Dog bite complaints can elicit a court process that is challenging for the victim and emotional for the owner when the state must determine if a canine poses a danger to the public. Less than 1% of dog bite victims get compensated. So it is important to hire a lawyer if you or a loved one has been attacked by a dog. An individual who attempts to pursue a dog bite claim without representation has very little chance of getting justice.
New York City dog bite attorneys are experienced professionals who can evaluate a claim on behalf of the victim. And fight for their clients to receive money damages for medical care and damaged property. They are also on hand to act as a buffer. protecting their clients from intimidating insurance adjusters.
Legal Definition + Protocol
The State of New York legally defines a dangerous dog by the following criteria:
- A dog that behaves in a manner which a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of physical injury or death.
- A dog that without justification attacks a person, companion, farm or domestic animal and causes physical injury or death.
- A dog that without justification attacks a service dog, guide dog or hearing dog and causes physical injury or death.
State law does not make any specifications about the breed of a dog and requires a systematic process to be followed before a court makes the determination that a dog is legally dangerous.
The New York City Police Department may investigate if the attack was reported through a 911 call. Oftentimes, law enforcement will transfer the matter to a municipal animal control officer.
If a dog is ruled as being dangerous, the animal is typically confined in a court order to remain at the owner’s residence. It is not uncommon for the court to declare that a dangerous dog is muzzled when taken outside the home. In very rare cases a judge will order an animal to be euthanized.
Types of Injuries
If you did not seek medical attention immediately after being bit by a dog, don’t wait any longer to address the problem. Many injuries sustained from dog bites can get worse if ignored, such as:
- Cuts or lacerations vulnerable to becoming infected
- Damage to nerves, tendons, tissues and bones
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Emotional and psychological trauma
- Rabies transmission
All of this necessary care gets costly rather quickly, causing more strain on victims who wonder what they should do next. A New York dog attack lawyer is someone who will remain at your side and understands all aspects of the law.
Determining if a Dog is Dangerous
Part of what makes dog bite cases complicated is the fact that dogs are viewed as family members. If a judge believes there is probable cause that the dog is dangerous under New York State law, an order will be issued to a local animal control officer to seize and detain the dog until the court reaches an outcome.
During the hearing, a lawyer must prove that the dog is dangerous with clear and compelling evidence. Most times the resolution includes awarding monetary compensation to the victim for damages such as medical bills.
If the dog is considered dangerous, then the burden is placed on the dog’s owner, as animals do not have legal standing. If the dog escapes its residence and causes further injuries, the owner could be arrested on a misdemeanor charge.
New York courts luckily impose a strict liability on the owner for injuries inflicted by his/her dog if the victim can establish that the dog is vicious, and the owner was knowledgeable or should have been able to recognize aggressive tendencies.
The Ashley law firm will represent you and hold the dog owner accountable for the dog attack and the injuries it has caused. If you or someone you know has been bitten by a dog because of a careless owner, call us at 212-513-1300 or visit our website’s contact page.