Should I Contact a Personal Injury Attorney if Bitten by a Dog in NJ?

Whether you dislike dogs or are one of those people compelled to greet every dog you say, you need to be mindful of the fact that dogs are unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Even an apparently sweet and docile dog can bite when provoked or frightened, and in many cases, these bites cause significant pain, serious injury, and even death. If you are bitten by a dog in New Jersey and the bite caused damage, a personal injury attorney can be your best resource. Dog bite injuries are often difficult to navigate, but the state makes clear that even if a dog has never been aggressive before, the dog’s owner is legally responsible for the injuries caused by their pet.

Dog bite cases are often complicated by circumstances: sometimes the dog is owned by a friend, family member, or neighbor. This is just one of the reasons that having an attorney to represent you can be a help – it takes away the personal aspect of the situation. An experienced personal injury attorney will also be able to assess and advise you about whether the specifics of your bite allow you to pursue justice. For example, New Jersey law makes the dog’s owner responsible if you were bitten in a public place or even in the owner’s residence — even if the owner had no idea that the dog had the potential to cause harm – but those protections will be discarded if you were criminally trespassing. An attorney will also be able to help you identify who can and cannot be held responsible in your situation. For example, a dog walker cannot be held to the same standard as a dog owner, so if the animal attacked you while under somebody else’s control, your options may be more limited.

New Jersey’s laws are written to ensure that your ability to file a personal injury lawsuit will be limited if you provoked the dog to bite you, though that is not the case if a child under the age of seven is the victim.  The law also assesses damages for behaviors other than bites, including being hurt as a result of the dog jumping on you or chasing you.

The damage caused by a dog bite can be far more extensive than the physical. Dog bites can lead to lifelong fears. For information about your rights after being bitten by a dog, contact our personal injury law firm today.