Many New Yorkers love to let their pets play outdoors in the sunshine during the summer. However, with more animals out and about, there is a greater risk for injury caused by animal attacks. Every year, people are seriously injured by household pets.
If you have been injured by someone's pet, you may file a legal claim against the owner of the pet to recover compensation for your medical bills. Under New York law, the owner of the animal may be responsible for any injury caused by the animal. If, for example, the city you are in has a leash law, and the owner violated it, this alone can be enough evidence for the injured person to win their claim against the animal's owner. The violation of a leash law can show the courts that the owner behaved negligently and that the person should be liable for your injury.
If your suit is successful, the owner will be responsible for your damages. In many cases, the owner of the animal will have homeowner's insurance that will cover injury caused by dogs and other common household pets. However, insurance will typically only cover the first incident involving the animal. Also, coverage may be reduced for injuries that do not occur on the homeowner's property. Automobile insurance may cover injuries that occur in or near a vehicle.
Even if an owner does not have insurance that will cover the injury, an injured victim will still be entitled to file their legal claim. Dog bites and other animal attacks can cause serious injuries and pet owners should be held accountable for the injuries caused by their pets.
Source: FindLaw, "Dog/Animal Bites - FAQ," accessed on July 5, 2016