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 Dog Bite Law

Legal issues affecting pets,
companion animals, and their people

SM, Copyright © 1998 - 2005,  Joel R. Zand, Esq.



Dog Bite Attacks and the Law
According the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, dogs bite more than 4.7 million people each year.

A dog recently killed a 5-week-old baby in Florida when a grandmother reportedly left the baby’s room for a minute.

Of all dog bite victims, young children between 5 and 9 years-old sustain the highest rate of injury. It´s a troubling statistic that dog owners should take responsible steps to do something about.

Different Kinds of Liability
That´s important because some states have strict dog bite liability laws, especially if your dog bites someone in a public place, or on your private property while carrying out a legally imposed duty (legalese for saying you could be liable if your dog bites the mail carrier or meter reader). New Jersey, Arizona, Georgia, and California

New York does not have a strict liability statute for dog bites, like other states, but currently remains a `one bite´ state. If a litigant can prove that a dog has had a history of biting, or a propensity for being vicious, and that an new or should have known about that, the owner could be held strictly liable for a victim´s injuries caused by the bite.

Section 121 of the state´s
Agriculture and Markets Law spells out New York´s dangerous dog law.  But in New York, you cannot judge a dog by the color of its coat, but by the content of its character. An important New York appeals court ruling in 1998 highlighted this fact in a personal injury case, ruling in favor of the defendants.

Other states like
Florida have modified strict dog bite  liability laws that take into account any role that the victim may have played in being bitten, and for dog owners,




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© Joel R. Zand, Esq., Copyright 1998 - 2005, All rights reserved. Read my disclaimer!