Jersey City Dog Bite Lawyer
There are thousands of dog bite claims across the U.S. every year, and many of the victims are children. The major insurer, State Farm, reported it paid more than $121 million for 3,660 dog bite claims in 2016. About $5.1 million went to 70 dog bite claims in New Jersey. Keep in mind, State Farm’s figures do not include claims made to other insurers or dog bite cases that did not go through insurance. Realistically, the number of dog bite injuries in New Jersey in 2016 was much higher than 70.
Other people’s pets can act out or be trained to fight or attack, causing you or your child to suffer from serious dog bites injuries. If you or a loved one are currently suffering from an animal attack, contact our Jersey City dog bite lawyers of Bhatt Law Group today. We will carefully review your situation and advise you on the best next step. Call a Jersey City premises liability lawyer at (201) 798-8000.
Common Dog Attack Injuries
Dog bites and other types of attacks can lead to serious injuries, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Nerve damage
- Permanent scarring
- Broken bones
- Emotional trauma
Dog bites and attack injuries that break the skin should always be treated by a physician as soon as possible. Even seemingly small puncture wounds or lacerations from a single bite need to be properly cleaned and stitched. Without proper treatment, dog bites are likely to become infected. Dog’s mouths can carry any number of bacteria and viruses. It is also important to see a physician to receive proper instructions on taking care of the wound, which probably requires antibacterial soap and sterile bandages.
Strict Liability for Dog Bites
Under New Jersey law section 4:19-16, any owner of a dog that bites a person who is in a public place or lawfully in a private place is liable for any damages that person suffers, regardless of the dog’s former viciousness or the owner’s knowledge of that viciousness. Under this statute, a dog’s owner is liable for compensating you for all of your injuries if their dog bit you while you were in public, such as on a sidewalk, or if you were on private property with permission, including the dog owner’s property.
This is a strict liability law. As the dog bite victim, you do not have to prove the dog owner did anything wrong. You do not have to prove the owner was negligent, reckless, or willfully caused you harm. The fact you were injured by the dog and the other person is the dog’s owner is enough to make them liable.
Liability for Other Dog Attack Injuries
New Jersey’s strict liability statute specifically addresses recovering compensation for dog bite injuries. However, dog attacks can lead to additional injuries outside of bite-related lacerations and puncture wounds. For example, a 100-pound dog that runs and jumps at you could knock you down, causing broken bones or even traumatic brain injuries. Large dogs are capable of doing a great deal of damage without biting you.
When you are involved in a situation outside of a straightforward dog bite, you can try to recover compensation under the strict liability theory. However, the specificity of the law may make it difficult for you to obtain compensation for your non-bite wounds. Instead, you are more likely to gain compensation for animal attack injuries by proving the owner was negligent in controlling or restraining the dog. Common ways of proving a dog owner was negligent is by submitting evidence that they did not keep the animal restrained by a fence or chain or did not keep it on a leash while in public.
A negligence claim may include proving the owner understood the dog had been vicious before. If you have evidence that the owner knew the dog had previously behaved aggressively toward others or had been deemed a dangerous dog by authorities, then this can help you in proving how the owner should have controlled the dog compared to how the dog was allowed to behave.
Dog Handlers and Property Owners May be Liable
There are a number of circumstances during which you could be injured by a dog that is under the control of someone other than its owner. If you were bitten or attacked and you believe it was because the dog’s handler or the private property owner was negligent in controlling the dog, you may have the right to bring a negligence-based claim against that individual. However, this depends on a number of factors. You should speak with an experienced Jersey City dog bite lawyer before determining you want to file a claim or lawsuit against someone other than the dog’s owner.
Let Our Jersey City Dog Bite Lawyers Help You
If you or a family member have been bitten or attacked by a dog, contact us at Bhatt Law Group as soon as possible. You deserve to recover compensation for your physical, emotional, and economic injuries. Our personal injury lawyers will help you proceed with an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit to pursue:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish