The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that there are over 48 million households that own dogs in the United States. Indisputably, dogs are a favored pet by many Americans and while dogs are popular, they can sometimes present a serious danger. Although dogs have been domesticated, they are animals with innate vicious behaviors. At times, the behavior of a dog can be difficult to predict and it can bite any person without warning. When this happens, the consequences can be devastating, especially if the bite victim is a small child.
In the State of New Jersey, dog owners are held responsible for all damages inflicted on a person when their pet bites that person, regardless of whether the dog had a history of vicious or aggressive tendencies. If you or a loved one suffered serious injuries from a dog bite, obtaining the support of a qualified personal injury attorney is highly recommended.
Helping Injured Dog Bite Victims Get the Compensation They Deserve
Dog bite attacks are not only painful, they can also have a serious financial impact on the lives of the victim and his or her family. When a dog bites a person, the victim could require expensive medical treatments and could also face temporary disability. Without the ability to return to work, victims may face further financial hardship. Conveniently, the State of New Jersey recognizes the severity of dog bite injuries and allows injured victims the opportunity to seek compensation from the dog owner. While dog bite injury cases do not require legal counsel, the support of a qualified attorney will ensure the highest compensation is secured.
The personal injury attorneys at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC have many years of experience representing those who have been injured as a result of dog bite attacks. The firm recognizes the importance a full compensation can have on a victim. For many, securing maximum compensation can provide the opportunity to continue life as planned. To ensure their clients obtain the highest compensation available to them, the attorneys at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC will take immediate and aggressive action against the pet owner and his or her insurance provider. If you have been injured in a dog bite attack, consider obtaining the support of the firm. Schedule a no-obligation consultation with the firm by calling (908) 264-7228 or complete the private online contact form here.
New Jersey’s Strict Dog Bite Law
Based on N.J.S.A §4:19-16, injured dog bite victims can seek monetary restitution for their damages. To hold a dog owner responsible for their injuries, however, dog bite victims must demonstrate the following:
- The named defendant in the claim is the actual owner of the dog;
- The dog in question was the one that bit the injured victim; and
- The bite took place while the injured victim was in a public space or lawfully in a private location, which includes the pet owner’s residence.
There are certain limitations to New Jersey’s strict dog bite injury law. When the following situations are present, dog owners may not be obligated to pay for the victim’s damages:
- The injured person was trespassing on the pet owner’s property when the attack occurred;
- The injured person sustained those injuries for reasons other than the dog bite; and/or
- The accused defendant in the claim is not the dog’s owner
Special considerations are provided when the victim is partially responsible for the dog bite attack. In this situation, the victim can only obtain compensation from the pet owner if his or her fault is considered less than the owner’s. Compensatory damages are then assigned based on the degree of fault belonging to both parties, respectively. These types of cases are evaluated based on the totality of circumstances surrounding the attack.
Negligence-Based Dog Attack Claims
New Jersey’s strict dog bite injury law only covers cases that include an actual dog bite, but dogs can certainly cause a person extensive harm without actually biting him or her. Fortunately, dog attack victims can still recover financial compensation for their damages even when their case does not involve a dog bite. If the injuries occurred as a consequence of other dog behaviors besides a dog bite, the injured person can seek damages through a claim based on the theory of negligence.
When a negligence-based claim is being presented, the victim will need to demonstrate the following in order to achieve a favorable outcome:
- The dog owner had a legal duty to take reasonable care in controlling the animal’s behavior;
- The dog owner failed to meet his or her duty; and
- As a consequence of this failure, the animal caused damages to the victim.
Obtain a Free Consultation From a Skilled Personal Injury Law Firm Today
As beloved as dogs are throughout the nation, all dogs can be dangerous. Regrettably, dogs will always have innate behaviors that make them capable of attacking a person, even when the person is familiar with the dog. When a dog bites a person, the attack can cause a series of hardships for the injured victim, including pain and suffering, emotional distress, and economic hardship. Fortunately, the State of New Jersey recognizes these challenges and provides victims the opportunity for victims to seek monetary damages when injured in a dog bite attack. If you or someone you love was injured by a dog, obtaining legal counsel from an experienced law firm can ensure the highest compensation is secured.
The personal injury attorneys at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC work tirelessly to advocate on behalf of injured dog bite victims. When a dog bites a person, the dog owner should be held responsible for the damages caused by their pet, and the attorneys at Smith & Williams Law Firm, LLC work hard to ensure this is the case. When you have been injured in a dog bite attack, recovering maximum compensation will help you cover the expenses caused by most dog bite incidents. Consider obtaining the support of the proficient legal team and schedule a free consultation today by calling (908) 264-7228 or filling out the confidential online contact form.