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NY Dog Owners Would Be Liable First Time Their Dog Caused Injury Under Proposed Law

Some New York senators want to tighten dog laws in the state. According to the Democrat and Chronicle, a proposed new law would make dog owners liable and financially responsible the first time their dog bites and injures someone. Under current state law, dog owners receive a warning the first time their dog bites someone, and they are not held financially responsible until the dog bites a second time.

NY senators are proposing the new legislation be called “Frankie’s Bill,” named after a nine-year-old Dutchess County boy who was attacked by a pit bill four years ago. The vicious attack left the boy with 100 lacerations to his head and arms, requiring him to undergo 25 operations to reinstate bitten-off flesh and repair nerve damage.

Because of the current law, the owners could not be held liable for the boy’s injuries. The family had to use community donations to help cover medical costs.

At David Resnick & Associates, P.C., an attorney knowledgeable about New York dog bite laws can advise dog attack victims of their legal rights.

If Frankie’s Bill is passed, NY will join the majority of states that make dog owners liable for damages on the first bite. The stricter laws make sense — anyone who has ever been attacked by a dog knows the terror and injuries dog attacks can cause. No one should have to suffer injuries as the “first time warning.”

About 4.4 million people a year —half of them children —are victims of dog attacks, causing 800,000 injuries requiring medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

In July 2010, an attack by a Rottweiler and a pit bull left a New Jersey security guard in a coma-like state that required him to spend 10 days in a hospital bed. Fortunately for this victim, New Jersey moved to first-bite liability laws years ago, and the dog attack victim was awarded over $500,000 in damages.

Dogs bite around 4.5 million Americans a year. You have the right to be safe from dog attacks. The lawyers at our firm are committed to helping clients whose personal safety rights have been violated.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by a dog, contact us to see if you have a case.


  • Democrat and Chronicle: “‘Frankie’s Bill’ seeks to toughen New York’s dog-bite laws”
  • NJ.com: “$500k dog bite settlement sheds light on victim-friendly laws in N.J.”

David Resnick founded the firm in 1998 after working in large law firms where he saw a need for greater client communication and more personal care. He wanted to help everyday folks who have had the misfortune to be injured in an accident.

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