Many dog owners believe that their pet would never bite anyone, but unfortunately, dog bite accidents happen despite the owner's best intentions. Even the most well-trained or well-behaved dog could cause an injury. When these accidents happen, the injured person could end up with an infection, permanent scarring, and even the loss of a finger or limb.
After the accident, your recovery should be your top priority. Whether you suffered a minor bite or a serious bodily injury, there could be many visits to the hospital or doctor's office. You shouldn't have to pay the medical bills for a dog bite that wasn't your fault.
Dealing with medical bills and insurance companies can be complicated, so it's important to make sure your rights are protected. At my law firm, Maran & Maran PC, I dedicate myself to leveraging New Jersey laws to the fullest extent in my fight for my clients' best interests. My firm proudly represents clients in Newark, New Jersey, and all of Northern New Jersey, including clients in Warren County, Sussex County, Passaic County, Essex County, and the nearby areas.
The law as it pertains to dog bites varies from state to state. In New Jersey, dog owners are liable for any injuries caused by a dog bite. Negligence in a dog bite accident can be grounds for legal action. Even if the owner used reasonable care to prevent the bite from happening, they can still be held liable.
On the other hand, if the dog caused an injury by jumping on a person and knocking them down or by scratching someone, this law does not apply. The owner can only be held liable when an actual bite happened.
There is one exception to the rule: If an individual was trespassing on the dog owner's property when the bite happened, then the owner cannot be held liable. But if a dog bites anyone who was there lawfully, such as a mail carrier or a person who was invited to the dog owner's home, then they can be held liable.
New Jersey takes a strict liability stance when someone is bitten by a dog. There is no "one bite rule" where if the dog has never bitten anyone before, the owner gets a free pass on the first bite. In New Jersey, the owner can be held liable even if this was the first time the dog has bitten anyone and even if the owner was using reasonable care to try to stop the dog.
After a dog bite accident, you may be facing expensive medical bills for the treatment of your injuries. In this case, it may be possible to file a personal injury claim against the dog owner.
It's important to note that the personal injury claim must be filed before the state's deadline, which is known as the statute of limitations. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations is two years after the date of the accident. Once two years have passed, you will no longer be able to file a personal injury claim against the dog owner.
Damages is the term for the financial compensation the court awards for the damages suffered because of the accident. Speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney to learn more about how damages work in your case.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek to hold the dog owner responsible. At Maran & Maran PC, I apply my knowledge of New Jersey law to help protect you from the carelessness of others. Maran & Maran PC represents clients in Newark, New Jersey, and all of Northern New Jersey, including Warren County, Sussex County, Passaic County, Essex County, and the nearby areas. Contact my firm today to schedule a free consultation.