New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
The New York Animal Bites Law
Animal bites, particularly dog bites are something that happens often, and Americans in the thousands are victims of this peril. If an animal bites you, you might have the legal right to claim for damages, from either the animal owner or the concerned party.
What to do if an animal bites you?
The very first thing to do after an animal bite is to look for medical attention without delay. If left untreated, the animal bite might lead to grave injury, infection, or even death, especially when it is diseased. This is pretty rare but you still need to get yourself checked out.
After proper medical evaluation, the next thing to do is to seek the services of a competent animal bites lawyer, thoroughly experienced in cases concerned with animal bites and certainly personal injury. He/she can inform you as to a potential legal claim, as also the nature of the damages that you can recover. After all, this animal most likely has an owner who did not take the responsibility they should over their animal. Now they are negligent!
You should provide your lawyer with complete information as to the circumstances concerning the animal bite. Other important information includes the name of the animal owner and his/her phone number. In case there are witnesses, it is prudent to identify them and provide your lawyer with their contact information.
The Liability of the Owner
The first thing to determine is the identity of the animal owner in question. Some states enforce “strict liability” on animal owners having animals that bite others. Under “strict liability” any owner is liable for an animal bite, regardless of what happens. However, in other states, the animal owner can be held accountable for the injuries it causes, if he or she is aware that his or her animal is indeed dangerous, and so can inflict injury on an individual.
New York is a ‘mixed state’ where the statute mixes limit degree of ‘strict liability’ with the one-bite rule. The owner or keeper of a previously adjudicated animal is liable only for medical and veterinary cuts. The victim must prove that the dog owner was aware of his or her dog’s tendency to bite people.
To determine if the owner was aware of the animal’s dangerous tendencies might be difficult. To do this, you need to determine if it is necessary for the animal owner to know if his/her animal is potentially harmful, or the type of animal that bit you is dangerous.
Possible Defenses in Animal Bite Cases
When an animal owner has made sufficient warning to people that his/her animal is dangerous, and if a person did not pay any heed to these warnings and became injured as a result, the situation is termed “assumption of the risk” or “contributory negligence”. In such a situation the animal owner might not be held responsible for the animal’s actions.
Depending on how serious your of injuries are, as the result of the animal attack, you might be entitled to a claim for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Suffering and pain
- Lost wages
- Damage to property
Seeking Legal Help
If you or a loved one has been bitten by an animal, you might be entitled to hold the animal owner liable and so has the right to recover damages for any resultant injuries. However, it can be very complicated to determine your own legal rights.
It is also not certain if you can file for a claim against the animal owner, and also the kind of damages that you are entitled to. Under the circumstances, to make sure that you get fair compensation, it is imperative that you hire an animal bite lawyer, highly experienced in dealing with animal bite cases.
Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff, & Wolff, LLP is where you will find the best New York animal bites lawyers. The firm has an excellent track record and was named among the 20 Leading Trial Lawyers in 2013 by Newsweek. The team has won big cases but are never shy of taking on cases big or small. If you or your loved one has suffered due to a dog bite or other type of animal bite, our attorneys can help. To increase your chances of winning the compensation you rightly deserve call 212 697 9280 now for a free consultation.
The first meeting is free. We do not stop working for you until every avenue has been exhausted. We are not paid until you are paid.