Jamestown Dog Bite Lawyer
Were you attacked by a dog in New York? Learn more about New York dog bite injuries and how dedicated Jamestown dog bite lawyer Scott F. Humble can help you recover fair and full compensation for your injuries.
Though the New York is the state with the third-fewest dog owners, coming behind only Massachusetts and Connecticut in terms of dog ownership rate, about three out of every ten households in New York are home to at least one dog. This means that the Empire State has a dog population of several million, with almost half a million dogs in New York City alone. New York state law does not put a limit on how many dogs a person or family can own, so it is not uncommon to find multiple dogs in a single household. These statistics together show that New York State as a whole is a dog-friendly region, with dogs far and wide treated as members of many families.
With the high dog population in the state comes a risk, however: much as humans have to be held accountable for their own actions, dog owners must be responsible for their pets. While most dogs are docile creatures, irresponsible dog owners can allow their pets to act in potentially dangerous ways. This can lead to disastrous consequences; thousands of dog bite attacks occur across the United States every year, and because laws and ordinances differ greatly from state to state, the one-two punch of seeking medical treatment and legal action following a dog bite can make a bite victim’s head spin.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite in the state of New York, you owe it to yourself to achieve justice. Experienced Jamestown dog bite lawyer Scott F. Humble has compiled a list of the three most frequently asked questions about dog bite attacks, and we have outlined what you need to know in order to prevent and respond to attacks. Should you have any further questions, please contact Jamestown dog bite lawyer Scott Humble for a free consultation.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
Between 2005 and 2017, there were 433 fatalities across the United States due to dog bites, 39 of which occurred during the year 2017 alone. Almost two-thirds of these deaths followed an attack by a pit bull, a breed with a notorious reputation. However, because “pit bull” is often used as an umbrella term for all dogs descended from both terrier and bulldog breeds, and because it is common for mixed-breed dogs resembling real pit bulls to be labeled as pit bulls, it remains unclear whether the pit bull breed is in reality statistically more likely to be involved in dog bite attacks. Despite measures such as breed-specific legislation gaining in popularity as a means of limiting attacks by breeds seen as inherently more of a threat to public safety, the American Veterinary Medical Association strongly encourages against the labeling of particular breeds as more dangerous than others. The National Canine Research Council (NCRC) has further found that breed-specific legislation is ineffective, recommending responsible pet ownership as the most humane path towards curbing and preventing dog bites.
Most of the statistics available about dog bite attacks focus on bite-related fatalities, but death is one of several possible outcomes following a dog bite. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 4.5 million dog bite incidents are reported each year, and of these, the NCRC states that 81 percent cause negligible injuries or no injury at all. Approximately 19 percent do require medical attention, but no hospitalization is needed. Less than one-tenth of one percent of dog bite attacks are serious, and only about 0.0006% of dog bites are in fact deadly. Despite the extremely low fatality rate, however, the fact that one in five dog bite attacks does result in moderate to serious injury is no laughing matter. Infections such as MRSA, tetanus, and rabies can take hold, so it important for all victims of dog bite attacks to see a doctor as soon as possible if the bite has broken the skin.
What Can I Do to Prevent Dog Bites?
The factors that most frequently influence dogs to bite humans include feeling threatened and being accustomed to aggressive play. With that in mind, showing care and calm when dealing with unfamiliar dogs is the best general protocol. It is important to speak with a dog’s owner before trying to pet or even touch the dog, and allowing the dog to see you and sniff your hand can more readily assure the dog that you are not a threat. The CDC recommends that you not approach an unfamiliar dog if it is sleeping, caring for its puppies, or eating, as these are actions that may make a dog feel vulnerable and become more likely to overreact.
What Does New York State Law Say About Dog Bite Attacks?
New York’s body of laws define a “dangerous dog” as a dog that attacks a human or animal seemingly without any provocation, causing injury or even death, or that is behaving in a threatening manner. A dog cannot be considered dangerous in the eyes of the law if the dog was protecting itself or its owner, reacting to pain, defending its puppies, or assaulting a criminal at the time of the attack; each of these circumstances is threatening, and a dog will most often not be held accountable for responding aggressively in such situations.
A “one-bite state” is a state that typically absolves a dog owner of most liability following a dog’s first attack, and though New York is not a true one-bite state, its laws do treat repeat offenses by the same dog with increasing penalties. Assuming that a dog bite attack was not an isolated incident, meaning that the dog responsible for the attack had bitten others in the past, a judge can declare that the dog has a vicious propensity, and consequences can include fines imposed against the dog’s owner, confinement for the dog, and even euthanasia.
Experienced Jamestown Dog Bite Lawyer Fighting For You!
Because dog bite attacks vary wildly in terms of severity, the potential punitive actions will depend on the specifics of each case. If you have experienced an attack by a dog, assuming you did not provoke the animal, you will have the duty of establishing that the dog acted dangerously and that its owner should be held at fault. A dog that has attacked a person, after all, can pose a risk to others if the law does not intervene. Experienced Jamestown dog bite lawyer Scott F. Humble has 30+ years of experience defending victims of bites in New York courts, and we strive to ensure that our clients are compensated for their injuries. If you have any concerns about how to proceed with a legal claim against the owner of the dog that attacked you, Jamestown dog bite lawyer Scott Humble would be glad to provide you with the help and support that you need.