When dogs attack. What are your options?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and about a one-fifth of those incidents require medical attention. Dog bites occur every 75 seconds in the United States and each day, over 1,000 citizens need emergency medical care to treat these injuries.

In 2013 there were 965 dog bite claims in New York State.

Here are some quick statistics according the American Veterinary Medical Association

  •  Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.
  • Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
  • Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
  • Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
  • Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.

If you are bitten by a dog and require medical attention due to the negligence of  its owner you can you can file a claim against the dog’s owner.According to the National Insurance Information I


New York State law imposes absolute liability on an owner or custodian of a dangerous dog for medical or veterinary bills resulting from any type of injuries.

New York State law also says that an owner will only be responsible for injuries sustained in an attack caused by

  • negligence,
  • a violation of a leash law or prohibition to running loose law
  • owning a dog with knowledge that the dog has a violent history.

Also,  a dog owner can be criminally convicted of a misdemeanor if the they negligently permit their dog to bite you, the dog has a violent history and the injury is a serious injury. New York State’s Agriculture & Markets Law states explicitly  that the dog attack victim is entitled to full compensation for his or her injuries, medical costs, pain and suffering, loss of physical ability, mental anguish, loss of earning capacity and more.

What should do in the event of a dog attack?

  • Get immediate medical attention, if needed
  • Maintain contact with any witnesses
  • Obtain a copy of the dog’s medical history
  • Investigate the scene
  • Obtain animal control records
  • Obtain police reports
  • Contact an experienced attorney

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