What Does the “One Bite Rule” Mean for Dogs and Dog Owners in Manhattan?

man walking dog on a city street

In Manhattan, there are many automobiles, bicyclists, pedestrians and you guessed it -- dogs. It’s not uncommon to see residents walking their pets on NYC’s sidewalks; whether it be a long walk to the park, a brief walk around the block or a quick outdoor pit stop for their pup to use the bathroom before they head off for the day. The sheer number of bodies on the sidewalk and streets can be overwhelming at times. So overwhelming that a dog may become scared, feel threatened, or even attack.

What Happens After a Dog Attacks in NYC?

If you are involved in a dog attack, here are the next steps we recommend you take:

  • First, secure the animal. Whether it was your dog who attacked or you were attacked by someone else’s pet, remove the animal from the situation. They may be stressed and avoiding a second attack is crucial.

  • Collect all information about those involved, including witnesses, and contact your lawyer. Our office is always available and willing to help. Collecting all information of everyone from the scene can help if your case needs to go to court. It will be important to note if the dog was not properly restrained or secured, and eyewitnesses can help your case.

  • Work with your lawyer to determine liability. Every situation is different. While all dog bite victims in New York will be protected by law, the liability may fall on the owner, but it also may not. Determining the liability will depend on each situation and the facts surrounding the attack.

Why Does the “One Bite Rule” Matter?

After an attack has happened and any injuries have been tended to, police and lawyers will begin to determine who is at fault for the attack. If the dog was not previously considered dangerous, meaning that the dog has never attacked someone before, the dog owner may not be held liable for the damages. If the dog has previously shown aggression or there is proof that the owner acted negligently and failed to restrain or control their dog, then he or she can be held liable for the injury even if it was the first attack. We know this can be an incredibly confusing, frightening, and overwhelming time in someone’s life.

If you were involved in a dog bite incident, contact Loscalzo & Loscalzo, P.C. at (646) 846-4776 to discuss your accident with one of our personal injury attorneys today.