Dogs are considered man’s best friends, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be aggressive. Millions of Americans visit hospital emergency rooms annually after being bitten by a dog. If a person was bitten by a dog they didn’t own, the dog’s owner is usually responsible for paying the victim’s medical bills. In certain cases, victims can hold the dog owner liable for other monies such as lost wages, and pain and suffering. Other punitive actions include euthanizing particularly aggressive dogs, as well as fines or jail time for particularly negligent owners.
A victim does not have to suffer a gaping wound or mauling to be considered a dog bite victim. Dog bite injuries also include bruising, sprains, abrasions, punctures and broken bones. Secondary issues such as infection, scarring and emotional trauma are also considered part of the dog bite injury. Dog owners will usually have to pay for all costs associated with the injury including initial treatment, follow-up visits and rehab therapy.
New Jersey law holds dog owners liable if they know their dog has a tendency to be aggressive and they do not take adequate measures to protect others from coming into contact with the dog. Dog owners are liable even if their dog is a first-time offender and has never bitten anyone before. State residents can find the complete statute for dog bite regulation under NJSA 4:19-16.
Victims who encounter the dog on public property or while legally visiting a dog owner’s residence are eligible for compensation by the dog owner. Trespassers or those engaged in another kind of criminal activity are not protected under New Jersey law. Additionally, accident victims who are injured trying to escape a dog cannot gain compensation unless the dog directly caused their injuries.
If the dog was provoked, the dog owner will still be held liable for any injuries caused by the dog, but liability may be limited, leaving the victim to pay the remaining costs. In cases where the victim is under seven years old, dog owners face full responsibility for any aggressive actions committed by their dogs.
If you are a loved one has been injured by a dog, please contact one of our dog bite lawyers in New Jersey without delay. At Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow & McElroy, LLP, we understand the state statutes concerning dog owner negligence and liability, and will fight hard to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call today at 1-732-777-0100 to set up an appointment to discuss your claim. Our team is available to meet with you at our law offices in Red Bank, Toms River or Edison, New Jersey.