Does Premises Liability Cover Animal Attacks in New York?
In New York, a homeowner or business owner is required by law to maintain a reasonably safe property. These laws generally cover accidents such as falls, burns, elevator malfunctions, or swimming pool incidents. New York negligence law also covers injuries resulting from dog bites, menacing, or attacks.
If you have been hurt by a dog or other pet, you may have the right to bring a claim against the dog’s owner or another responsible party for damages. For example, if you were walking near a house in your neighborhood and a dog ran out of the open front door and bit you, you may have the right to sue the homeowner for any type of physical, emotional, or financial injury you sustained according to New York Consolidated Laws Assembly Bill A2575A. The homeowner or other party has a duty to ensure that the dog is not able to escape the house and injure someone.
When a homeowner fails to secure their dog or prevent an attack, they can be held liable under New York’s premises negligence laws, especially if they did not use reasonable care to restrain their pet. Not all attacks will result in a successful claim, however. The strength of your claim will depend upon the unique facts of your case and the animal’s history of prior attacks or aggressive behavior.
How to Sue for a Dog Bite or Attack
Bringing a claim following a dog bite can be done for several reasons. One, you may have suffered extensive injuries and damages related to the attack, including medical costs, lost income, physical pain, mental distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. You could be entitled to full, fair, and just compensation for injuries that should never have happened in the first place.
Secondly, filing a claim against the owner of a dangerous dog or another responsible party could prevent that dog from hurting you or someone else in the future. Your claim could result in the dog being labeled a “dangerous or vicious animal,” which is important for the safety of your community.
Who May Be Responsible for a Dog Bite Injury
The most common party responsible for a dog bite is the dog owner. Based upon the circumstances of your attack, however, other parties may be held responsible including:
- The property owner
- Tenant where the dog lived
- Management company
- Condo association
Actions You Should Take After an Animal Attack
The actions you take immediately following an animal attack can make the difference between a strong claim and a weak one.
If possible, follow this simple advice after the incident:
- Call the police
- Request that a police report is completed
- Obtain immediate medical attention
- Record the names and addresses of any witnesses to the attack
- Try to identify the name of the owner of the dog
- Do not post on social media about the attack or your injuries
- Take photographs of all visible injuries
- Follow up with medical providers and follow all medical instructions
- Contact a lawyer to discuss your rights as soon as you can
Types of Compensation You May Receive
If the evidence shows that your dog attack injuries were the result of negligence, the law entitles you to receive fair and reasonable financial compensation for each and every type of damage you suffered.
For example, a dog bite could leave you with severe injuries. Many attacks result in severe bodily lacerations that could require extensive surgery. Vicious attacks could result in extreme loss of blood and even death.
Your injuries can cause a lot of hardships in your life, such as the inability to work, mental distress, fear of dogs, pain, lost income, and medical bills you cannot afford to pay. Your claim or lawsuit could provide financial compensation to pay you for all you have suffered, as well as for all your financial losses.
Though every case is unique, you may be entitled to compensation for the following types of damages depending upon your circumstances:
- Pain and suffering for all physical and emotional injuries
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Future pain and suffering if your injuries are permanent in nature
- Medical bills
- Cost of physical therapy
- Mental distress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Lost income
- Lost ability to earn a living
Hiring a Qualified Lawyer for an Animal Attack Case in New York
In many instances, the strength of your claim will depend on a thorough and careful investigation of the facts and circumstances of your attack and injuries. Call us today at (646) 692-0204 for a free consultation. If we agree to accept your case, you will not be required to pay us any money upfront. We only receive a legal fee when you recover money for your damages. Don’t delay however as there are deadlines that limit your rights.
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