During the last year, many families welcomed a dog into their home to keep them company while they were working remotely or while they were separated from family and friends.
Many dogs are friendly, but New York’s dog bite statute addresses the consequences when a dog bites and injures another person.
Dog owner responsibility
In New York, a dog owner is responsible for the injuries his or her dog causes if the dog is dangerous. A dangerous dog is defined as a dog, without provocation, that attacks and injures or kills a person, a service dog, farm animal or domestic animal or behaves in a way that would make a reasonable person believe the dog poses a serious and unjustified imminent threat of injury or death.
If a dog owner negligently permits a dangerous dog to bite a person and the injury is serious, he or she can be found guilty of a misdemeanor, fined up to $3,000 and imprisoned for up to 90 days.
Dog bites can cause minor injuries like scratches or bruises, but in more serious situations the injuries can be debilitating. These can include broken bones, puncture wounds, permanent disability and death.
It can also cause the victim to incur expensive medical bills for treatment and result in other financial impact, like lost wages while he or she heals.
In New York, a case must be filed within three years of the date of the injury. An experienced attorney can evaluate the situation and provide advice about next steps, including pursuing compensation on the victim’s behalf.