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What Are the Dog Bite Laws in Buffalo?

Posted on 02/15/24

If you live in Buffalo or come to visit regularly, understanding dog bite laws can be beneficial. This is true whether or not you have a dog of your own. If you or somebody you care about sustains a dog bite injury in the Buffalo area, you should know what the laws are so that you can more easily recover compensation for any injury expenses.

What New York Says About Dog Bites

Unfortunately, dog bite laws in New York are not as straightforward as they are in other states across the country. Whereas many states use either a “one bite” rule or a “strict liability” rule, New York utilizes a blend of the two systems.

Under a traditional “one bite” law system, dog owners typically only get help responsible for a bite injury if the owner knew that the dog was dangerous or had the potential to bite somebody. This protects dogs if it is only their “first bite.”

Strict liability laws are now used in many states, and these laws mean to hold dog owners responsible for certain bite injuries regardless of whether or not they were negligent in any way. Under a strict liability dog bite system, dog owners can be held responsible even if the dog has never bitten anybody before or shown a propensity for aggression.

In New York, owners of dogs that have previously been deemed “dangerous” can be held strictly liable for medical bills caused by their dog biting again. For damages related to the dog bite incident, such as lost wages, pain and suffering, or property damage expenses, victims have to prove that the dog had a dangerous tendency to harm others and that the owner was aware of the dog’s dangerous tendencies.

The dog bite laws of New York apply to dog bite incidents here in Buffalo as well.

Buffalo Dog Leash Laws

In Buffalo, municipal law requires that dogs be leashed or securely restrained, particularly in public places or during special events. The law also requires that every dog owner take measures to prevent a dog from biting a person who lawfully enters or leaves the dog owner’s premises.

If a dog owner fails to follow leash laws in Buffalo, and if their dog bites somebody and causes an injury, there is a possibility that the dog bite victim could file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation. Even if the dog bite law does not necessarily create an easy path for the injury victim to recover compensation (meaning, if the victim does not have a strict liability claim), they may still be able to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner to recover compensation.

When attempting to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit, the dog bite victim will have to prove that the dog’s owner’s negligence directly or indirectly led to the injury occurring.

If you or somebody you care about has sustained a dog bite injury in Buffalo, New York, reach out to an attorney for assistance as soon as possible. A dog bite injury lawyer can examine the facts of your case and help you understand the best options moving forward to recover compensation for your losses.