Dog Bites

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. Half of all dog-bite victims are children. If you or a family member has been bitten or injured by a dog or other animal that someone keeps as a pet or for protection, you might be entitled to compensation.

At The Matera Law Firm, we understand how traumatic an animal attack can be for you as a victim, or for you as the parent of a child who has been attacked. Our attorneys and staff take the time to explain the process of filing a claim for damages and respond to all of your questions and concerns. Animal bite cases in New York may involve complex legal issues that our attorneys are ready to handle on your behalf.

The One-Bite Rule

Many people have heard about a dog being allowed one bite before its owner will be held liable for the victim's injuries. Merely owning a dog is not enough in New York to make a person responsible if a dog bites someone.

The theory behind the one-bite rule is that a dog owner should not be expected to take precautions to protect people from being bitten unless they are aware of their pet's biting propensity as shown by the dog actually biting someone. Once the dog bites a person, the owner is on notice that it might happen again.

Dangerous Propensity

The fact that New York has a one-bite rule does not mean that the owner of a dog that growls and lunges at people who approach will not be liable for the injuries suffered by the first person bitten. Owners of domestic animals that attack someone are liable for injuries suffered by the victims if the owners knew or should have known of the danger posed by their pet.

A Long Island owner whose pet growls, snaps or behaves in a dangerous or vicious manner might be held responsible for bites inflicted by the pet unless the owner takes reasonable steps to protect people who might come in contact with it. This might include keeping the dog on a leash when off the owner's property, maintaining a fenced enclosure in which the animal is kept or moving the pet to another room when guests enter the house.

Contact An Animal Bite Attorney

If you have questions or concerns following an animal attack, the lawyers at The Matera Law Firm are ready to help you. Contact us today for free consultation!