Dog bites can cause serious injury to anyone, but they are particularly risky and traumatizing for children. Children are smaller and therefore a bite can do much more harm. They are at greater risk of severe injury, and wounds can also lead to permanent disfigurement.
Children are at more risk for a bite because their behaviors and the pitch of their voices can also aggravate a usually peaceful and calm canine. Hundreds of children get bit by dogs every year in New York, and some of them get hurt badly enough that they need to go to the hospital. Others develop infections, and still, others may need counseling to get over their fear of dogs after the attack.
Who is responsible for the costs that your family has to cover because of a vicious dog in New York?
The owner may be responsible if the dog is dangerous
Some states have strict liability rules for dog bites scenarios, which means the owner is always to blame. Others allow a dog one bite before the owner has liability for its actions. New York employs a hybrid approach that imposes liability for dangerous dogs on their owners.
A prior attack would establish that a dog is potentially dangerous, as could other behaviors. Provided that you can show the owner knew the animal was dangerous, you may have grounds to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them for the expenses incurred in your child’s care after the attack. You may be able to make an insurance claim regardless of whether there is reason to consider the animal dangerous.
Understanding New York dog bite laws can present a challenge but will help you get the compensation your family needs when an animal turns aggressive.