Recovering for a Dog Bite
Being bitten by a dog can be a traumatic experience. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 4.7 million people are injured from dog bites each year. Animal attacks can cause serious bodily injury such as nerve damage, scarring, broken bones and, in some instances, death. Attacks can also cause other serious conditions including: infections, deformities/ disfigurement, tetanus, sepsis, and rabies.
If you are bitten or attacked by a dog in New Jersey, you should first and foremost seek medical attention for your injuries. You may be able to recover the costs of your medical expenses as well as compensation for other damages you have incurred by bringing a claim against the dog’s owner with the help of a New Jersey Dog Bite Attorneys.
Strict Liability for Dog Bites in New Jersey
New Jersey’s dog bite law (N.J.S.A. 4:19-16) is a strict liability statute. This means that an owner of a dog is liable to a dog bite victim regardless of the viciousness of their dog. Provided there are no viable defenses that can be proven by the dog owner under the circumstances of the dog bite event, the victim is entitled to recovery under the law. For a better explanation of the NJ dog bite laws, see our page on understanding New Jersey’s strict liability dog bite statute.
Who Pays the Damages in A Dog Bite Case?
Sometimes the dog that has caused a serious or catastrophic injury is owned by a friend or a family member. It is important to understand that in most cases you are not suing a neighbor or loved one, but more often it is their homeowner’s insurance company that will be responsible for compensating you for your damages. Therefore, you don’t have to feel guilty about seeking to recover the maximum appropriate compensation.
Homeowner’s insurance can compensate a dog attack victim for damages such as:
- Medical bills for dog bite treatment
- Plastic surgery
- Lost wages
- Emotional distress
- Counseling services for child victims of dog bites
- Permanent scars or disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
Homeowners should read their homeowner’s insurance policy to find out exactly how it treats animal attacks. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover dog bite liability claims and you should be able to purchase an animal liability rider if it is not included automatically. This would protect the homeowner against the costs associated with damages caused by the dog, medical fees and rehabilitation, and any legal costs that result from the attack.
For the dog’s owner, one dog bite claim should not result in severe homeowner’s insurance problems. A habit of filing claims related to such attacks, however, can make it difficult to get homeowner’s insurance. Pet attacks are a serious issue and a costly one, and homeowner’s insurance companies do not want to be the default liability for dangerous animals. The harms and losses from animal attacks can be severe and lifelong.
Hire an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer to Recover for Your Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bite victims often have to deal with costly medical bills, loss of income and pain and suffering. If you have recently become the victim of a dog bite, you should seek legal representation from an experienced New Jersey dog bite attorney. The best way to fully understand your rights and your options before accepting an insurance settlement that may not meet your family’s needs is to consult with a personal injury lawyer experienced in dog bite claims. Our New Jersey Dog Bite Attorneys not only have years of experience pursuing recovery for dog bite claims, but our partner, Carmine R. Villani, has even presented webinars for other New Jersey Dog Bite Attorneys on how to handle a dog bite case.
Call (732) 965-3350 today for your free dog bite consultation with Mr. Villani.