Despite dogs being man’s best friend, many people are justified in being wary around dogs they are not familiar with. The World Health Organization estimates approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year. Perhaps most concerning is that children make up the largest percentage of dog bite victims. Animal bites can result in serious injury including permanent scarring, nerve damage, lasting psychological trauma, or even death.
It is important that we inform our children to avoid stray dogs and to always ask permission from an owner before approaching and attempting to pet a dog. In the event of a bite, ask the animal’s owner if it has been vaccinated for rabies and make sure you seek immediate medical treatment.
Whether you are a pet owner, animal lover, or a victim of a dog bite, it is up to you to understand your legal rights in the event of bite. In New York State, the owner of a dog will be legally responsible for injuries caused by their pet, provided the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog had “vicious propensities”. In practical terms, this typically means that the owner was aware of a prior bite or other aggressive behavior from the dog.
If you are the owner of a dog and own a home, you should ask your insurance broker or carrier to add a “Dog Liability Endorsement” to your homeowner’s insurance policy. The cost of this endorsement is often nominal and will protect you from liability in the event your dog injures someone. If you have suffered a dog bite, you should contact an attorney to protect your legal interests.
At RGLZ, we’ve represented countless victims of animal attacks since opening our doors in 1968. As experienced personal injury lawyers, we know how to investigate and prosecute your dog bite attack claim. To schedule a free consultation with Christopher Glass, call him directly at: 866-639-5567, or fill out the form below.
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