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Do I Have to Report My Dog Bite in NY?

Yes. You have to report a dog bite in NY. According to the NYC Department of Health, all animal bites, including dog bites, must be reported within 24 hours of the incident. You should obtain the name, contact details, and address of the dog owner. Otherwise, try to get details from someone who may know the dog. Reporting the dog bite will help in determining whether you will require treatment for rabies and ensure that the incident doesn’t happen again.

Aside from reporting the dog bite incident, you should also consider talking to an NY dog bite lawyer to determine whether you have a claim against the dog owner and your legal options for compensation.

A Dog Bite Can Lead to Severe Injuries

Dog bite victims can suffer the following injuries:

  • Scarring – You could sustain permanent scarring that might require several surgeries to treat. Besides being painful, scars can significantly impact your self-esteem.
  • Infections – If a dog bites you and you suffer from an auto-immune disease, you have an increased risk of developing an infection. In rare cases, some bitten victims may contract rabies, a fatal viral infection that is transmitted through infected saliva via a wound or bite. It can result in death if left untreated. Fortunately, rabies is preventable if you get vaccinated soon after getting bitten.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – Studies have shown that dog bite victims, especially younger children, may develop PTSD. They may be fearful of all dogs or refuse to go out because they are scared of encountering dogs.

The potential injuries a dog bite victim may suffer will vary greatly from one person to another based on various factors. These factors typically include the age of the victim, the size of the dog, and the location of the dog bite.

New York’s Tricky Dog Bite Laws

Under New York’s one-bite rule, a dog owner can only be held strictly liable for an injured victim’s losses if the owner knew of their dog’s vicious or dangerous propensity. Unfortunately, this means that even if you suffer life-changing injuries and significant damages from the dog bite or attack, you may not be able to get compensation for all your losses unless you can prove the owner was aware of their dog’s vicious propensity.

In addition, you can only recover compensation for other losses, such as emotional distress and lost earnings, through a damages award in a lawsuit if the owner knew their dog could be dangerous. It is also crucial to note that dog owners can only be held legally responsible for a dog bite if the attack was unjustified, meaning that the dog was not provoked or was not defending its owner, itself, or other people.

If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog, the Steve Foley Law Firm is ready to help. They can help you understand how the state’s complex dog bite laws apply to your case and how you can recover full compensation for your damages. Contact us online or call 716-249-2222 to arrange your free case review with our NY dog bite lawyer today.