The trauma that an individual may experience a result of a dog bite attack will often last far longer than the initial cuts, bruising and wounds. In many instances, the victim is left with unsightly scarring and may develop long-lasting psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and/or fear of animals; sometimes their own. Unfortunately, there are many dog owners in the State of New Jersey who fail to take simple yet adequate steps to prevent their dog or dogs from biting others.
The State of New Jersey recognizes the serious nature of dog bites and has created a Statute specifically designed to hold the owner of dog liable when their dog bites another individual. N.J.S.A. 4:19-16 specifically states:
The owner of a dog which bites a person is legally responsible if:
- The victim can establish who owned the dog;
- The victim was in a public place, or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog;
- The victim was actually bitten.
If all 3 of these elements are established, the dog’s owner(s) shall be strictly liable for all physical and emotional damages suffered by the victim, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness. This holds true whether or not the dog was a trained security dog, was trained in fighting or was simply a neighbor’s family pet with no history of violence.
After suffering from a dog bite, many people simply do not know what to do and are left wondering: “Who is responsible for paying my medical bills?” “Should I file a police report or contact animal control?” “Should I report the bite to the dog owner’s insurance company?” “What do I do if I do not know who owned the dog?” If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, you should immediately contact an attorney to help guide you through this traumatic time and make sure that you fully understand your legal rights. The insurance company knows their legal rights and has attorneys waiting to defend their rights and so should you. We are experienced and proficient in handling all types of dog bite matters and offer free legal consultations to answer any of your questions or concerns.
Call us at (908)543-7037 for a free consultation.
Our lawyers will also represent you in civil litigation cases such as Work Compensation, Medical Malpractice and much more.