Dealing With Dog Bites
Following a dog bite or dog attack in New York, you should:
- Cleanse the wound with soap and warm water.
- Seek medical attention.
- Notify your local animal control agency about your dog bite incident. Give as much information as you can, including, the sequence of events and any information about the dog.
- Photograph the injuries resulting from the dog attack.
- Photograph the area in which the attack occurred.
- Collect contact information from all witnesses of the dog attack.
- Do not sign anything from the dog owner, insurance company, or anyone else involved in the attack.
Dog bites can lead to serious injury and infection. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, bite wounds are “considered grossly contaminated.” Because of this, proper medical treatment should be a priority to reduce the risk of infection or further physical damage.
“Free” Bites in New York
The joke in New York with respect to dog bite cases is that every dog gets a free bite. The person attacked or bitten by a dog then has the further burden of proving that the dog had a vicious propensity and that the dog owner had prior knowledge of that dog’s vicious propensity. This means that you must show that the dog has had violent or vicious interactions in the past. Generally, this may include presenting evidence that the dog has been seen as dangerous in the past. Evidence such as neighbor testimony regarding the dog’s vicious propensity would be an example of this.
It is not enough to allege that the dog is dangerous because of its breed. Hence, even pit bulls, rottweilers, etc. get the benefit of the doubt unless your legal team can prove that the specific dog has a vicious propensity. However, these laws do not apply in all states. In New Jersey, the standard is that of “reasonable care” instead. This means that if a dog owner fails to prevent his dog from running out of the house or yard & it bites someone on the sidewalk, the homeowner may be considered negligent.
D’Agostino & Associates P.C. has offices in New York and New Jersey. Contact us, or call us at 1-888-245-2924 to schedule a free consultation with our personal injury attorneys.