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new jersey dog bite attorney, dog bite attorney
new jersey dog bite attorney, dog bite attorney

Can I Sue If a Dog Bit Me in New Jersey?

Get Compensated for Your Dog Bite Injuries in New Jersey

If you or someone you care about has been attacked or bitten by a dog in New Jersey, our New Jersey dog bite attorney understands the specific obstacles you may be encountering. We are skilled personal injury attorneys based in New Jersey and can assist you in obtaining the compensation you require to pay for medical expenses, lost earnings, and the pain and suffering caused by your injuries. 

New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C. has extensive experience advocating for individuals who have been injured throughout New Jersey, and we are committed to advocating for our client’s best interests. Contact us now for a complimentary consultation to determine whether you have a valid claim.

Why Do I Need a Dog Bite Attorney in New Jersey?

If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog in New Jersey, it is essential to hire our New Jersey dog bite attorney to help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Our skilled dog bite attorney can help you:

  • Understand your legal rights and ensure that your case is handled appropriately
  • Determine who is at fault and hold them accountable
  • Seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by your injuries
  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair compensation
  • Provide peace of mind and allow you to focus on your recovery

Hiring our New Jersey dog bite attorney can help you navigate the legal process, hold those responsible accountable, and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

What is a Dog Bite?

In most instances of dog attacks, the term “dog bite” is utilized. Typically, if a dog seizes a person with its mouth, it is considered to have bitten the individual. Even if the person’s skin is not broken, the dog’s owner may still be held responsible for the bite. In New Jersey, demonstrating that the dog bit you is necessary to advance your case.

What is New Jersey’s Dog Bite Statute?

The state of New Jersey enforces strict liability for dog claims through its Dog Bite Statute, N.J.S.A. 4:19-16. This means that even if the owner had no knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies or if the dog had never previously displayed such behavior, they may still be held liable. However, there are some exceptions to the statute:

  • If the victim was not lawfully on the owner’s property or in a public area. If you were trespassing, the statute might not apply, although you could potentially pursue a claim based on negligence.
  • If the injury was not caused directly by the dog bite. You may have a personal injury claim under premises liability but not under this statute. 
  • If other individuals are involved. Dog walkers, dog trainers, or veterinarians, may hold responsibility for ensuring that the dog’s behavior does not harm others. If you were attacked while the dog was being walked by a dog walker, your case may be more complex.

What Are the Possible Reasons Why a Dog Bite?

There are several reasons why a dog may bite, including:

  • Fear or Anxiety. Dogs may bite if they feel threatened, scared, or anxious. They may perceive a person or another animal as a threat and bite to protect themselves.
  • Protective Behavior. Dogs are naturally protective of their owners, their territory, and their belongings. They may bite if they perceive a threat to any of these things.
  • Pain or Illness. Dogs may bite if they are in pain or feeling unwell. They may lash out as a result of discomfort or discomfort.
  • Lack of Socialization. Dogs that are not properly socialized may be fearful or aggressive towards unfamiliar people or animals. This can lead to biting behavior.
  • Provocation. Dogs may bite if they are provoked, teased, or harassed. It’s important to note that teasing or provoking a dog is never an acceptable behavior and can result in serious injury.
  • Prey Drive. Some breeds of dogs have a strong prey drive and may bite or attack small animals or children.

What Are the Most Common Dog Bite Injuries?

Injuries caused by dog bites can be so severe that they result in permanent disfigurement or death. Even when this is not the case, bite wounds often require complex reconstructive surgeries and long-term medical treatment. While many types of injuries can result from a dog bite, some of the most common include:

  • Fractures
  • Puncture Wounds
  • Nerve and Muscle Injury
  • Permanent Scarring
  • Infection

Besides the physical harm that dog bites cause, individuals often suffer emotional distress and post-traumatic stress. The psychological impact of a dog attack can be equally damaging as any physical injury, particularly when it affects children. The fear of dogs (cynophobia) may linger with them for years, leading to recurring nightmares, reluctance to leave the house, and other anxiety-related problems.

What to Do Following a Dog Bite in New Jersey?

Dealing with a dog bite or attack can be overwhelming and stressful. To make sure that you receive proper care and support, as well as protect your legal rights, it’s important to take the following steps:

Immediately Seek Medical Care

Since dog bite injuries can be severe, prioritizing your health is crucial after an attack. Immediately call 911 for emergency assistance even if your injuries are not as severe. Seeking medical care will also establish a clear link between your injuries and the dog attack, which could be questioned by the at-fault party if you file a claim.

Report the Dog Bite

After your injuries have been taken care of, it is essential to report the dog bite to the relevant authorities, if you have not yet done so. If you have been bitten by a dog or have come into contact with its saliva, you must notify the Local Health Department (LHD) responsible for the area where the dog is located.

Document the Dog Bite

To increase the chances of obtaining compensation for your claim and not forget any important details, it’s crucial to document as much of the incident as possible after a dog bite. Here are some recommended steps to take:

  • Include the breed, color, approximate size, and other distinguishing characteristics of the dog that attacked you in your account
  • Retrieve the owner’s name and contact information
  • Collect the names and contact details of any witnesses
  • Document the location of the attack and everything you can recall about the area and the incident
  • Take photographs of your wounds
  • Request a copy of the dog attack report
  • Ask for copies of your injury-related medical records

Obtain Legal Help

To protect your legal rights after a dog attack, it is important to contact our New Jersey dog bite attorney as soon as possible. While your health should be your top priority, seeking legal representation can help you obtain the compensation you need to cover expensive medical care, ongoing treatment, and emotional distress resulting from the incident. 

