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Dog bite?

Port Jervis, NY |

I have legal guardianship of my handicapped son Robert
He was bitten my a friends dog? Is there any legal action I can do in his
behalf? Thank-you

Attorney Answers 10

  1. Best answer

    First, is the injury severe enough to warrant suing the friend? Second, if you do sue the friend you will have to prove that the friend has notice that his dog had vicious propensities. Speak with a local personal injury lawyer if you want to proceed.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

  2. You can pursue a person injury claim on behalf of your son if you have legal guardianship.

  3. Yes, you can pursue a personal injury claim on your son's bhalf if you are his legal guardian. Our office handles dog bite cases, and the fact patterns can differ greatly from case to case. You would need to provide me more information for me to actually give legal advice on your son's case. Important issues in these cases include: proof the dog inflicted the bite, where the incident took place, does the dog have a history of biting, whether or not the dog owner is aware of the dog's prior history of bites and the severity of the injury. I hope your son is OK.

  4. I'm sorry for your son's injury. Dog bite cases in New York can be difficult. A plaintiff will first have to demonstrate that the bite occurred, obviously, and that the owner knew or had reason to know of the animal's vicious propensities. There is more than one way to prove notice of a vicious propensity, but there is disagreement among the courts of the State of New York as to what actually constitutes notice. The Court of Appeals (the state's highest court) gives a little guidance in a 2004 case called Collier, and there is even room in that opinion for the consideration of factors not enumerated, such as the severity of the attack or the assumed vicious propensities of the breed, but it is still an issue that needs to be handled by someone with experience in dog bite cases.

    As for bringing the case, as legal guardian you are the proper party to bring the case on behalf of your son.

    I am a co-author of WEITZ ON AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION: THE NO FAULT HANDBOOK. The opinions expressed in this answer are not intended to be taken as legal advice. These opinions are based on New York practice. I may be contacted at 212-553-9300.

  5. You can have one of the distinguished lawyers in your state above investigate. Hopefully, the owner has a homeowner's insurance policy.

  6. Before you consider the legalities of bringing suit on your son's behalf (sounds like he is an adult), you should consider whether it's worth the trouble suing. Is the dog of a breed like a pit bull or doberman pinscher or is it known to be vicious dog? How serious was the dog bite? Does your friend have a home insurance policy or renter's policy? Lots of issues, don't do it yourself; seek a local personal injury attorney for a free consultation.

  7. Yes, sue the owner of the dog

  8. Yes, sue the owner of the animal.

    Dean P. Murray
    Attorney at Law (admitted to practice in NY and NJ)
    The Murray Law Firm
    50 Harrison Street, Suite 310F
    Hoboken, NJ 07030-6151
    T: (201)875-2600
    Facebook: (Follow by clicking the "Like" button")

    IMPORTANT: Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during an attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private attorney-client consultation. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, an attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual. For persons located in New Jersey: To the extent that Mr. Murray's profile can be considered an advertisement in New Jersey, which is denied, be advised that NO ASPECT OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY. Furthermore, the selection methodology for the SuperLawyers' "Rising Stars" awards is set forth at length at this website:

  9. If it can be shown that the dog was known to have vicious propensity, then your son can collect. You do not mention the extent of his injury. Consult a personal injury attorney.

    If you found this "helpful" or "best answer," please click it with my appreciation. My response is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice nor creates an attorney client relationship which requires all the details and a personal conference.

  10. The general rule of law is that in order to prevail,in a dog bite case you must prove that the owner of the dog had knowledge of the tendency or history of exhibiting aggressive behavior that includes biting. As each case is very fact specific, the leading cases tend to make establishing liability against the owner more difficult. However, a mitigating factor here may be the basis of your son's handicap. For example, if the owner was present and knew of your son's condition, a higher duty of care might be charged to the owner is your son interacted with the dog and o account of his condition would not appreciate the consequences of his actions. You should consult with an attorney with a history of successfully prosecuting dog bite cases.

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