Who Let the Dogs Out?

The statistics that define the danger of being attacked by a “household” animal are startling:

  • Dog bites injure nearly one million Americans every year.
  • Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States seeks medical attention for a dog bite.
  • 60% of all victims are children & dog bites are the second leading cause of childhood injury (surpassing playground accidents.)
  • 77% of all injuries to children are to the facial area.
  • 70% of dogs that bite are pets (not strays), who attack on their owner’s property in social situations.

In New York, every dog is entitled to one “free” bite: the owner is usually not responsible to the victim unless he/she knew or should have known that the animal had a vicious propensity, i.e., the tendency to cause bodily injury.  Even the owner of a Pit Bull or a Rottweiler is not liable if the injured party cannot prove that the canine displayed violence towards another in the past.  It is therefore critical to learn as much as possible about the animal, not just from the owner, but from neighbors, police, mail carriers and the family veterinarian.  If you would like to discuss whether or not you can recover monetary compensation for an animal attack, please contact us for a free consultation.