New York’s “Dangerous Dog” Statute
New York is one of the many states that has enacted separate liability law covering dog bites. Under the New York Agriculture and Markets Code Section 123, New York has established the “dangerous dog” statute. This law considers a dangerous dog to be one that:
- Without significant justification, causes serious physical injury or death to a person, farm animal, companion animal, or other pet;
- Has a known, vicious propensity, as identified by a previous unjustified attack; or
- Behaves in a way that elicits imminent apprehension in a reasonable person, due to the belief that the dog poses a serious, imminent threat to one’s safety and wellbeing.
For a dog to have significant justification for its dangerous actions, the dog must have been:
- Protecting its owners against an intruder committing a crime or offense to the owner or the owner’s property;
- Protecting itself or its offspring from being tormented, abused, assaulted or physically threatened by the person harmed or killed;
- Responding to pain or injury; or
- Generally, protecting itself, its owner, a member of its household, its domestic companions, or its offspring from an imminent threat by another person, companion animal, farm animal, or other pet.
Over time, the “one-bite rule” has been established in states, including New York. As an example, a dog bite or attack may have been unjustified but, if the dog did not have any sort of vicious propensity before the attack, the owner may be exempt from civil or criminal punishment. Once there is a bite on record, the dog is determined to have a vicious propensity. If there is a subsequent attack, the dog may have to either be confined, euthanized, or be subjected to other remediations. including restraint on a leash, muzzling, or evaluation by a licensed veterinary behaviorist. Also, the owner will be strictly liable for damages.
The New York “dangerous dog” statute uses the idea of strict liability to determine punishments for the owners of the dogs found to be dangerous. Here, the owner will have to pay for all medical bills incurred by the injured person, even if they took the proper precautions in restraining the dangerous dog. Injured persons may also be able to sue for additional damages.
If you or a loved one were injured by a dangerous dog, it is important to contact an experienced New York personal injury and dog bite attorney to assist you in obtaining the compensation you deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goldberg Sager & Associates are knowledgeable in handling all aspects of personal injury cases and are dedicated to helping clients achieve the best possible outcome for their case. Contact the personal injury and dog bite attorneys at Goldberg Sager & Associates at (347) 497-3245 for a free phone consultation.