Animal attacks are a startlingly regular occurrence that can lead to serious injury or even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are more than four million bite victims each year. Unfortunately, many of these injuries were easily preventable and caused by the negligent action of the pet’s owner. Such is exactly what occurred on Thursday afternoon. A 3-year old boy in Spring Valley, New York, of Rockland County, was playing outside with his friends. In a truly disturbing attacking caught on video, a pit bull charged from across the street and viciously attacked the boy. According to the New York Daily News, the dog was well-known to be let off its leash by its owner and has been the target of multiple complaints by the neighbors. The little boy was rushed to a nearby hospital and the extent of his injuries is unknown at this time.
The New York rule for dog-bite cases has been the subject of extensive litigation and is different from the general rule in most states. In dog bite cases, most states either have a law for strict liability or a “one-bite Rule.” Strict liability laws hold the owner responsible for any injuries or damages their pet caused, regardless of the animal’s history. The “one-bite rule” holds dog owner’s liable only if their pet had a known propensity for violence, such as biting individuals in the past. Premises liability law in New York, however, uses a combination of strict liability and the one-bite rule in animal attack cases. Dog owners have strict liability for any medical or veterinary bills incurred by their pet. Dog owners, however, can only be held liable for non-medical damages if their dog has a known history of violence.
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury due to an animal attack, you may have legal recourse. For a free consultation with our New York personal injury attorneys, please call (212) 406-1700 or contact us online. Our cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. If we accept your case, there is no fee unless we recover damages.