New York City is home to more than 600,000 dogs. Each year, more than 4,000 dog bites are reported in the city. Children and the elderly are the most at risk of being the victim of a dog bite. Due to the high number of incidents, New York State has implemented laws to mitigate the risk of dog bite incidents and improve public safety. Dog owners in New York State should be aware of the following:
In New York State, dogs over four months old must be licensed through the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The license must be renewed each year. An owner must show proof of a recent rabies vaccination and, if applicable, proof of being spayed or neutered. In addition to a dog license, all guard or service dogs in New York City must receive a city-issued tag which they must wear at all times. In the event that a guard or service dog is lost or stolen, the city must be notified within five days.
In New York State, leash laws are determined by local municipalities. In New York City, a dog must be on a leash that is no more than six feet long.
Classified Dangerous Dogs
A person who witnesses a dog attack in New York State is required to file a complaint with a police officer or another agency within their municipality. If an officer has reason to believe the dog is dangerous, proceedings will be commenced. Dog owners that allow their animal to bite someone can be subject to criminal or civil liability. If a dog is declared “dangerous,” the owner is strictly liable for all medical costs associated with the victim’s injuries.
A dangerous dog is defined as a dog that:
- Attacks a person or another animal without justification and the attack results in death or serious injury;
- Poses an imminent, serious and unjustified threat of injury to people or animals;
- Attacks a service dog and causes injury; or
- Caused a serious injury after previously being declared a dangerous dog.
Oftentimes, dog bites result in disfigurement or loss of mobility, which is why it is important to take the steps necessary to protect your legal rights in the event that you are a victim of a dog attack. A New York personal injury attorney can help you navigate the legal process in order to get the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as the result of a dog bite, it is important to contact an experienced New York personal injury lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and remedies. The lawyers at Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC are experienced in handling all aspects of personal injury, including matters involving serious dog bite injuries. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our Brooklyn personal injury lawyers at (718) 238-2400.