Dog Bite Attorneys for those Injured by Dogs in NJ
Most dogs are wonderful pets, but some owners fail to socialize their dogs, mistreat them, or otherwise create a situation where a dog bite occurs. Even good dog owners can be caught off guard when their dog attacks someone. With this in mind, it is easy to see why dog bite statistics are so alarming in New Jersey and across the United States. According to the CDC, over 4.5 million people experience dog bites each year. Among victims of dog bites, over 800,000 suffer serious injuries requiring medical treatment and even hospitalization.
Further data on Emergency Department Visits and Inpatient Stays Involving Dog Bites, about 1,000 Americans require emergency care treatment for serious dog bite injuries every day. Annually, about 9,500 citizens are hospitalized due to dog bite injuries. To address this ongoing problem and the costs imposed on innocence dog bite victims, New Jersey has a strict liability policy on dog bites. Essentially, NJ law does not differentiate between the type of dog or the prior viciousness of the particular dog when a dog bite occurs. In nearly all instances, the owner of the dog is considered liable when the dog bites or otherwise injures someone.
If a dog attacked you or someone you love in NJ, our New Jersey Dog Bite Attorneys will fight for the justice you deserve. Dog owners whose dogs cause injuries to others should be held responsible for the harm their dogs cause and New Jersey law specifically recognizes this. If you have been bitten by a dog in New Jersey, our lawyers will seek to hold the proper individual or individuals accountable for your dog bite injury. We will conduct a thorough investigation and aggressively seek compensation from those responsible. The value of your dog bite can includes damages for the medical bills, lost wages, physical pain, mental and emotional suffering, and any permanent scars you may have. Call 732-825-6120 now to discuss your potential dog bite claim and what we can do to help. You can also get a free consultation by contacting us online.
What does New Jersey’s Strict Liability for Dog Bites Mean?
New Jersey statute NJSA 4:19-16 governs dog bites in the state. That law provides that a dog’s owner is liable for the consequences of any dog bite that occurs when the person who suffers the bite is in a public place, or lawfully on private property, regardless of any prior indication or the owner’s prior knowledge of whether the dog was vicious.
This is a broad, comprehensive statute. If a dog bites someone, the owner is most likely liable for the bite. This is true regardless of whether this was the first time the dog had ever bitten someone, or whether the owner had ever seen the dog act aggressively before. The “strict liability” dog bite law in New Jersey means that if a dog bites someone, the owner is responsible.
How do You Win a Dog Bite Case in NJ?
To successfully win a dog bite lawsuit in New Jersey, you must first prove that the bite took place. You must also prove that the defendant was the owner of the dog and that when you were bit, you were in a lawful place. If you are able to offer such proof, you have sufficient cause to win your dog bite case because N.J.S.A. 4:19-6 makes liability for a dog bite under these circumstances a strict liability case. You do not have to prove that the dog was a dangerous or vicious animal and you do not have to prove that the owner knew the dog was vicious or aggressive. If you establish that the owner is liable for the bite, you can recover economic damages and non-economic damages. covering your medical bills and lost wages, and you may also be able to recover money damages to compensate you for your pain and suffering.
Trespassing is the only common defense that a dog’s owner can raise in a dog bite lawsuit where there is proof that the bite occurred. If you were trespassing on private property at the time of the bite, the owner may establish that you were not “lawfully upon private property,” and thus you cannot recover damages for your injuries.
It is important to note that you may be able to prove that a dog’s owner was negligent, even if no dog bite occurs. If an unsupervised dog knocks over a toddler or otherwise causes injury without biting anyone, you may be able to prove a negligence case, as opposed to a strict liability case, against the dog’s owner. Dog owners are required to act with reasonable care in controlling their dogs. If the owner fails to monitor, confine, or control their dog and you are hurt as a result, you may be able to recover compensation in a lawsuit.
Do Some Dog Breeds Bite more than Others?
Certain dogs are obviously more dangerous than others. According to statistics from the CDC, the most dangerous breeds of dogs include Pit Bulls, also known as the American Terrier and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Additionally, Rottweiler’s, German Shepherds and several other breeds are considered dangerous breeds of dogs. However, there is significant debate across the United States over “nature vs. nurture” when it comes to dog breeds. In other words, there is no true consensus on whether a dog’s life or their genetics contributes to violent behavior or lackthereof.
Regardless of which type of dog you are bitten by, you should contact our New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyers if you suffer a dog bite injury. Our lawyers represent individuals, in all New Jersey counties including dog bites in Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, and Mercer County.
What Happens to a Dog that Bites Someone in New Jersey?
New Jersey law found in N.J.S.A. 4:19-22—4:19-32 provides procedures for dealing with dangerous dogs. After a bite, an animal control officer will typically evaluate whether the dog is a serious threat based on an unprovoked attack that causes injury. A court will evaluate the results of this investigation, and the court may order the owner to get a special license, keep the dog in a locked enclosure or on a muzzle, or put warnings signs up. If the attack was particularly vicious, unprovoked, and caused serious injury, the court may order that the dog be put down. The determination as to how to deal with a dangerous dog is based on the individual facts of the case and the results of the evaluation of that specific dog.
Who can Help with a Dog Bite Lawsuit in NJ?
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a dog bite in New Jersey, get help from an experienced dog bite attorney today. Our lawyers are available to speak with you day or night and consultations are completely free of charge. Simply call our office in Monmouth County at 732-825-6120 or contact us online an attorney will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
- Dog Bite Prevention, Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- A community approach to dog bite prevention, American Veterinary Medical Association