What to Know If Your Dog Bites Someone

If you're a dog owner and your pet has bitten someone, you may be concerned about your legal rights. What if that person decides to press charges? There are three main types of laws that place liability for dog-caused injuries on the dog's owner. If a victim proves you guilty under any of these three laws, you may be financially liable for any personal injury or property caused by your pet. In any of these cases, a personal injury lawyer can help you defend yourself in court. A lawyer can help explain which laws are used in your state and which ones might apply to your situation.

Dog-Bite Statutes

Most states have dog-bite statutes, which make owners financially responsible for all injuries caused by their dog—not just by bites. Even if you weren't being careless, you could be held financially liable for any injury caused by your dog without provocation.

The One-Bite Rule

If you, as an owner, knew that your dog had the potential to bite someone, then any person attacked by your dog could automatically win a lawsuit. In order to prove that you had prior knowledge of your dog being dangerous, they can reference previous bites or aggressive behavior. Since the state of New York uses the one bite rule, some people mistakenly believe that they cannot possibly be liable the first time their dog bites someone. Actually, you may still be vulnerable to a lawsuit if they can prove that you knew that your dog was dangerous. 

Negligence Laws

If you were unreasonably careless (also known as negligent) in controlling your pet, then you are liable for any damage they cause. For example, if you leave your front door open while you are in the bathroom, your dog could run outside to bite the postman. In that circumstance, the postman would have a good chance of proving that you were unreasonably careless and therefore responsible for covering his personal injury damage.

Talk With a Personal Injury Lawyer

In any of these scenarios, a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer can help improve your chances of avoiding prosecution. Talk with one of our attorneys right after the incident to start building a case. Our personal injury lawyers will do whatever it takes within the bounds of the law to get you the best possible results.

You can call our toll free number at 800.608.3333 to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys at any of our six office locations, including Syracuse, Binghamton, Watertown and Rochester, New York, as well as Montrose, Pennsylvania. Se habla español.

 

Posted By: Joe Stanley

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