Freehold NJ Dog Attack Attorneys Fighting for Top Compensation
Monmouth County has a population of more than 600,000 people in more than 200,000 households, with approximately one-third of those households owning a dog. Unfortunately, not all dog owners in Monmouth County do enough to prevent their dogs from committing vicious attacks. In many circumstances, a dog attack can be a traumatic event that causes significant injuries to the victim. Depending on the severity of the dog bite injury, you may suffer long-term physical and emotional damage. Additionally, you could be facing costly medical bills, including emergency surgery in the short term and corrective plastic surgery in the future. You should not be the one who has to pay the costs for a negligent dog owner’s failure to prevent an attack by an out-of-control dog. In fact, New Jersey law requires dog owners to take precautions to prevent their dogs from committing these kinds of violent attacks. Due to the complicated nature of the law, it is highly advisable for dog attack victims in Monmouth County and New Jersey to have a knowledgeable attorney on their side throughout the legal process.
If you or someone you love has been bitten by a dog in Freehold, Middletown, Howell, Holmdel, Neptune, or surrounding areas, contact our skilled Monmouth County, NJ Dog Bite Lawyers today. We represent individuals who suffer injuries from Monmouth County dog bites on a regular basis and we are thoroughly prepared to formulate your best claim for compensation. Our team is available immediately to assist you with your animal attack case, so please call (732) 303-7857 or contact us online to speak with an experienced attorney free of charge.
How do you File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Monmouth County, NJ?
A Monmouth County dog bite case should be filed in the Monmouth County Superior Court, which is located at 71 Monument Street in Freehold, NJ 07728. Dog bite cases are typically filed in the law division of the court. When filing a dog bite claim in Monmouth County Superior Court, the party ultimately responsible for damages is usually the insurance company of the dog’s owner – often a homeowner’s insurance carrier. This can make it easier for a dog bite victim to bring suit, especially when the dog’s owner is a close friend or family member. Remember that you will essentially be suing the insurance company, not your friend or relative.
In New Jersey, a dog bite case must be filed within two years of the incident. Otherwise, the plaintiff may lose the ability to pursue compensation as the statute of limitations will have expired. Keep in mind that preparation for trial in a dog bite case can be extensive, which is why it is often critical to begin any relevant investigations and start to gather information immediately after the dog attack. Waiting until the two-year period is about to expire can have negative consequences, such as the loss of crucial evidence and difficulty locating witnesses.
What is the Law on Dog Bites in New Jersey?
New Jersey law holds the owner of a dog who fails to control the animal legally responsible for a dog attack. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 4:19-16, the owner of a dog who bites another person who is in a public place, or lawfully in a private place, shall be liable for the damages which the individual suffers, regardless of the purported viciousness of the dog. This is known as “strict liability” under the law because the defendant’s liability does not depend on their intentions or their negligence.
Ordinarily, in order to establish a negligence case, the injured individual must prove that the defendant had a legal duty, that they breached that duty, and that they caused damages as a result of the breach of legal duty. However, when an individual is bitten by a dog in the state of New Jersey, they are not held to the same negligence standard that applies to most injury-related cases filed in the courts of this state. Under New Jersey law, the owner of a dog is strictly liable for the injuries which occur as a result of a dog bite. This means that in order to hold the owner of a dog liable for the injuries the dog causes, the injured person will not necessarily have to prove that the owner knew the dog was likely to bite someone. In other words, the injured individual will not be forced to prove a theory of negligence against the dog’s owner and/or some other legally responsible party. It does not matter whether the dog has a history of vicious attacks.
Generally speaking, all the injured individual will need to prove is that (1) the specific individual owned the dog or is the person who is legally responsible for the dog and (2) the dog caused an injury. If the defendant argues that you were trespassing on their property when the dog attack occurred, you may still be able to get compensation if you were not trespassing with criminal intent or if the landlord knew that the dog had a propensity for viciousness. In fact, it might be possible to sue the landlord for a dog attack even if they do not own the dog in question.
Determining the Value of Your Dog Bite Injury
Although New Jersey imposes strict liability on dog owners in dog bite cases, this does not mean that the damages can’t be contested at trial. The injured person must still demonstrate the extent of their injuries through experts and/or treating doctors, as well as any economic losses which might be applicable. This means that your attorney should fully investigate your claim by speaking with witnesses, obtaining complete police reports, and reviewing medical records. The ultimate value of a dog bite case will largely depend upon the extent of the dog bite injuries and the economic losses suffered by the victim. With more severe injuries, the value of the case is likely to be significantly higher when compared to dog attacks resulting in minor injuries.
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to get compensation for medical bills both in the present and the future, lost wages for missed time from work, pain and suffering, emotional trauma caused by the attack, and other damages. That is why it is critical to properly document all scarring, lacerations, and any other injuries when determining the value of a dog bite injury case. This documentation will also be important later if the case goes to trial because it will make it easier for the plaintiff to prove the severity of their injuries and related damages.
Contact a Monmouth County NJ Dog Bite Attorney to Discuss Your Rights
If you or someone you know would like to speak to an attorney about a Monmouth County dog bite case, call the lawyers at our firm. Our attorneys represent individuals who have been harmed by a dog throughout Monmouth County, New Jersey. We are aggressive trial attorneys who fight for our clients and help them get maximum compensation for their injuries, so you can count on us to prepare your case for trial at the same time that we negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. In fact, we handle every case with the expectation of heading to trial so that we are always ready for whatever legal maneuvers the other side makes. Additionally, our lawyers work on contingency, so we will not receive a legal fee unless we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. For more information, call us today.