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Protecting Your Rights after a Dog Bite or Attack in New Jersey

What Legal Action Can You Take? What Should You Do First?

Protecting Your Rights after a Dog Bite or Attack in New JerseyMore often than not, a dog is man’s best friend. Occasionally, though, you can encounter one with a mean streak. The consequences can be serious, leaving both physical and emotional scars. What are your rights with respect to dog bites and attacks? When can you sue for any injuries suffered? What must you show to successfully recover damages? What should you do immediately after being bitten or attacked by a canine?

The New Jersey Laws Governing Dog Owners and Dog Attacks

Like most states, New Jersey has a statute that imposes “strict liability” on dog owners for certain actions and in certain situations. Strict liability means that an injured person doesn’t have to prove negligence or carelessness by the dog owner. Accordingly, under the New Jersey law, a dog’s owner will be responsible for any injuries suffered if the dog bites a person who is either on public property or legally on private property. The victim does not need to show that the dog owner knew or should have known of the dog’s violent or aggressive tendencies or that the dog had previously bitten or tried to bite another person.

The strict liability law applies, however, only to dog bites. If you were mauled or knocked down by a dog, the strict liability statute will not cover your situation. Instead, to recover compensation, you will need to allege negligence in a personal injury lawsuit. In such a claim, the jury can take your own liability into consideration, applying New Jersey’s comparative liability approach, potentially reducing or preventing your recovery. If, for example, you were trespassing at the time of the attack or you provoked the dog, your recovery may be limited.

What Should You Do Immediately after a Dog Attack?

Your first course of action, after any encounter with an aggressive dog, is seek necessary medical care, so that you can minimize the potential consequences of the attack. You’ll want to obtain contact information from the dog’s owner, as well as any witnesses, and you should report the incident to your local animal control or police department. Furthermore, the sooner you hire an experienced personal injury lawyer, the better you’ll be able to protect your legal rights.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 / 856-600-HURT to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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