Can I Sue the Owner if I Suffer a Dog Bite?

By April 18, 2022

dog biteMost dog owners are responsible for their pets and rarely have a problem biting someone. If a dog bites you, you may be able to seek compensation to cover your injuries, medical costs, and other damages. However, it is not always easy to sue a dog owner over a dog bite because they can also countersue claiming you provoked the dog, made the dog feel threatened, or were careless in the pet’s presence. Poissant, Nichols, Grue, Vanier & Babbie are lawyers in NY who are experienced in helping those bitten by a dog receive the compensation they deserve.

Can You Sue the Dog Owner if Bitten?

It may be possible to sue the owner of the dog that has bitten you, but typically only under certain circumstances. Some basic rules involved with suing another person for a dog bite include:

  • The “One-bite rule” is when the owner is liable for a bite if they knew their dog posed a danger to others and did not take all preventive actions to ensure the dog did not bite you.
  • “Strict liability” bite laws still hold most dog owners responsible for their dog’s actions, even if they did not know the pet could be dangerous.
  • It could be ruled the dog owner was unreasonably careless in controlling their pets.

Was the Dog Provoked? 

However, if you were found guilty of provoking the dog or for trespassing on a property, it could be proven the dog owner was not at fault for your getting bitten. Intentionally provoking an animal includes teasing or hitting it. However, some incidents exist when an animal bites after being unintentionally provoked. Some cases where you may have unintentionally provoked a dog include accidentally stepping on its tail, petting the dog when they are eating, intervening in a dog fight, or hugging strange dogs. In some of these cases, the dog owner might not be liable because, though unintentional, the animal was still provoked.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

The first thing that must be completed after a dog has bitten you is to seek immediate medical attention. Seeing a medical doctor is essential to your health and safety. It is also a way to document the incident and gather as much information for your case. The next step is to file a report with the police or animal control about the dog attack. These professionals can have the dog tested for diseases, issue citations against the dog’s owner, and, if necessary, remove the dog.

Make sure to get all contact information from the dog’s owner, including information for their insurance company. Keep this information with all of the evidence collected to support your claim. Evidence to support your claim includes medical records, photographs, and witness statements. A New York dog bite attorney can help you gather this information and file all necessary paperwork for your claim.

How an Attorney Can Help

The rules and laws regarding a dog bite can be complicated and vary among different circumstances. A NY dog bite attorney can help you gather evidence for your claim and help get you the full benefits owed for your injury. An attorney can help fully explain the NY dog bite law and explain the different options available. Additionally, NY lawyers can help prepare your case as a counter defense to any arguments and claims from the dog owner placing blame on you for the dog bite.

Ultimately, your New York dog bite attorney will gather all necessary documents for your case and file them with the courts. They will represent you in all hearings and meetings related to your case. Plus, they will help you get medical attention and care you need to treat your dog bite injuries.

If someone else’s dog has bitten you, do not hesitate to call for assistance from dog bite lawyers. The attorneys at Poissant, Nichols, Grue, Vanier & Babbie are experienced and dedicated to helping you get the maximum compensation for your bite injury. Call our offices today to schedule a consultation with one of our dog bite lawyers and learn more about how we can help you with your personal injury case. Our lawyers will be by your side every step of the way after your bite injury.

All initial personal injury consultations are free. Contact our office regarding any matter at any time.

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