Animal bites are far more common that most consider at first blush. That is particularly true in large cities, because more people (and their pets) are often crowded into small spaces. There are many opportunities for interaction between the animals and strangers, and bites occasionally occur at those times. It is important for local residents to understand their rights as it relates to these accidents. More specifically, if you live in New York and were bitten by another’s dog, you may be able to recover for your loses–medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
How Does the Law Apply in these Situations?
There is a lot of misunderstandings about these cases, and it is easy to get confused. As an initial matter, it is important to understand that liability rules vary depending on the state. Some states apply “strict liability” which mean that, in virtually all cases, an owner is responsible for the consequences of their animal’s bites. Other’s apply a “first bite free” approach where there may not be liability IF the dog was not known to be dangerous (i.e. had not bitten anyone in the past).