Defending Your Rights In
New York For Over 25 Years

Who pays for the injuries caused by an aggressive dog?

Dogs are among the more popular companion animals owned by individuals in New York. Countless people have pet dogs that they frequently take into public spaces. Farmers and businesses may also rely on dogs to perform certain functions, such as protecting livestock or deterring burglary.

Most working dogs and canine companions are respectful toward humans. Unfortunately, there are some dogs who become aggressive toward people. A dog can attack a human and cause substantial physical injuries ranging from disfiguring facial scars to severe infections.

A dog that injures a person can cause thousands of dollars in medical expenses and even more in lost wages. Who covers the cost generated when a dog attacks a human in New York?

New York’s liability laws are complex

People generally classify dog bite statues into two main categories. There are states with strict liability statutes that make dog owners responsible for the actions of their pets. There are also states with one-bite laws where an animal must have previously displayed aggression for the owner to be accountable. New York has policies that fall somewhere between those two classifications.

Technically, the state does have a one-bite rule. The owner needs to know that a dog is aggressive or dangerous to be liable for its attack on a human. That being said, there is more than one way to establish that a dog is aggressive.

Even if there is no formal record of it attacking a person before, an individual injured by the animal could prove the owner knew it was aggressive. Signs posted on the property, verbal warnings provided by the owner and the animal’s behavioral history could all factor into a dog bite liability claim.

It is possible for someone attacked by a dog to request a hearing in New York at which they prove the animal was aggressive. Should the courts side with the plaintiff, they then have the option of taking legal action against the animal’s owner.

Insurance often covers dog bite costs

Frequently, people attacked by dogs know the owner of the animal. The animal’s owner could be a neighbor or possibly even a member of their family. The average person does not want to cause financial difficulty for someone they know.

Thankfully, dog bite claims often do not result in direct financial liability. Instead, homeowners insurance or renters insurance can potentially compensate the affected party. Litigation is often necessary to prompt a reasonable settlement offer from the insurance company.

Understanding the unique rules for dog bite incidents in New York can help those struggling with the consequences of an encounter with an aggressive animal. Premises liability insurance carried by the owner can potentially help cover the costs generated by a canine with aggressive tendencies.