Our dog bite attorney can investigate your claim, build your case, and fight for fair compensation to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. With years of experience in fighting for the rights of injured individuals, our team has the legal knowledge and experience to help you pursue your claim.

What Are Your Rights After a Dog Bite in New Jersey?

Section 4:19-16 of the New Jersey Statutes defines the liability rules for dog owners in the event of a bite or attack. The law states that the owner of the dog is accountable for any bites that occur in a public place or on the owner’s property while the victim was there lawfully. 

The dog’s past behavior is irrelevant, and it does not matter if the owner was aware of the possibility of an attack. The dog owner is strictly responsible for damages and losses. Understanding the strict liability rule applicable to dog bite liability is important for victims because laws like those in New Jersey simplify the process of claiming those injured by a dog attack. 

Although the law establishes the dog owner’s responsibility, the formal legal procedure for making a claim must still be followed. Insurance companies may also undervalue your losses or deny your legitimate claim by arguing that the dog’s attack was provoked.

Protecting yourself during the process of obtaining compensation for a dog bite is critical since it can cause severe and long-lasting damage. At New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C., our New Jersey dog bite attorney will provide you with the representation you need and deserve as you fight for your right to full and fair compensation after any attack.

How to Prove Negligence in a Dog Bite Injury Claim?

In many situations, the dog owner may have neglected their responsibility as an owner. To establish negligence, three elements must be proven under New Jersey law: the owner had a duty to control their dog in a way that would ensure people’s reasonable safety, the owner failed to fulfill that duty, and the owner’s failure resulted in your injury.

The level of reasonable care required to control a dog depends on the dog’s history. If the dog had no history of violence or aggression, the owner’s responsibility is lower because they may have assumed their dog was well-trained and didn’t need as much control. 

Conversely, if the dog had a history of violence or aggression, the owner’s duty to ensure people’s safety is intensified, and they must keep a closer eye on the dog. The court may consider the dog’s past when determining if the owner acted negligently. If you need assistance in determining if negligence occurred in your case, consult our dog bite attorney.

What Type of Evidence Do I Need to Prove That the Dog Bit Me?

If a dog has bitten you, there are several types of evidence you can use to prove the incident:

  • Medical Records
  • Photographs
  • Witnesses
  • Video Evidence
  • Animal Control Reports
  • Police Reports

It’s important to document and preserve as much evidence as possible to build a strong case. If you’re unsure about what evidence to collect, you may consult with our personal injury lawyer who can guide you through the process.

What is the Worth of My Dog Bite Injury Claim in New Jersey?

Determining the worth of a dog bite injury claim in New Jersey depends on several factors, including:

  • The Severity of the Injury
  • Cost of medical treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Scarring or Disfigurement
  • Liability

It’s important to note that each case is unique, and there is no set formula for determining the worth of a dog bite injury claim in New Jersey. To get a better idea of the compensation you may be entitled to, you should consult with our New Jersey dog bite attorney who can evaluate the specifics of your case and advise you on the best course of action.

What Are the Possible Compensations for Dog Bite Injury Claims in New Jersey?

Although some dog bites may cause minor injuries, others can result in devastating harm that requires costly medical care. In such cases, a lawsuit may be an option to seek compensation for the damages sustained. While every case is unique, typical types of compensation that could be recovered through a dog bite lawsuit are:

  • Medical Expenses 
  • Lost Earnings
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Suffering
  • Loss of Life’s Pleasure

What is New Jersey’s Time Limit for Filing a Dog Bite Injury Claim?

The state of New Jersey provides a 2-year window to file a claim following a dog bite. Once this period ends, there are limited options for recourse. If a claim is filed after the two-year deadline, the defendant will likely file a motion to dismiss, with rare exceptions to the rule.

Although the 2-year limit may appear to be sufficient, it’s advisable to reach out to our New Jersey dog bite attorney without delay following the incident. Our personal injury attorney will need to go through several steps and investigations before making a formal claim. 

Seeking counsel soon after the animal attack not only protects you from the statute of limitations expiring but also makes your case stronger.

How About Dog Bite Injury Claims Against the Government?

The government is generally protected by “sovereign immunity” from many personal injury lawsuits and liabilities. However, under the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, injured accident victims may still be able to bring claims against government employees, agencies, and entities in certain situations. 

If the government was negligent and caused or contributed to a dog bite injury, a victim has the right to file an injury claim despite sovereign immunity, although some different rules and deadlines apply. If a dog bite incident occurred while on state or municipal property, a victim may have a claim against the government. 

Dog bite victims must file personal injury notices with a local or state New Jersey government within 90 days of the accident. A notice informs the public entity that the victim intends to file a lawsuit, while the official claim will need to include details such as the victim’s name and address, a description of the accident, the injuries involved, and the amount claimed. The claim should be submitted to the Tort and Contract Unit of the New Jersey Department of the Treasury.

Trusted Legal Service From a Seasoned New Jersey Dog Bite Attorney

Retaining the services of our dog bite attorney can significantly impact the outcome of your dog bite case. It is vital to have a personal injury lawyer who has the necessary experience to stand up against the liable party and their insurance company, and who will fight tirelessly for your rights.

At New Jersey Injury Lawyers P.C., our New Jersey dog bite attorney is dedicated to helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve after an injury. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you. Our legal team can also assist you with Car Accidents, Transit Accidents, and Workers’ Compensation.

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