Dog attacks in New York: What should I know?

On Behalf of | Jun 2, 2023 | Premises Liability

Dogs can make wonderful family pets. Unfortunately, they can also cause serious injury. A quick search online will result in story after story of serious dog attacks that result in major injuries or even death to the victim. Just last summer a group of dogs escaped their home and attacked three young women in New York. A dog bit the youngest, a toddler, on her arm and the others suffered serious injuries to their legs. They all required medical treatment for their injuries.

Police were called and their presence to deal with the issue is an important part of keeping the community safe, but those who are the victims of these attacks may need more. Victims in this situation likely have a lot of questions. Some of the more common include the following.

Why are dog bites so dangerous?

Dog bites are often serious because of the type of wound. Medical professionals often refer to the damage as a “hole and tear” effect. This occurs when the dog’s canine teeth pierce the skin and the others tear tissue while the dog attempts to shake the victim. This can lead to large wounds that are also filled with the bacteria from the dog’s mouth — leading to the potential for serious infection.

Can I avoid an attack?

Some simple strategies that can help reduce the risk of a dog attack can include leaving dogs alone while they are eating and not taking things from their mouths. It is also a good idea to refrain from approaching an unknown dog and to ask an owner for permission before petting their dog.

Although helpful tips, the fact is many of these dog attacks are unprovoked. In the story noted above, a group of puppies escaped, and the young ladies were simply trying to round up the puppies and keep them from harm when older dogs began the attack. Victims are often those who are just trying to help or are walking past a home or otherwise minding their business.

Are there legal remedies for victims?

Victims of a serious dog bite are wise to seek medical treatment. There is also the potential for legal remedies. State law holds the owner responsible for their pets. If a dog attacks, the owner is generally legally accountable. This means the victim can likely file a civil lawsuit to hold the owner financially accountable for any medical, rehabilitation, or other expenses that result from the attack.

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