“Dog Bite” cases are a particular type of personal injury case where an injured party seeks remedy against a pet owner for injuries caused by the conduct of the dangerous pets. There are very distinct rules that apply to these dog bite cases that do not apply to other types of personal injury cases.
The One-Bite Rule
Dog Owners will be responsible for injuries caused by pets who are known to have a “vicious propensity.” Vicious propensity means that the dog engages or has engaged in actions that are dangerous to and/or can/have cause harm to persons or property around them. These actions can include behavior such as biting, clawing/scratching, running into or hitting and just about any other activity that is dangerous and not safe. Owners will not be held responsible for dogs who are not known to have a vicious propensity. In New York, it is referred to as the one-bite rule or first bite rule. Owners will not be held liable for a pet who injures a person and the incident is the first known incident that the pet committed conduct that is dangerous. In essence, the first bite is free from liability. Any subsequent dangerous conduct by the same animal will satisfy the requirement to prove that the dog had a known vicious propensity and the owner will be liable for damages incurred by the injured party.
Proving a vicious propensity is the responsibility of an injured party. Methods of proving a vicious propensity include but are not limited to providing testimony of neighbors and/or prior victims to the animal’s aggression, providing records from veterinary personnel that note the animal’s aggressive behavior and/or obtaining prior disciplinary records evidencing the aggression.
As in all types of personal injury cases, dog bite injuries can range from minor to significant. Victims are often left unable to work. They are in extraordinary pain. This leaves the victim and their families in a position where their entire lives are changed.
Here at the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC, we know what steps need to be taken quickly to preserve your rights and protect your claims. That is why it is in your best interest to have us on your side. We are here for you and as always, the initial consultation and case evaluation is free.
If you or a loved one have been injured and are suffering due to a dog bite or animal attack, call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620. We are here for you!