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What Is the Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Injury Claims? Everything You Need to Know

Dog Bite injury Statute of Limitation
Dog Bite Injury Statute of Limitation I Greenberg & Stein P.C.

Dogs are the most popular pet around the world. It is estimated that there are 600,000 pet dogs in New York. It is easy to understand why dogs are so popular. They are very loyal, affectionate, protective, and intelligent creatures. Nonetheless, they are also animals and they sometimes react to certain human actions by biting. Dog bites can lead to very serious injuries. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner. In the state of New York, you have three years from the date of the attack to initiate a lawsuit.

Dog Bite Injury Lawsuits: How Long Do You Have to File?

Dog bite injury cases fall under the category of personal injury lawsuits. Therefore, in New York, the statute of limitations for dog bite cases is three years from the date of the attack. This means that the victim has three years from the incident to file a lawsuit against the dog owner for any damages. As in any other personal injury case, you must prove that the other party was negligent and their carelessness led to the attack. Hence, you must have evidence to support your claims.

There are certain exceptions to the statute of limitations for dog bite cases in New York. The most common exception is the “discovery rule.” Under the discovery rule, the statute of limitations may be tolled or extended if the victim did not know and could not have reasonably known about their injuries until a later date. This rule applies in cases where the injuries resulting from the dog bite are not immediately apparent or where the full extent of the injuries is not known until a later time.

Another exception to the statute of limitations is for cases involving minors. In these cases, the statute of limitations may be tolled until the minor reaches the age of 18, at which point they will have three years from their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit. Unfortunately, according to research, children are the most common victims of dog bite attacks, especially those between the ages of 5 and 9. Children are more likely to be bitten by dogs because they may not understand how to approach or interact with dogs properly.

Time Is Ticking: Don’t Miss Your Chance to File a Dog Bite Injury Claim

If you do not file a dog bite injury lawsuit within the time stipulated by the statute of limitations in your state, your case may be barred forever, and you may lose your right to seek compensation for your injuries. This means that the court will likely dismiss your case if you attempt to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired.

It is important to understand that the statute of limitations is a strict deadline, and it is enforced by the court system. Therefore, it is crucial to take action promptly and file a lawsuit within the applicable time frame. Working with an experienced dog bite injury attorney comes with many advantages. Your attorney will make sure that you meet all deadlines so you do not lose your chance to recover compensation for your injuries.

When Can You Hold Dog Owners Liable for Your Injuries?

It is important to understand how dog bite rules work in the state of New York. Typically, there are two different approaches to determine if a dog owner can be held liable or not. One of them is the “one-bite rule”. This approach states that if the dog has never bitten someone in the past, the owner cannot be held liable because there was no way that they could have known that their dog would attack someone.

The other approach is called “strict liability”. Under strict liability, the dog owner is always liable for their dog’s actions. Most states either use the “one-bite rule” or “strict liability”. Nevertheless, in the state of New York, a combination of these two approaches is used.

The Dog Has Never Bitten Someone in The Past

If the dog has never attacked someone in the past or if the dog has never exhibited signs of being a “dangerous” dog, the owner is only responsible for medical expenses directly related to the dog bite injuries and veterinary bills if another animal was harmed.

The Dog Has Been Deemed as Dangerous in The Past

If, on the other hand, the dog has bitten someone in the past or has exhibited signs of dangerous behavior, the owner may be held responsible for other damages beyond medical bills. For example, property damage or noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering. Just keep in mind that you will need to prove that the dog could be considered a “dangerous dog” that the owner was aware of that and that the owner was negligent and their actions caused the incident.

These are some signs or behaviors that can make a dog be considered dangerous:

  • The dog has bitten someone in the past
  • Excessive barking
  • The dog has chased someone or another animal
  • Constant signs of aggression such as growling or baring teeth
  • Complaints from other people or neighbors alleging that the dog is dangerous

Exceptions to Liability in Dog Bite Injury Claims

There are some exceptions to the rules mentioned above. If the dog attack occurred due to one of the following reasons, the owner may no be held liable for any damages:

  • The dog was being provoked or tormented
  • The dog was trying to protect its puppies
  • The person who was bitten was trespassing

The Role of Evidence in Dog Bite Injury Claims: How to Build a Strong Case and Maximize Compensation

Having as much relevant evidence as possible will significantly increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve. To be able to be reimbursed for your medical expenses you will need receipts, medical records, medical test results, and any other documentation related to your injuries. Remember that you should be reimbursed for past and future medical expenses related to the injuries sustained during the dog attack.

It is also important to preserve the clothes you had during the attack, especially if they are ripped or if they have stains. Gathering all the evidence can be complicated and it must be done quickly before it disappears. Hiring a dog bite injury attorney is a good solution. Your attorney can help you collect all the proof necessary to build a solid case while you recover from your injuries. Your attorney can also speak to neighbors and eyewitnesses to try to get an statement from them that can be used in court.

Dog Bite Injury Attorney

A dog bite injury can be very painful and costly. You should not bear the burden of having to pay medical bills if someone else’s negligence puts you in that situation. Greenberg & Stein P.C. is a prestigious law firm where you can find very experienced dog bite injury attorneys. Our legal team has helped numerous New Yorkers get the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Do not hesitate in contacting us. Call us at 888-716-3843 to schedule a free consultation to review your case.