If you have been bitten by a dog, don’t hesitate to call a New Jersey dog bite lawyer. A dog bite could cause you a tremendous amount of physical and emotional pain. Even a minor bite could result in significant medical bills and time spent away from work or other activities. We are willing to fight for your rights and get you as much compensation for your injuries as possible.
You deserve quality legal representation from professionals who care about you and your case. Call us or fill out the intake form right now to learn more about your rights and receive a free case evaluation.
What You Should Do After Being Bitten By a Dog
Seek medical care immediately after being bitten by a dog. This is true whether you believe that the bite was serious or not. There is a chance that bacteria from the dog’s mouth could have gotten through the skin or into the bloodstream.
If possible, wash the wound with soap and water before seeking medical attention. Place a bandage around the wound to ensure that it stays clean. A bandage may also help to contain the bleeding if that is a problem.
It is a good idea to call the police after a dog bite incident so that an officer can create a report. An officer can also start an investigation into the matter to help determine who the dog belongs to. You should be as detailed as possible in your statement to increase the chances that the animal and its owner are found.
In the event that a dog causes serious injury, an officer will call for emergency medical personnel to come to the scene. This is important because the sooner that you are seen by a doctor, the better your overall prognosis is likely to be. This can be especially true if the victim is a child.
After calling the police, it is a good idea to contact an attorney. A New Jersey dog bite lawyer can review the matter and advise a victim or victim’s parents of their rights.
Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite?
If you are bitten by a dog in any public or private setting where you had a right to be, the owner of the dog is responsible for the incident. New Jersey applies a strict liability standard when it comes to a case involving a dog bite. This means that the owner is responsible even if he or she did nothing wrong in causing the accident to occur.
It is important to note that New Jersey is not a “one-bite rule” state. In other words, a person is liable for the actions of his or her dog even if it had never bitten someone in the past. To prove negligence in such a case, you must show that:
- A person owned a dog
- The dog bit you
- It bit you in a place where you had the right to be
Furthermore, you must show that the injury led to some sort of financial damages. This can generally be done by using a bill from a hospital or receipts from a drug store indicating the purchase of gauze or similar material. Your New Jersey dog bite lawyer may help you find other ways of proving that negligence occurred.
In the state of New Jersey, dogs do not have legal standing. This is why the animal’s owner is held responsible for the physical and emotional issues that it may cause. However, it is possible that the animal will be put down for attacking you, and this is because it may pose a threat to the health and safety of others in the community.
Why You Should Sue After a Dog Bite
The best reason to file a lawsuit after a dog bite is because you could incur significant medical bills. There are many different types of health issues that could be caused by a dog bite such as puncture wounds, broken bones or rabies. It is also possible for pus to form in a chest wound or for a bone itself to become infected.
Physical disfigurement could also occur, and it could take multiple surgeries or other procedures to help you regain your prior appearance. These procedures could include:
- Plastic surgery
- Bone or skin grafting
- Amputation of an arm or leg
You could face thousands of dollars or more in medical costs and other damages related to lost wages or future earnings. Filing a lawsuit is a good idea even if you don’t actually intend to resolve the matter in court.
In New Jersey, you generally have two years from the date of the injury to actually file a lawsuit. If you fail to do so, it may not possible to seek damages from a judge or jury. The statute of limitations may be tolled for minors or in certain other situations.
In the state of New Jersey, there is no limit on the amount of compensation that you can win in a dog bite case. Therefore, it may be possible to win 100 percent of your current and future medical bills. It may also be possible to win compensation for pain and suffering in your case. A New Jersey injury lawyer may be able to estimate how much you could win in your given case.
What Happens if a Person Dies Because of a Dog Bite?
In the event that a person dies because of a dog bite, the estate of the deceased may file a wrongful death case. This will likely be either the executor or whoever else has been appointed to represent the deceased person. A New Jersey dog bite lawyer may be able to help represent the estate in such a matter.
