Asking the Dog Owner Questions

Questions You Should Ask the Owner of a Dog that Bit You

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In this educational legal video. Daniel J. Chiacchia, one of our experienced dog bite attorneys in Hamburg discusses asking the dog owner questions after being attacked by their dog.

We handle dog bite cases all the time. In fact, we just got one recently. My client was all worried about what information they needed to obtain from the dog owner, and I said to them, “You need to find out – first and foremost – whether the dog is up to date on its shots.” If not, the dog needs to be tested to make sure it’s not rabid so that you don’t have to go through additional medical treatments. That’s the first thing. In cases like this, the law in New York is kind of like a one-bite rule. In bringing your claim, you have to show that the dog or other animal – it could be any kind of animal – has previously shown some type of vicious propensities by doing something similar. These cases are difficult because, especially when you’re dealing with people’s house pets, that propensity issue can be hard to prove.

With these types of cases, it’s very important to get your attorney involved early because we can do things like talk to the mailman, the UPS driver, and FedEx drivers who deliver to that house. We will ask them whether the dog has ever shown aggressive tendencies and so forth. We’ve even had cases where our investigator has gone out and videoed the dog acting violently toward others by running at the fence, growling at people and things like that. That proof can help set up these types of claims. Dog owners tend to be protective of their pets, and they don’t want to admit that, “Oh yeah, our dog bit little Johnny down the street before.” You’re not going to get that all the time, so it’s really important to get your dog bite attorney involved early and investigate as quickly as possible.

If you’ve been attacked by a dog, it’s important to ask the dog owner the right questions. Contact one of our dog bite attorneys in Hamburg, NY at Chiacchia & Fleming, LLP for guidance, and let us fight for your just compensation.

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