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Who may be at fault when a dog bite happens?

Dog bites and animal attacks happen far more frequently than many of us realize, and while we commonly refer to our beloved dogs as man’s best friend, some dogs have dangerous propensities or are trained to have an aggressive response to people. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 4.5 million dog bites in any given year throughout the United States, and while about 80 percent of those do not require medical treatment, the remaining 20 percent of cases are serious enough to warrant medical treatment, and a small minority of which require hospitalization.

Whether you are the owner of a dog who has bitten someone or are the victim of a dog bite or animal attack, you may be wondering who is at fault when a dog bites someone.

In New York City, owners can be held liable for their dog’s behavior and for the medical bills caused by their actions, whether that involves knocking someone down or biting them if they knew or should have known that their dog had vicious propensities.

In New York the owner of a dog is strictly liable for the damage the dog causes if they knew or should have known the dog had bitten someone or another dog before, showed aggression to strangers, or otherwise exhibited a dangerous or threatening demeanor before it bit a person.

If you own property in New York, it is also important that you know if there are dogs living in your building.  Building owners can be responsible to the victim of a bite from a dog with vicious propensities if the owner knew or should have known about the dog living on in the building and that it had a propensity to be vicious.

Preventing Dog Bites

Children are often the victims of dog bites or animal attacks and due to their small size also tend to suffer the most severe injuries as a result. As a parent, it is crucial that you teach your children how to behave around animals, not just with the beloved family pet, but also around unknown dogs. Children should never hug or approach a dog from behind, touch a dog’s chew toys, food, or snacks, be allowed to pull on parts of a dog or hit a dog, stare into a dog’s eyes or kiss a dog on the face.

As the owner of a dog, especially larger dogs like pit bulls, German Shepherds, or Rottweilers, which can inflict much more severe injuries, it is imperative that you remain vigilant about your surroundings, maintain control of your dog on a leash, and avoid situations where dog bites may occur.

Dogs make for incredible and loyal companions to many millions of people all across New York, but they can also pose a danger to others. If you’ve been involved in a dog bite or animal attack, then it is imperative that you contact an experienced dog bite attorney in New York City. Every dog bite case is different and requires a personalized approach and investigation. The dog bite attorneys at Greenberg & Stein have more than 75 years of combined experience and will fight to make sure you receive the compensation you need following a dog bite or animal attack.

We offer free, 24/7 legal consultations and can walk you through what legal options are available to you following a dog bite in New York City. Contact us today at 888-411-3966.