Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs are beloved pets, but they may also behave unpredictably, and not all owners take the time to train them. The pain inflicted by an attacking dog may be severe, and there may be additional complications related to infection or disfigurement if biting is involved. If you or your child is hurt in this type of incident, you may be able to recover compensation with the assistance of our Middlesex County dog bite lawyers. In many cases, a personal injury lawsuit is the only way that a victim can afford the large medical bills that may accompany a serious bite. At Siegel & Siegel, we represent not only dog bite victims but also people who need a premises liability attorney or guidance in a wide range of other personal injury claims.Liability for Dog Bites
There is strict liability for dog bites in New Jersey under New Jersey Statutes section 4:18-16. You may hold a dog owner liable under this statute even if it has not ever acted viciously before and even if the dog owner was as surprised by the viciousness as you were. You must have been on public property or have been legally present on private property when you were bitten. The statute applies only to bites rather than to injuries like scratching or fractures from falling.
Dog owners defending against a dog bite lawsuit may claim that you were comparatively negligent. This means that you owed a duty to use reasonable care, failed to use reasonable care, and then were injured. New Jersey follows a rule of comparative negligence, whereby your damages are reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were taunting the dog through a fence, and then it snapped at you, you may be comparatively negligent. Our dog bite attorneys can help Middlesex County residents argue against any allegation of comparative negligence.
Damages that may be recovered following a dog bite include past and future medical expenses, past and future hospital bills, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost income, and lost earning capacity. These damages may vary somewhat based on the extent of the injuries and the need for future treatment. In general, scars and disfigurement are a compensable loss, but they are valued differently according to the specific circumstances of the victim. This is another reason why retaining an attorney may make a significant difference to the amount of compensation that you receive.
In cases in which you were hurt by other dog actions, such as jumping, you may be able to sue for negligence. This means that a victim will need to establish that the owner owed them a duty of reasonable care to control the dog's conduct, the owner did not meet the duty, and since they did not meet the duty, they caused harm to the victim. For example, if you were walking down the street, and a dog jumped on you, causing you to twist an ankle, you might be able to sue for negligence even though you could not sue for strict liability. Most likely, you would need to show that the dog had a history of knocking people over or otherwise harming them to show that the owner had a duty to take additional measures to keep people safe from the dog.Discuss Your Dog Bite Case with a Middlesex County Lawyer
Dog bite injuries may be extremely painful and often also leave embarrassing scars. Our Middlesex County dog bite attorneys may be able to help you recover compensation if you have been attacked by someone else’s animal. We represent victims in Plainsboro, Cranbury, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, New Brunswick, Edison, Piscataway, Trenton, Princeton, Hamilton, and West Windsor, as well as other areas of Middlesex, Mercer, Burlington, Monmouth, and Union Counties. Contact us online or call us at 609-799-6066 to set up a free appointment. We assist people who need a personal injury lawyer or a wrongful death attorney to help them seek the justice that they deserve.