Dog Bites & Animal Attacks
Dog bites are more common than most people realize. Each year, millions of people suffer dog bites, with hundreds of thousands of victims needing emergency medical care. These attacks often lead to painful, debilitating injuries that leave victims with permanent scarring, disfigurement, and physical disabilities.
But, if you have suffered a dog bite injury, you already know this all too well.
What you might not know, however, is that New Jersey has a unique law that protects victims of dog bite injuries. At the Law Offices of Jeffrey Hasson, P.C., we have decades of experience using this law to our clients’ advantage. If you have suffered bite injuries in a dog attack in New Jersey, we encourage you to contact us to learn more about your legal rights. If you have a claim, we will fight to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve.
With Offices in Teaneck and Union City, the Law Offices of Jeffrey Hasson, P.C. Represents Dog Bite Victims throughout New Jersey.
New Jersey’s “Strict Liability” Dog Bite Law
In New Jersey, dog owners are subject to a rule known as “strict liability” when it comes to responsibility for bite attacks by their dogs. Section 4:19-16 of the New Jersey Statutes states:
“The owner of any dog which shall bite a person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
In other words, the owner of the dog that bit you does not need to have been negligent or made a mistake in order for you to be entitled to compensation. This is an important distinction from other types of personal injury claims, and one that we will use to your full advantage when seeking to secure a financial recovery on your behalf.
New Jersey Does Not Have a “One Bite” Rule
If you have been looking into your legal rights as a dog bite victim, you may have seen that some states have what is commonly referred to as a “one bite” rule. Essentially, these laws do not impose liability on dog owners for bite attacks unless their dog has bitten someone before. New Jersey does not have a one-bite rule.
This means that, if you have been bitten by someone else’s dog, with only certain, limited exceptions, you are entitled to seek compensation regardless of whether the dog has a vicious past.
Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
As a dog bite victim in New Jersey, you could be entitled to a significant financial recovery. This includes compensation for all of your physical, financial and emotional losses, such as:
- Past and future medical bills resulting from the dog bite
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Counseling and medication expenses
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Plastic surgery
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
In many cases, dog owners’ home insurance policies include coverage for visitors’ dog bite injuries. If your injury is covered by the dog owner’s insurance, we will take aggressive action to make sure that the insurance company pays what you are rightfully owed. If the insurance company won’t offer a fair settlement, we won’t hesitate to take your case to trial.
What To Do After a Dog Bite in New Jersey
Even with New Jersey’s strict liability law for dog bites, there are still important steps that bite victims should take to help protect their chances of securing maximum financial compensation. Following a dog bite you should:
- Try to identify the dog’s owner
- Call 911 and seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries
- Collect the names and contact information of any witnesses
- Take photos of the location where the bite occurred, your injuries, and any damage to your clothing or personal items
- Follow your doctor’s advice regarding rest, treatment, and recovery
We also recommend that you speak with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Although insurance coverage may be available, if you try to deal with the insurance company on your own, you could end up losing out on a significant portion of the compensation you deserve. Insurance companies prey on unrepresented injury victims, and to protect yourself you need an experienced advocate who has your best interests in mind.
Contact the Law Offices of Jeffrey Hasson, P.C. about Your New Jersey Dog Bite Claim
If you would like to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about seeking compensation for your injuries, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.
To get started, call our offices at (201) 254-8484 or contact us online today.