New York & New Jersey Animal Attack Injury Lawyer & Attorney
Are You a Victim of an Animal Attack Injury in New York or New Jersey?
At Robert A. Solomon, P.C. we understand how different the law in New York is from that
in New Jersey when it comes to Dog Bite Cases. We can use our knowledge and experience to
represent you in your case and achieve results. In New York, a dog bite victim must
establish that the dog had vicious propensities and that the owner knew or should have known of
the dog's vicious propensities. This often results in the owner getting one free bite. In New
Jersey the owner of any dog which bites a person is liable for the damages suffered by the person
bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner's knowledge of such
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents
and the U.S. Postal Service compiled a startling array of statistics about dog attacks. Here are
some of the results:
- There are approximately 4.7 million dog bites per year nationwide.
- The number of dog bites requiring medical attention has increased 15 times faster than the increase in dog ownership.
- There are more than 850,000 dog bites requiring medical attention in the U.S. yearly.
- In a twelve-month period from 1995 to 1996, at least 25 people in the U.S. have died from dog attacks, 20 of whom were children.
- Letter carriers suffer about 3,000 bites annually as they deliver the mail.
These alarming conclusions show that this is a problem that is getting worse, not better. Victims
of dog bite attacks can sustain painful and life-altering injuries, including deep skin wounds, loss
of fingers, infections and scarring. Dogs that are prone to attack are a liability and the owners
need to be held responsible for them.
CHILDREN MOST OFTEN VICTIMS
Children are most often the victims of serious dog attacks for several reasons. They are
boisterous, loud and make unpredictable movements that can scare dogs. What a child might
see as an expression of love - a simple hug- can be an explicit threat to the animal.
THE MOST VICIOUS BREEDS
In the period from 1979 to 1996, there were 154 reported fatal dog attacks. Five breeds
accounted for two-thirds of those attacks. Those breeds, in order of the most fatalities, are: Pit
Bull, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Husky, Alaskan Malamute. Pit Bulls were responsible for
twice as many fatal attacks as any other breed and over half of all fatal attacks. We have handled
more cases involving Rottweilers than any other breed.
New York & New Jersey Law
It is not necessary for the Plaintiff, in a New Jersey case, to prove that the dog was known to be vicious or had a propensity to bite. One bite is alone sufficient to support liability. Under New Jersey law, all the Plaintiff (injured person) must prove to recover for a dog bite injury, is:
- The defendant owned the dog
- The dog bit the Plaintiff
- The Plaintiff was lawfully on the premises where the bite took place
- The bite caused the Plaintiff injuries
The most important aspect of prosecuting a dog attack case is to secure evidence as quickly as
possible. We have our investigator on the scene, usually within an hour of notification, in order
to gather and preserve evidence. The best evidence that we seek to obtain immediately is the
identity of the dog and its owner, photographs of the dog, identity of witnesses, witness
statements, and photographs of the injuries and location of the attack.
It's no surprise that many people get dogs as their "security systems," hoping to prevent losses. Yet many dogs do just the opposite - costing owners and insurance companies megabucks in
medical bills and attorney fees.
Dogs sometimes fail to differentiate intruders from family members, friends, neighbors and mail
carriers, causing severe injuries or in some cases death.
Each year, dogs bite about 4.7 million people in the United States. On average, 800,000 require
medical attention; more than half are children. About a dozen of those injuries are usually fatal,
according to the federal Centers for Disease Control.
Besides causing pain, dog bites cost money. One third of all homeowner's claims in 1999 were
dog related, says the Western Insurance Information Service, a non-profit industry group.
Insurers shelled out more than $1 billion.
And that's not even calculating the amount of money spent by those who don't have insurance.
Knowing the Law
Dog owners need to know not only state law but city or county ordinances as well.
The dog owner isn't always held liable, however, if it can be proven that the victim was either
trespassing or provoking the dog.
It's a good idea not to let your dog run loose in the neighborhood. Posting a "beware of dog" sign
on your property and keeping your dog away from your front door will also make it less likely
that visitors will be unpleasantly surprised.