Who Could Be Liable for a Dog Bite Injury in New Jersey?
We prepare for car wrecks, fires, and economic slumps, but few—if any of us—expect to be the unwitting target of an aggressive canine. Unfortunately, thousands of Americans are forced to deal with the painful—and expensive—consequences of a violent dog attack. Bites can lead to long-term health complications that can affect the victim’s ability to earn a living, take care of the household, or live independently.
If you were attacked by someone else’s dog, you may be considering filing a personal injury claim against the animal’s owner. In this article, we will explore New Jersey’s laws surrounding dog bites and explain what to do after an attack.
What Are New Jersey’s Dog Bite Laws?
The state has “strict liability” laws for dog bite claims. Simply put, if you were bitten by a dog, even if the owner made attempts to restrain the animal or warn you, he or she is still liable for injuries caused by the attack. Additionally, it doesn’t matter if the dog had never exhibited aggressive behavior in the past.
However, as a victim, you will need to show that you were legally on someone’s private property or in a public space. Additionally, if it emerges that you provoked the animal in any way, the dog’s owner may have grounds to dispute your claim.
What Should I Do After an Animal Attack?
After suffering a dog bite, it can be difficult to stay calm. Even smaller breeds can be incredibly vicious, launching a relentless attack without warning. While you may be in considerable pain, you should take a deep breath and assess the situation. The actions you take immediately after suffering a bite can have a significant impact on the success of your claim.
Here are a few steps to follow after an animal attack:
- Seek Medical Attention: A dog’s razor-sharp teeth can tear through tissue, muscle and even break bones. Left untreated, such wounds can become infected or even lead to permanent disfigurement and scarring. As such, you should visit the doctor as soon as possible after an attack. A prompt diagnosis can prevent your condition from worsening, speed up your recovery, and help you avoid disputes over failure to mitigate damages.
- Report the Attack to Animal Control: You should contact your local government’s animal control unit to report the incident. Not only will this ensure that you have documented proof that you were bitten, but animal control may also have records of other incidents involving the same dog. This information could help you prove liability.
- Speak to Eyewitnesses: If anyone saw the attack take place, you should take down their contact details to share with your attorney. Your dog bite lawyer may want to interview eyewitnesses to determine whether their deposition or testimony could help support your claim. For instance, they may be able to help confirm that you were legally on the owner’s property or that you did not provoke the dog.
- Document the Bite: Immediately after you suffered the bite, you should take pictures of your injuries. These images can help prove the severity of your wounds and help tie your injuries to the attack in question.
Speak to a Dog Bite Attorney in New Jersey Today
If you were the victim of an animal attack, turn to the legal team at Clark Law Firm. From helping you gather evidence and assess your damages to representing you throughout proceedings, we will be with you every step of the way. To pencil in a free case review, call us today at 1-877-841-8855 or click through to our online contact page HERE.