Will Homeowners’ Insurance Cover Dog Bites in New York?

In many cases, yes. Often, we hear from people who’ve been hurt by a neighbor’s dog, cat, or other pet. They need compensation for their injuries — which can be substantial but they don’t want to create hard feelings by taking legal action against a neighbor, family member, or friend through NY Dog Bite Laws.

In these situations, it’s important to remember that even if your claim is technically being filed against the person you know, it is their homeowner’s insurance policy that will ultimately be responsible for paying you. In fact, the dog owner may have relatively little involvement in the whole process.

An experienced Kingston, NY, Poughkeepsie, NY, Newburgh, NY or Saugerties, NY dog bite attorney at O’Connor & Partners can help you handle this sensitive situation delicately.

The NY Dog Bite Law Explained

You may have heard that New York has a “one-bite rule” or, alternatively, that New York is a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. While some states follow one of those rules or the other, the situation in New York is a bit more complicated: our state’s dog bite rule combines elements of both.

If the Dog Has Attacked Before

Once a dog has bitten or attacked someone, the owner is effectively “on notice” that the dog is dangerous and may bite again. In this case, victims can recover medical and non-medical damages.

The law on dog bites in New York is unique. In this article, we cover the basics, and we also discuss some of the strategies involved in making a claim for dog bite injuries in New York.

What Is New York’s Dog Bite Law?

The dog bite law in New York is complex, but can essentially be broken down into two common scenarios:

  • The owner (or keeper) is strictly liable for medical bills and veterinary bills if the dog has previously been established as a “dangerous dog.” In other words, you don’t even have to prove negligence in these cases. As long as you can prove that the dog was previously dangerous and caused your injuries, you can automatically be awarded your medical and veterinary damages.
  • In all other cases, in order to recover damages of any kind, the victim must prove:
  • that the dog had a dangerous tendency to bite or attack, and that the dog owner knew of this tendency, and that the dog caused your injuries.

What Damages Can a Dog Bite Victim Recover in New York?

If the victim brings a claim under a theory of strict liability, he or she can recover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Veterinary expenses
  • If the victim can prove a dangerous tendency, the owner’s knowledge of such tendency, and causation, then the victim may be entitled to recover the following damages, within reason:
  • Medical expenses
  • Veterinary expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • Punitive damages (in certain extreme cases)
  • Other damages caused by the dog attack

Contact a New York Dog Bite Attorney Today

New York’s dog bite laws are different from most other states’. They’re also outdated. Unfortunately, our state has some of the oldest animal attack laws on the book, and that can make these claims challenging for injury victims. But don’t let that dissuade you from getting the justice you need and deserve.

The attorneys at O’Connor and Partners have helped many New Yorkers recover full and fair compensation after an animal attack. We understand the evidence required to prevail in these claims, and we have a long record of success.

It is our goal to maximize the compensation you receive, which in many cases comes from an insurance company following a strategic negotiation process. In fact, in many instances, we’ve been able to get our clients a robust monetary recovery without going to court at all (though we’re always prepared for a trial if that’s what it takes).

If you’ve been injured by someone’s dog (or some other pet), and you believe the dog might have been dangerous or has attacked someone in the past, please call us as soon as possible to discuss the situation more closely.

We offer no-cost, no-risk consultations to animal attack victims in New York. If you end up hiring us after the consultation, we will not charge you a fee unless we get you money first. O’Connor and Partners is proud to serve clients throughout the Hudson Valley and beyond, including Kingston, Newburgh, Poughkeepsie, Saugerties, New York City, and the surrounding areas. If you can’t come to us, we’ll come to you to discuss your case in person!

To get started, simply call 845-303-8777 to talk with an experienced Hudson Valley dog bite lawyer today.

by O'Connor & Partners, PLLC
Published on

Posted in: Dog Bite Injuries