Jersey City Dog Bite Lawyer
A dog attack can be violent, leading to severe physical injuries and emotional trauma for a survivor. If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog attack in Jersey City, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Although no amount of money can make up for serious losses from a dog attack, a successful claim can help your family pay for required medical care and move forward with greater peace of mind. Contact Brady, Brady & Reilly, LLC today to find out how our Jersey City dog bite lawyer can help you recover.
Do You Need a Jersey City Dog Bite Attorney?
You may be able to handle your dog bite injury claim alone if you only suffered minor injuries and the pet owner’s insurance company is cooperating with you. If, however, you have severe or life-changing injuries, it is worthwhile to speak to an attorney. Your Jersey City dog bite lawyer can handle settlement negotiations against an insurance provider for you while you receive medical care.
Hiring a lawyer is important if you will have future foreseeable medical needs, such as physical therapy or rehabilitation. Without a dog bite lawyer, you may settle for a payout that does not adequately cover your ongoing expenses. A Jersey City dog bite attorney can also bring other important advantages, such as knowledge of New Jersey’s dog bite laws and connections to resources and experts that will help you build a stronger claim.
How Do Dog Bite Claims Work in New Jersey? Who Is Responsible?
Every state handles dog bite injury claims differently. Most, however, choose between two different types of laws: a one-bite rule or strict liability. A one-bite rule essentially gives a dog one “free” bite. An injured victim can only hold the dog owner responsible for the bite if the dog had a prior history of biting people or a propensity for viciousness. If the pet owner had no reason to know the dog was violent, however, he or she may avoid liability for the attack.
In a strict liability state, on the other hand, a dog owner is liable or financially responsible for all injuries and property damage caused by his or her dog, regardless of whether or not the dog had bitten someone previously. A strict liability rule makes it easier for injured dog bite victims to recover financial compensation for their injuries and losses, as they don’t have to prove the owner’s negligence.
New Jersey is a strict liability dog bite state. If you are attacked by a dog in New Jersey, the owner or controller of the dog will be liable for your medical bills and other losses, even if the owner was not negligent. Negligence in personal injury law refers to carelessness that causes injury or harm to someone else. Regardless of whether or not the pet owner knew about the dog’s propensity for viciousness, you are eligible to recover under New Jersey’s strict liability law.
Common Legal Defenses to Dog Bite Claims
Most dog bite injury claims are filed through the pet owner’s property or homeowners insurance provider. This is because pets are lawfully viewed as property. After you file a dog bite injury claim with a dog owner’s insurance provider in New Jersey, you may face one or more legal defenses that could bar you from financial recovery.
For example, a pet owner may allege that you were trespassing on private property when the attack occurred. For your claim to be valid, you must be able to prove that you were on public property or legally on private property. The pet owner may also try to assert that you instigated the attack, such as by pestering or harassing the dog. A dog bite injury attorney in Jersey City can help you counter these defenses to protect your right to recover.
In addition, a lawyer can help you collect evidence against the pet owner, if necessary. Although for the most part, you do not need to prove negligence, if you base your claim on this legal theory, your lawyer can help you establish that the pet owner let his or her dog run at large or was negligent in another way that contributed to the attack.
What Is New Jersey’s Dangerous Dog Law?
Incidents involving known dangerous dogs are handled differently on a legal level than standard dog bite injury claims. In New Jersey, a dangerous dog is one that has received this classification from an animal control office due to a previous unprovoked attack against a person or animal.
If the courts decided that the animal was dangerous, the dog owner had a responsibility to obtain a special ownership license, place warning signs on his or her property, and keep the dog in an enclosure or on a leash with a muzzle. If you were attacked by a known dangerous dog because the owner neglected to fulfill these duties, you may have grounds for a negligence claim.
Common Injuries Suffered in Dog Attacks
A dog attack can be catastrophic, meaning it inflicts injuries that will stay with a victim for life. When some dogs bite, they do not let go until they have done considerable damage. Common injuries associated with dog attacks in New Jersey include:
- Puncture wounds
- Cuts, scrapes and deep lacerations
- Permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Eye and face injuries
- Scalp injuries and head trauma
- Spinal injuries
- Hand and finger injuries
- Crush injuries
- Bone fractures
- Soft-tissue injuries
- Severe bruising
- Infections and diseases (such as rabies)
- Wrongful death
Note that New Jersey’s dog bite law also holds pet owners strictly liable for injuries and damage caused by other pet actions, such as jumping up and knocking a victim over. No matter what type of injury you or a loved one suffered in a dog attack – major or minor – you may be eligible for financial compensation from the pet owner.
Contact Us Today for a Free Dog Bite Consultation in Jersey City
If you have questions or concerns regarding a recent dog bite injury in Jersey City, please contact Brady, Brady & Reilly, LLC to request a free legal consultation. We will listen to your story and offer trustworthy legal advice about how you can proceed with an insurance claim or injury lawsuit after a dog attack. We will represent your rights and help your family seek justice every step of the way. Call (201) 997-0030 today.