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Dog Bites

Albany Dog Bites

Pet ownership has increased in recent years. An estimated 48,255,413 households in the U.S. have at least one dog, as reported by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). There are between 83 million and 88 million dogs in the country. More dogs in the community means a higher risk of dog bite injuries. Although most pets are considered important members of the family, any dog will bite under the right circumstances.

How Many Dog Bites Occur Every Year?

  • More than 4.5 million people a year are bitten by dogs in the U.S., as stated by the AVMA.
  • Children are the most common victims and are most likely to suffer serious injuries.
  • Nearly one in every five people bitten by dogs need medical attention.
  • It is not the breed, but rather the individual behavior and history of the dog that determines whether it will bite.

Why Do Dogs Attack People?

According to the AVMA, dogs bite for many reasons, typically as a reaction. They may bite if they are startled, frightened, defending their territory, or in a stressful situation. Dogs may bite when they feel threatened, when they are ill, or to protect their puppies or belongings. Dogs may also nip and bite as part of their play. This may be fun for dogs, but it is not fun for humans who are bitten.

What Should You Do After a Dog Attack?

Take the following steps if you or your child has been bitten by a dog:

  • Get a name and contact information for the dog’s owner.
  • Ask for proof of rabies vaccination.
  • Find out the name of the dog’s veterinarian.
  • Clean the wound with soap and water as soon as possible after the attack.
  • Go to the emergency room or call your doctor immediately after the incident.
  • Contact the dog’s veterinarian for information about vaccinations.
  • Speak with an experienced Albany dog bite lawyer.

What Is the Law on Dog Bites in New York?

New York is a mixed state for dog bite liability. This means the state’s dog bite statute combines strict liability and the one-bite rule. Strict liability is a concept that holds a defendant responsible regardless of intent. An owner or custodian of a dog is strictly liable for medical bills resulting from an injury caused by the dog, even if reasonable care was taken to prevent the dog from attacking.

The concept of negligence, or the one-bite rule, is followed for all other damages related to dog bites. This means the owner or custodian of the dog is only liable if he or she failed to use reasonable care to protect others from harm or to warn others of the dog’s dangerous potential. It is called the one-bite rule because, if a dog has acted aggressively in the past, the owner knows or should know it will bite and has a duty to warn others of the danger.

Do You Need a Lawyer for Dog Bites in Albany?

After an attack by a dog, your best chance of recovering maximum compensation is to have an experienced dog bite attorney in your corner. New York dog bite law is complicated. You may need to establish negligence on the part of the dog owner or custodian to recover compensation for losses other than medical expenses related to the injury. Depending on the circumstances, a dog bite victim’s damages may include lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, diminished quality of life, and other losses.

Our Albany personal injury lawyers at the Russell Friedman Law Group have the knowledge, skills, and resources to assess the full extent of your damages and effectively pursue your claim. Contact us at (518) 520-4667 to find out how we can help.

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