A dog bite or attack can be a traumatizing experience that can have lasting physical and psychological effects.
Our New Jersey dog bite lawyers understand the unique challenges you are likely facing if you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog. As seasoned personal injury lawyers in Hasbrouck Heights, we can help you fight for the compensation you need to cover the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering caused by your injuries. We have decades of experience fighting for those who have been injured throughout New Jersey and are dedicated to representing our clients’ best interests.
Contact our team today for a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case. We do not charge upfront fees and only require payment if we obtain compensation for you.
Get started now by completing a Free Case Evaluation form.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
The overwhelming experience of a dog bite or attack can easily leave you at a loss for what to do next. To help ensure your rights are protected and that you receive the care and attention you need, you should:
Seek Immediate Medical Care
Dog bites can cause serious injuries, including:
- Severe cuts, scrapes and gashes that can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Transmission of rabies
- Nerve damage
Because these dog bite injuries can be severe, taking care of your health should be your first priority after an attack. The best way to do this is to call 9-1-1 immediately. Emergency responders can help get you to the emergency room quickly, where you can receive the medical care you need.
If your injuries are less severe and you are not taken to the emergency room, it is still important that you seek medical care.
This can help ensure you receive the proper treatment for your injuries. It will also establish a clear link between your injuries and the dog attack, something that the at-fault party may attempt to question if you file a claim.
Report the Dog Bite
Once your injuries have stabilized, you should report the dog bite to the appropriate authorities, if you have not already done so.
Document the Dog Bite
After a dog bite, it is important that you document as much of the incident as possible to ensure you do not forget anything and so you have the evidence you need if you later choose to pursue a claim. You will need proof of the incident and your injuries to obtain compensation for your claim.
- Write down details about the dog that attacked you, including the breed, color, approximate size and other identifiable features
- Obtain the name and contact information of the dog’s owner
- Get the names and contact information from any witnesses
- Document where the attack happened and everything you can remember about the location and the incident
- Take photos of your injuries
- Ask for a copy of the dog bite report
- Ask for copies of your medical records from your injuries
Get Legal Help
Next, you should contact a reputable New Jersey dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after the attack. Although your health should always be your main priority, it is also important to protect your legal rights after such an incident.
It is likely that you required expensive medical care for your injuries, and you may require continued care, depending on the severity of your injuries. If you suffered serious, irreversible injuries, your life may be forever changed.
You will need compensation for your injuries and the many financial and emotional damages you have experienced. Our New Jersey dog bite lawyers may be able to help you fight for the compensation you need for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and more.
We have decades of experience fighting for the rights of those who have been injured in a variety of incidences. We have the legal knowledge needed to investigate your claim, build your case and fight for fair compensation.
Call (800) 518-0508 to get started now with a free consultation.
New Jersey Dog Bite Law
Once you contact the Lynch Law Firm, our New Jersey dog bite attorneys can explain the state’s dog bite laws and how they apply to your claim.
Most dog bite claims in New Jersey are filed under the dog bite statute or under common law.
Dog Bite Statute
N.J.S.A. 4:19-16 establishes dog bite liability with the owner of the dog. Under this law, the dog’s owner can be held liable for all damages to the victim no matter how the dog has acted in the past or if the owner was not aware of the dog’s viciousness.
This includes dog bites that occur in a public place or if the victim was lawfully on private property, including the dog owner’s property. However, this statute does not apply if the victim was trespassing on the property at the time of the bite.
Dog Bite Negligence Claims
Common law claims require that the victim prove that the dog bite was caused by the negligence of the owner of the dog or another responsible party.
Proving negligence requires providing proof that the responsible party had a duty to protect you from the dog, yet failed to act or acted in a way different from how a reasonable person would have, thus causing your injury.
However, if the victim was partially at fault for his or her injuries, the Comparative Negligence Act (N.J.S.A. 2A:15-5.1) states that victim’s compensation award will be reduced by his or her percentage of fault, so long as he or she is less at fault than the responsible party.
For example, if the victim was 20 percent responsible for the incident, his or her compensation will be reduced by 20 percent.
If the victim’s liability was more than the at-fault party’s, he or she will not be able to obtain compensation.
However, this does not apply to victims under the age of seven, who will not be presumed to be negligent.
Because these laws can be complicated, it is in your best interest to hire a trusted New Jersey dog bite lawyer who can help make sure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.
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Dog Bite Lawsuit Compensation
While some dog bites may be minor, others can cause devastating injuries that require expensive medical care. In these cases, a lawsuit may be able to help you obtain compensation for the many damages you have experienced.
Although every case is different, some of the most common types of compensation that may be recoverable from a dog bite lawsuit include:
Most dog bite victims will likely be able to recover compensation for the medical expenses associated with their injuries. This can include both past and future medical bills for expenses such as:
- Hospital visits
- Doctors’ visits
- Surgery and other treatment
- Lab tests
- Prescription medication
- Necessary medical equipment like crutches
- Long-term care
In some cases, a victim’s injuries may be so severe that they force the person to miss time from work, or in more extreme cases, may prevent the person from working ever again.
In these cases, it may be possible to obtain compensation for lost wages for temporary time missed at work or compensation for lost earning capacity, which could help make up for wages lost by not being able to return to work.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering can include a variety of damages that do not have a monetary value. Instead, they provide compensation for the effects your injuries have on your life. These can include:
Some injuries may have lingering effects that cause the victim continued pain or discomfort. It may be possible to obtain compensation for this continued suffering.
Some victims may experience mental suffering after a traumatizing event such as a dog attack. This can include having nightmares, anxiety, depression, a fear of dogs and flashbacks to the incident. Victims can also suffer emotionally if they are permanently scarred or disfigured. Although not physically visible, emotional suffering can have a lasting impact on the victim.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
If your injuries prevent you from enjoying the activities, hobbies and companionship you once enjoyed, it may be possible to obtain compensation.
Why Should I File a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Although money cannot replace the damages and losses you have experienced, compensation from a dog bite lawsuit is currently the only means the judicial system has for serving justice to dog bite victims.
Our New Jersey dog bite lawyers are experienced in handling personal injury claims such as this and will work to hold the liable party responsible and help you obtain the maximum compensation you need to recover from your injuries.
Our team consists of attorneys with decades of courtroom experience recovering millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. Their strong record of success is further supported by recognition as New Jersey Super Lawyers and membership in the Multi-Million Dollar
Advocates Forum. Firm partner Jim Lynch is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney and serves on the Board of Governors of the New Jersey Association for Justice.
We have the trusted reputation and legal knowledge required to bring a successful dog bite claim in New Jersey.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
If you are considering filing a dog bite claim, do not hesitate to contact our New Jersey dog bite lawyers as soon as possible.
The New Jersey statute of limitations (N.J. Stat. § 2A:14-2(a)) requires that all personal injury claims, including dog bite claims, be filed within two years of the date of the incident.
If you fail to file a claim within this time period, you will not be able to recover the compensation you need.
Do not wait. Call our New Jersey dog bite lawyers today at (800) 518-0508 .
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer Today
Having an experienced attorney by your side is an important factor in bringing a successful dog bite lawsuit. You need a lawyer who has experience standing up to the at-fault party and its insurance company and who will advocate on your behalf no matter what.
Our New Jersey dog bite lawyers are accomplished attorneys who are willing to do whatever they can to help our clients get the compensation they need after an injury.
Contact Lynch Law Firm today to learn more about how we can help you. Your initial consultation is free and we will not charge you any upfront fees unless we recover compensation for you.
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Lynch Law Firm
Hasbrouck Heights, NJ 07604