dog bites & attacks

Dogs were once wild animals, and despite years of domestication, some still follow their animal instincts and lash out at “strangers” who enter their territory. A dog may bite its victim with powerful jaws, or just knock them against the ground by jumping on them. These attacks can be incredibly dangerous for children, the elderly, and the disabled, who often suffer catastrophic injuries in dog attacks. Depending upon the size of the dog and the circumstances of the attack, some of the most common injuries associated with a dog bite include:

  • Puncture wounds

  • Lacerations

  • Skin abrasion

  • Broken bones

  • Damage to nerves, tendons and muscles


New York’s dog bite law is a mixture of a “one bite” rule and strict liability.


Here’s how:

  • Dog owners are strictly liable for the cost of medical bills related to any dog attack.

  • Dog owners are only liable for additional damages if they knew, or should have known, that the dog had a history of viciousness.

So, you can hold a dog owner strictly liable for your medical bills, but not other damages if that dog hasn’t been vicious in the past. You may still be able to recover compensation for additional damages, even if the dog didn’t have a history of viciousness. If the owner was negligent in handling or caring for the animal, they may be liable for other resulting damages. 


Being attacked by a dog can be an unsettling and emotionally devastating event. If you or a family member is bitten by a dog, you should take the following steps:

  • Obtain immediate medical treatment for the injuries.

  • Notify the property owner (if attack takes place on another’s property) and/or the police of the attack.

  • If you do not know the dog that attacked you or know the identity of its owner, make note of a description of the animal to assist police in tracking them down. Take a picture of the dog to help identify it later.

  • Take photos of the injuries caused by the dog bite.


Alvarez Law, PLLC help New York dog bite victims recover compensation for their medical costs, lost wages and other damages caused by a dog bite attack. Whether the claim is against the owner of the dog or against a landlord that allows a tenant to keep a dog on rented premises, our personal injury attorneys have the experience to make the responsible party pay.