Dog Bite Season

Kids love dogs. They’re cute, fluffy and playful. But as summer approaches and your children are out of school (playing outdoors more often), the risk for a dog bite greatly increases.

dogbiteChildren are at Risk

Many children are naturally drawn to dogs, but that can be the recipe for disaster. In 2014, children 6-years and younger accounted for 88% of dog bite fatalities according to dogsbite.org. Here are three things you can do to help protect your child from dog bites:

1. Stay Away-

The most important rule you can teach your child is to stay away from dogs they don’t know. And never pet an unfamiliar dog on the top of the head as dogs can perceive this act as a threat.

2. Stay Calm-

When a strange dog approaches, remind your child to stay calm and still like a tree. Running away can trigger the dog to chase the child and increase their anxiety level which means it’s more likely to become aggressive.

3. Speak Up-

Teach your child to inform an adult immediately if they see a dog acting unusually or are ever bitten to get the medical attention necessary.

Who Pays?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 of every 6 dog bite injuries requires medical care; 1 of every 14 requires emergency care. Nationwide, as a whole, the cost of the average dog bite claim is up 49.2% in the last decade according to the Insurance Information Institute. An injured child is entitled to compensation for injuries caused by a dog attack. The New Jersey dog bite accident lawyers at Villani & DeLuca P.C. are dedicated to the compassionate and aggressive representation of clients in Monmouth and Ocean County and the surrounding areas.

Strict Liability Statute (N.J.S.A. 4:19-16) for Dog Bites in New Jersey

New Jersey (along with 30 states) impose a strict liability dog bite law. The garden state dog bite law has evolved significantly over the years and includes three elements. These three elements of a dog bite case have to be established in order to obtain a favorable judgment for the victim and include:

1. The defendant was the owner of the dog in question for biting.
2. The plaintiff was in a public place (such as a park or sidewalk) or lawfully in a private place (including the property of the defendant in the case of mail carrier).
3. The dog did indeed bite the plaintiff while they were in that place.

Viciousness

In New Jersey, an owner of a dog is liable to a dog bite victim regardless of the viciousness of their dog. Viciousness generally refers to whether or not the dog has been proven to be vicious in the past or has bitten someone prior to the latest incident.

Contact a Dog Bite Lawyer Immediately

Since New Jersey dog bite laws can be complex, it is important for the parents of a child bitten by a dog to contact an experienced Dog Bite Personal Injury Lawyer for a complimentary consultation and legal representation. Contact Villani& DeLuca P.C. today at 888-389-9533. As with all personal injury matters, there are no legal fees unless we recover for you.

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