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Dog Bite Injuries

New York State has a “one bite rule” which means, a dog is allowed one mistake. The owner cannot be held responsible for the dog’s first bite or injury to another, unless the owner was negligent in his actions to control the dog. Likewise, if the owner was in violation of various dog laws such as requiring a leash, the injured may have recourse.

The one bite rule does not allow one free bite to a dog that has a tendency to be dangerous. This means, if the dog bite victim can prove that the dog has a dangerous nature and the owner knew or should have known of the dog's dangerous behavior, then the one bite rule will not apply.


Examples of dangerous propensity are:

  • The dog has a tendency to snap at people
  • The owner often tells people his dog is an attack dog
  • The dog owner cautions others that his dog bites
  • The dog wears a muzzle

Once liability is determined, the next step is to find out as much as you can about the dog and the owner, including whether or not the owner has insurance. Types of insurance policies that typically cover dog bites include:

  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • Renter’s insurance
  • Landlord’s insurance (covering the owner, occupier and/or manager of property)
  • Commercial general liability insurance (covering stores and other businesses)
  • Insurance covering employers (protecting employees only)
  • Motor vehicle insurance

If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite or you have a question that has not been answered, call us now at (516) 634-0345.

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