog.

Strict liability means that it does not matter whether the dog's owner had used reasonable care to keep the dog from hurting others. In addition to medical costs, for which the owner of a dangerous dog can be strictly liable, there is also strict liability for other losses if your New York City dog bite attorney can establish that a dog that bit you is vicious, and the owner knew or should have known about its vicious propensities. Vicious propensities include a propensity to do any acts that might endanger the safety of other people and others' property, given the situation. A prior bite can be evidence of a vicious propensity. However, a dog being chained or even behind a "Beware of Dog" sign would not be sufficient to create an inference that the dog was known to have vicious propensities. In New York, cases involving injuries inflicted by a domesticated dog can only proceed under strict liability based on an owner's knowledge of the dog's vicious propensities, rather than under theories of common law negligence.

Defenses that the dog's owner may raise in response to your claims vary depending on the circumstances. The dog owner might argue that the dog was protecting its owner or itself when it bit you. If you were on the property of the dog's owner, the owner may argue that the dog was protecting the home against you as a trespasser. The dog owner may defend herself by arguing that you provoked the dog or inflicted pain on the dog, to which it responded with a bite.

Consult an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer in New York City

Dog bites can be seriously painful, and they are sometimes fatal. Dogs that seemed to be friendly have bitten children who have died from the bites. After suffering harm from a dog bite in New York City, you may face long-term effects. Newman, Anzalone & Newman, LLP provides effective legal representation in dog bite lawsuits. We represent victims in Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island. Contact us at 718-682-7409 or via our online form for an appointment. We also represent victims of other types of accidents, such as construction accidents and motor vehicle collisions.