Dogs can be beloved companions. To many people, they are just as important and special as any family member. Most dogs are friendly and well-trained, but they are still animals. Like any animal, they can inflict serious damage. When dogs attack, the injuries that result can be life-altering and even fatal.
Dog bites are very common, with nearly five million people attacked by dogs every year in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every five bites becomes infected. Tragically, a large number of dog bite victims are children, who are especially vulnerable to serious injuries.
Owning a dog means important legal obligations. In New Jersey, dog owners are required by law to care for their animals in a humane and responsible manner.
They are also required to ensure their pets don’t harm people or property. When a dog bites someone or damages property, the dog’s owner is liable for any injuries or damages that result.
New Jersey imposes strict liability on dog owners. This means dog owners are legally responsible for injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of whether the dog is a so-called “vicious dog” or has been known to act viciously in the past.
Dog owners must pay for the injuries their dogs inflict, whether the injury happened at a public park or even in the dog owner’s home.
If you, your child, or another loved one has been bitten by a dog in New Jersey, it’s important to contact a personal injury lawyer right away. One of the first steps your lawyer will take is to determine whether the dog’s owner has any insurance coverage available to pay for your damages. Possible sources of insurance coverage include:
Even if the dog’s owner doesn’t have insurance, you are still entitled to file a claim against the owner for your injuries. In some cases, dog bite victims are reluctant to file a claim because the dog’s owner is a friend, neighbor, or family member. In these situations, it’s important to remember just how costly a dog bite can be.
Many dog bite victims require physical therapy and cosmetic surgery to fully reclaim their mobility and their lives. You shouldn’t have to pay for the medical bills, lost wages, and other damages associated with a dog bite.
If you have been attacked by a dog, you may be able to received compensation for your injuries, emotional distress, lost wages, and hospital and medical costs. You are not in this alone. Call our New Jersey dog bite lawyer today to discuss your case.
If you need to consult a New Jersey attorney, you need to contact Schibell & Mennie, LLC. The initial consultation is always free.