New York’s “One-Bite” Dangerous Dog Rule: What Does It Mean?

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The bond between humans and dogs has existed for a millennia. However, dogs are animals and sometimes they bite. If you’ve been bitten by a dog or you own a dog, you should know New York’s law for dangerous dogs.

States handle dog-bite cases in a variety of ways. One is through something called strict liability. This means an owner is responsible for all damages caused by her dog. Another is through what is known as the “one-bite” rule. This means that an owner will be responsible for the damages caused by her dog if she knew or had reason to know that her dog was dangerous.

New York combines these two concepts. If someone is bitten by a dog that already was deemed dangerous (or should have been deemed dangerous), then the owner can be held strictly liable for the injuries her dog caused. A dog can be deemed dangerous in a variety of ways:

  • The dog has bitten someone in the past;
  • It has a history of fighting;
  • It fiercely barks or lunges at people or animals;
  • The dog has a history of knocking over people or jumping;
  • And anything else that would lead a reasonable person to believe that the dog was dangerous.

But if a dog hasn’t been deemed dangerous before its first bite, then an owner will be liable only if it’s proven she were negligent. This means that the injured person has to show that the owner failed to take reasonable steps to control the dog or prevent it from injuring someone.

If you or someone you love has been injured by an animal, contact The Coppola Firm. Our team of experienced attorneys is here to help.

Lisa Coppola

Written by Lisa Coppola

Founder of The Coppola Firm

Lisa A. Coppola, Esq. understands the challenges her clients face, whether they’re starting a new business, taking their existing operations in a new direction, or facing a claim or threat.

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