Dog Bites Are On The Rise in Staten Island


According to a July 2017 Health Department report, Staten Island has the most dog bites per capita of the five boroughs. In 2014 there were 6,373 dog bite cases seen in Staten Island emergency rooms, costing an average of $3,000 per person.  


In New York State, victims of dog bites may recover out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering damages.  It is important to remember that not everyone who sustains a dog bite visits the emergency room, which means the number of dog bites is likely higher than what has been reported. According to the report, individuals under the age of 17 were two times more likely to sustain a dog bite than adults. In accordance with the New York City Health Code 311, animal bites must be reported. Due to this, it is important that a dog bite is reported immediately.


Under the “one bite rule,” a victim of a dog bite must establish that the animal’s owner had prior notice of a dog bite that involved his or her dog. Under the “one bite rule,” a dog owner is protected from liability for his or her dog’s first injury to a victim. However, New York State does not follow this rule. A victim in New York State may establish liability by displaying that the dog had a vicious propensity to bite or go after others. Facts that assist in establishing a dog's vicious propensity can be displayed through a dog's tendency to bark, snap, bite, or jump on others. 


Dog bites often result in serious physical injuries such as lacerations that cause permanent scarring or extensive psychological damage to a victim. Visible scarring to a victim of a dog bite may have emotional effects that can impact their daily lives. In some instances, injuries from a dog bite may require an extensive hospital stay or expensive medical treatment. 


If you or a loved one has been a victim 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 serious dog bite cases. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our personal injury lawyers at (718) 238-2400.