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Liability and compensation for dog attacks in New Jersey

| Dec 2, 2020 | Personal Injury

After a dog attack bite or attack, it is important to get medical attention right away.

Even if you have health insurance, doctor and hospital visits for dog bites can be expensive. Understanding New Jersey’s laws surrounding dog bite claims can help you continue your path to recovery and justice.

Types of claims

If a dog bite victim did not provoke the animal or trespass, then the dog owner is responsible for the injuries caused by a dog attack, even if the dog has never attacked someone or acted aggressively before. This state rule is known as strict liability. The dog does not need to have a history of being vicious for someone to file a strict liability claim.

Dog bites are not the only type of injuries people sustain due to a dog. Serious injuries, like a broken bone or head injury, can arise in situations where a dog owner was not keeping a close eye or leash on their pet and the dog chased or improperly interacted with you. In these situations, you can file a claim due to the owner’s carelessness based on the negligence standard where you will have to prove that the dog owner was in fact careless and that the dog’s actions were the direct cause of your injuries.

Types of compensation

In either a standard dog bite claim or negligence claim, you can file for compensation to pay for both the incident-related costs, such as medical bills, damaged property and the pain you go through. Specifically, you can file to receive the money you need to take care of:

  • Medical bills for treatment you have already received
  • Payment for future treatment you may need
  • Damage to your property, like a damaged cell phone or a broken bike
  • Any work wages you did not receive while recovering from the injuries or going to doctor’s appointments
  • Payment for your physical or emotional suffering
  • Payment for your loss of enjoyment of life for all the activities you had to stop doing as well as the ones you can no longer perform to the same level as you did before your accident

Just keep in mind that you only have two years from the date of the dog attack or incident to seek compensation, and there may be other deadlines that expire within weeks or months from the accident. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process, but the longer you wait, the harder it is for an attorney to help you.