Freehold Dog Bite Lawyer

Were you or a family member bitten by a dog in Freehold, NJ? Dog bites and animal attacks can have serious consequences. If you were injured, the dog’s owner may owe you compensation. 

An experienced Freehold dog bite lawyer at Noonan & McMahon, LLC can help you fight to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain, suffering, and more. We have over 40 years of experience in personal injury law. To date, we’ve used our skills to recover millions of dollars on behalf of injured clients and their families.

If you’re struggling with painful dog bite injuries, contact our law offices in Freehold, New Jersey, at (732) 303 7857 to schedule a free consultation today.

How Can Noonan & McMahon, LLC Help With Your Dog Bite Claim in Freehold, NJ?

How Can Noonan & McMahon, LLC Help With Your Dog Bite Claim in Freehold, NJ?

Dog bite victims often shy away from taking legal action because they, themselves, are also dog lovers. However, it’s important to remember that dog owners have responsibilities. When dog owners are careless and allow their animals to injure others, they should be held accountable. 

Most dog bite injury claims are covered by insurance. Insurance companies aren’t known for handling over full settlement checks without a battle. Let an experienced Freehold personal injury lawyer handle the legal issues while you recover.

At Noonan & McMahon, LLC our team is led by a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Trial Lawyer. We’ve been helping injured clients like you since we founded our law firm back in 2007.

We’re prepared to help with your dog bite case by:

  • Working closely with you, your family, and your doctors to understand your losses
  • Documenting your damages and calculating your case value
  • Defending against any claims that you provoked the dog
  • Investigating and gathering evidence to support your claim
  • Handling all insurance negotiations and communications on your behalf

Dog bite claims aren’t always cut and dry. Having an experienced Freehold personal injury attorney on your team allows you to focus your attention on what’s most important: healing from your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about how a lawyer can help.

How Common Are Dog Bites in New Jersey?

Dogs can be a joyful part of life for pet owners. Unfortunately, even the most well-trained dog still has the ability to cause serious injury. Using old data provided by the CDC, it’s now estimated that about 10 million Americans likely suffered dog bite injuries in 2022. 

Thousands of those victims will be hospitalized with serious dog bite injuries. 

According to a study by the Insurance Information Institute, New Jersey ranked 9th among states reporting the highest insurance claims payouts for dog bite injuries.

Overview of New Jersey’s Dog Bite Laws

New Jersey is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. 

Under New Jersey’s dog bite law, you can recover compensation if you can prove:

  • The defendant owned the dog 
  • You were in a public place or were lawfully on private property
  • The dog bit you
  • You suffered damages due to the dog bite injury

You can recover damages even if the dog’s owner doesn’t have any knowledge of the dog’s vicious tendencies. In other words, New Jersey does not have a “one bite rule” where the dog gets one “free” bite. You’re entitled to compensation even if the dog has never bitten in the past.

Are Negligence Theories Relevant to My Dog Bite Injury Claim?

You don’t have to prove that the dog owner was negligent to recover damages for dog bite injuries.

That said, dogs can cause injuries even without biting someone. If the dog attacked a child and knocked them over, New Jersey’s strict liability law won’t apply. The same is true if the dog ran into the street and caused a car accident. 

However, you may still be entitled to recover compensation if you can prove the dog’s owner was negligent.

Negligence means:

  • The dog’s owner had a legal duty of care
  • They breached that duty
  • The breach of duty was the reason the dog attack occurred
  • You were injured, or suffered damages

Dog owners are responsible for exercising reasonable care to control and secure their pets.

Negligence can take on many forms, and might include:

  • Allowing the dog to roam freely instead of securing the animal on the owner’s property
  • Violating Freehold’s leash laws
  • Training the dog to behave aggressively or attack without provocation

If you were attacked by an unleashed dog, the law presumes that the owner was negligent. This theory is called “negligence per se”. Under this doctrine, a person is presumed to be negligent if someone was harmed while the person was violating a law designed to prevent that harm.

Defenses to New Jersey’s Dog Bite Laws

The most effective defense to New Jersey’s dog bite law is trespassing. If you were trespassing on the dog owner’s property when the dog bit you, you lose your right to compensation under New Jersey’s strict liability law.

Dog owners often try to defend themselves by claiming the individual provoked the dog bite. This defense doesn’t always work under New Jersey’s strict liability law. The owner must present clear evidence about provocation.

Even if the dog’s owner can prove provocation, you won’t automatically lose your right to compensation if the dog’s owner was also negligent. New Jersey’s comparative negligence law, you only lose your right to damages if your share of fault is greater than the dog’s owner. Your compensation can, however, be reduced in dog attack cases involving shared negligence.

What Is My Freehold Dog Bite Injury Case Worth?

Because every personal injury claim involves a unique set of facts and circumstances, each has its own unique value. 

The most relevant factors include:

  • The severity of your injuries
  • Whether you will suffer any permanent disability, scarring, or disfigurement
  • Your costs, including medical treatment costs, lost wages, and other expenses
  • How the attack and injury is expected to impact your future
  • Whether you will need ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, or counseling

The age and identity of the victim can also be important. Young children may be more traumatized by a dog attack than adults. Increased levels of emotional trauma can increase the value of a personal injury case.

What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims in New Jersey?

Dog bite victims can seek compensation for economic damages and non-economic damages

Some common examples of the types of compensation you may receive include:

  • Current medical bills, including ER visits, hospitalization, and doctor’s visits
  • Follow-up medical care
  • Reconstructive surgeries
  • Physical disfigurement and scarring
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning potential
  • Rehabilitation 
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression 
  • PTSD and fear
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

To learn more about your right to compensation, contact our experienced dog bite lawyers in Freehold today. We can help you document your losses and calculate the value of your more intangible losses.

Our Freehold Dog Bite Attorneys Will Fight To Recover Fair Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite injuries can be much more serious than the actual wound itself. Larger dogs may have the ability to knock a smaller person to the ground. Often, victims suffer from both the dog bite wound itself and injuries suffered when they’re thrown to the ground.

At Noonan & McMahon, LLC, we often represent injury victims in Monmouth County who have suffered:

  • Puncture wounds
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Injuries to the eyes, nose and face
  • Dislocations 
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Concussions
  • Back injuries
  • Infections, which can cause amputations, sepsis, and even wrongful death

While paralysis and other catastrophic injuries are rare, they are always a possibility–especially if the animal wasn’t vaccinated. 

How Long Do I Have To File a Personal Injury Lawsuit After a Dog Bite in New Jersey?

The statute of limitations in New Jersey is two years. In most cases, you have two years from the date the dog bit you to sue for damages. The primary exception to this rule involves children. If the victim is a minor and a parent does not sue for damages on the child’s behalf, the two-year clock doesn’t start to run until the child turns 18.

That said, most dog bite injury claims are covered by homeowners or renters insurance. These insurance policies have their own terms. You’ll have to file a claim with insurance within a reasonable amount of time after the dog bites you. 

Calling an experienced lawyer is the best thing to do after you’ve received medical attention. In a free case review, our lawyers can evaluate your injuries and help make sure you take legal action on time.

Contact an Experienced Freehold Dog Bite Lawyer for a Free Consultation

If you or your child were bitten by a dog in Freehold, let our experienced lawyers fight to hold the dog’s owner accountable. An experienced Freehold dog bite lawyer can greatly improve your shot at recovering full compensation. At Noonan & McMahon, LLC, your initial consultation is always completely free of charge. Contact us at (732) 303 7857.