More Than 4.5 Million People Injured In Dog Bites Each Year In The United States
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (June 7, 2022) – National Dog Bite Awareness week takes place during the second full week of April each year and focuses on educating the public about preventing dog bites.
More than 4.5 million people are injured every year in the United States by dog bites including more than 5,400 postal workers. Hundreds of thousands of those bites require trips to the emergency room.
Sadly, around 30 – 50 people in the United States suffer injuries so serious from dog bites that they end up dying. The number of dog bites has risen in recent years due to more people buying dogs during pandemic lockdowns.
While dogs can be great companions, it is important that everyone takes the time to understand what measures can be taken to prevent bites. Any dog can potentially bite another person, even if they have not previously been aggressive.
There are a number of signs that indicate a dog may become aggressive or bite. Dogs are more likely to bite when (1) their fur stands up, (2) they show their teeth, (3) they start snapping and (4) when they start growling.
Dogs are most likely to bite when they appear nervous and back into a corner. It is never a good idea to reach out to pet a dog that is licking their lips, shaking, putting their tail between their legs or showing other signs of nervous behavior.
There are a number of steps that you can take in order to prevent dog bites.
- Don’t approach new dogs directly. Allow them to come to you.
- Avoid direct eye contact and staring.
- Bend down to meet the dog at their level.
- Allow a new dog to smell you before interacting with them.
- Learn to read a dog’s body language.
By following these steps, you can prevent many dog bites over the course of your life. However, even when people are being very careful, dog bites will still occur. Depending on the circumstances surrounding a dog bite, the owner of a dog could be liable.
Liability For New York Dog Attacks
Depending on the facts of any case, the owner of a dog in New York could be liable if their animal attacks someone. New York state law requires that the owner of a dog had knowledge of the dog’s vicious tendencies. According to New York Agriculture & Markets Code section 123, the owner of a “dangerous dog” is “strictly liable” in the event that their dog injures someone. This is still true even if the owner of a dog took reasonable precautions in order to restrain the dog prior to the attack. Per New York’s Law, a dog is considered “dangerous” if the dog, without justification, caused serious injury to a person, companion animal or farm animal.
However, a dog does not need to attack someone in order for an owner to be considered aware of their dog’s vicious nature. For example, if the owner posted a “beware of dog” sign outside their property or witnessed the dog bearing its teeth at someone this could demonstrate their knowledge of the dog’s viciousness. See, e.g., Petrone v. Fernandez, 12 N.Y.3d 546, 53 A.D.3d 221, 862 N.Y.S.2d 522  [4-2 decision] Accordingly, a dog’s dangerous nature may be apparent although it has not yet bitten someone or another animal. See, e.g., Dykeman v. Heht, 52 A.D.3d 767, 861 N.Y.S.2d 732 [2nd Dept. 2008]. It is extremely important that evidence is well documented after any dog attack.
Getting Help After A New York Dog Attack
Any person that is injured in a dog attack may be able to seek aid through a bodily injury claim. Damages can help cover lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. Many people who are injured in dog attacks may not realize the full extent of their injuries for several weeks or months after an attack. A dog bite injury attorney can examine all of the unique facts of your case free of cost and let you know what your legal options are.
Have you or someone that you love been injured in a New York dog attack. The dog bite injury attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. are here to help in any way that they can. They are committed to getting dog bite victims the medical and financial support that they need in order to recover. In fact, they have recovered nearly $1 billion for their deserving clients. Whether you just have legal questions or are thinking about hiring an attorney we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (516) 908-9792.