As in a personal injury case, a dog owner could be liable for the victim’s lost wages and lost future earnings. It may also be possible for a dog’s owner to be liable for any medical bills or other final expenses the deceased may have incurred. Finally, the victim’s loved ones may be entitled to compensation for the loss of a relationship with that individual.
If a person dies after a lawsuit has been initiated, the original lawsuit generally remains in place. However, it could be converted into a wrongful death or similar type of claim instead.
How Do You Receive Compensation?
If the bite occurred at a the owner’s home, it is likely that his or her homeowners insurance policy will cover some or all of the judgement. This means that whoever is liable for damages does not need to pay them directly.
This can be comforting if the dog belongs to someone who you know or care about. For instance, if your grandmother’s favorite pet hurts you, it won’t be necessary to bankrupt her to pay your medical bills. That can avoid causing pain to a loved one as well as straining a previously close relationship.
However, if you are injured by a dog in a public place, the owner of the dog may need to pay damages personally. Furthermore, you should be aware that insurance companies are not going to pay out a claim willingly.
An insurance company may try to take actions such as:
- Denying the claim
- Taking steps to reduce the amount it pays out
- Not pay the claim in a timely manner
Therefore, it is important that you have a New Jersey dog bite lawyer available to help with your case. He or she may be able to help determine what an insurance company owes and take steps to compel timely payment. Furthermore, your legal representative may be able to overcome any objections that the insurance company raises regarding its obligation to pay.
What Types of Evidence Should You Collect?
If you are seeking compensation for your injuries, it is important that you retain as much evidence as possible. This could include pictures of the damage that was done or pictures from the scene of the attack. Medical records can be used to verify that you sought treatment specifically because of injuries caused by a defendant’s dog.
Witness statements and police reports can also be used to verify your version of events in court or during settlement talks. A New Jersey dog bite lawyer may also be able to help you prove who owned the dog or gather other information that may be relevant to your case.
Your New Jersey dog bite lawyer may be able to hire an expert witness to testify at a trial if your case gets that far. An expert witness may be able to explain more about why a dog would bite or if it exhibited any signs that it could have been vicious.
These steps may be helpful in the event that the person who owns the dog that attacked you is disputing the facts in the matter. For instance, an individual may deny owning the dog that caused your injuries. He or she may also deny that you were lawfully in a public place or that you were even bitten at all.
What Can You Do to Avoid Getting Bitten By a Dog?
There are many steps that you can take to prevent yourself or your child from being bitten by a dog. For instance, you should teach your children to never touch a strange dog without permission from its owner.
Furthermore, children should be taught that they should never:
- Pull on a dog’s tail
- Pull on a dog’s ears
- Ride the dog like a horse
It is also critical that parents do not leave their young children or babies unsupervised with a dog. Although the dog may not be vicious toward your son or daughter, a child’s small size may leave him or her more vulnerable to injuries if bitten.
If an animal is seen caring for its young, it should not be approached or touched. Even if the animal itself is generally friendly, it could be more prone to biting or nipping if it feels threatened. You may increase your risk of getting hurt by putting yourself between a mother dog and its puppies.
Dogs that are eating or sleeping should be left alone if you don’t have a reason to interact with them. A dog can be protective of its resources and territory and act out of fear of having those things taken away.
Look for signs that a dog is unhappy or may otherwise be getting ready to protect itself. Typically, it will lick its lips or back away to indicate that it is stressed or scared of you. If that doesn’t work, it may try to bark, growl or show its teeth.
If you still don’t heed the animal’s warning, it is possible that it will resort to biting or otherwise attacking you. A New Jersey dog bite lawyer may be able to help determine if a dog gave any warning signs before it attacked.
Call a New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer Today
You shouldn’t have to pursue legal action and recover from your injuries at the same time. Our firm will help you get maximum compensation using the facts in the case and state law to your advantage. In some cases, working with a New Jersey dog bite lawyer can result in a financial award that is several times more than what the insurance company has offered to pay.