November 02, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Dog bite liability in New York
Conversations about dog attacks often focus primarily on pit bulls and other breeds that have a reputation for being dangerous. The truth is, however, that dogs of any breed can bite or become aggressive, particularly if they lack proper socialization or if they are specifically trained to behave dangerously.
In New York, dog owners are typically liable for any injuries that occur when a dog bites or attacks another person, regardless of the dog's breed or the circumstances of the injury. Furthermore, under New York's "dangerous dog" law, dog owners can face additional liability as well as other legal consequences if someone is harmed by a dog with a known history of aggression, or if the owner's negligence contributed to the injury.
Dog bites and insurance
In 2012, dog bites were the cause of more than one-third of the money paid out for homeowners' liability insurance claims in the United States, according to the Insurance Information Institute. There were a total of 16,459 dog bite claims that year, with an average value of $29,752 each.
Because dog bite claims can be very costly, insurers often charge higher premiums to policyholders who own dogs with a history of bites or other aggressive behavior, and some companies even refuse to insure the owner against future liability for injuries caused by that dog. Some insurance companies take these restrictions even farther by excluding all dogs of certain breeds from coverage under their policies.
In the event that an uninsured dog injures someone, the owner can be held personally liable to the injured person. This situation can be problematic for everyone involved, particularly if the dog owner does not have sufficient personal resources to fulfill his or her financial obligation to the injured party.
How dog owners can help prevent bites
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following precautions to help protect against the risk of dog bite injuries
-Have pet dogs spayed or neutered to reduce aggressive tendencies.
-Properly train dogs and socialize them to interact appropriately with people.
-Avoid wrestling or playing other aggressive games with dogs.
-Do not leave dogs unattended with infants or small children.
In addition, the CDC recommends that dog owners seek advice right away from a veterinarian, reputable breeder or other qualified professional if the animal begins showing signs of aggressive behavior or other undesirable tendencies.
Safety tips for interacting with dogs
The CDC also provides a number of safety tips to help people stay safe when interacting with dogs in any context:
-Do not approach unfamiliar dogs.
-If you are approached by an unfamiliar dog, remain motionless; do not run or scream.
-Avoid direct eye contact with dogs.
-Do not touch a dog without first giving it a chance to see and smell you.
-Do not approach a dog while it is eating, sleeping or tending to its puppies.
-If you are knocked down by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still.
It is also important to teach children how to interact safely with dogs and to supervise children at all times when a dog is present.
Bitten by a dog in New York? A lawyer can help
For more information about the legal options that are available after a dog bite injury in New York, contact an experienced dog bite injury lawyer.
Article provided by Schonberg Law Offices of the Hudson Valley, P.C.
Visit us at www.schonberglaw.com