Product liability generally boils down to proving there was a dangerous property factor that the owner knew about or should have known about, and that this property condition directly contributed to an injury. This often manifests in loose handrails causing people to slip on the stairs, or in overheating appliances that cause burn injuries. However, it can also apply to animals that have aggressive tendencies.
If you were bitten or otherwise attacked by a pet, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries depending on the circumstances. In order to recover compensation, you will mostly likely need to prove that the owner was aware of the dangers or risk of injury of the animal. If you try to pet someone’s dog, and the dog has a history of being friendly to every other stranger, you may be hard pressed to recover compensation.
There are a few different ways that you could prove knowledge of a pet’s aggressiveness. Many factors play into the chances of successfully proving a premises liability case for animals, including:
- The type of animal. Obviously larger, more aggressive breeds such as pit bulls will more strongly indicate a potential injury than a small, docile breed such as a Shih-Tzu.
- Reason the dog is kept. If the owner has trained the dog to react aggressively toward strangers, there is a stronger chance that he or she knew of the risks.
- Previous complaints. Of course, if multiple friends or family members have raised complaints about the dog’s aggressive nature, it is likely that the owner should have warned you of the potential risks.
If you have been the victim of an animal attack in New York, consider meeting with an attorney before pursuing compensation. Experienced legal aid can help you determine which factors, if any, can be used to prove that the owner should have known about the dangers, allowing you to recover the compensation you deserve.