Who’s Responsible for Your Dog Bite Injury?
Each year, hundreds of thousands of people are bitten by animals, most of which are usually dogs. Many of these animal bites can lead to recoverable damages under the law.
The first thing that you should do after suffering from an animal bite injury is to seek medical attention. An untreated animal bite injury can cause serious injury and infection. If the animal was diseased when it bit you, death could even be an outcome. After your medical evaluation, you should consider talking to an experienced personal injury attorney to guide you through the legal process.
New Jersey Dog Bite Laws
In New Jersey, dog bites are covered by N.J.S.A. 4:19-16. Under this statute, a dog owner is liable for any dog bite injuries that occur:
- When someone is bitten on public property or lawfully on private property
- When there is knowledge or previous knowledge of a dog’s current or past vicious behaviors
Unlike other states, New Jersey’s dog biting statute is a strict liability statute. This means that owners are liable for any injury caused by the dog bite, regardless of an owner’s attempt to restrain the dog’s actions. The only proof needed is the bite itself. This statute only covers injuries caused by dog bites, not any other injury sustained from a dog.
The damages from a dog bite injury can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. You may be awarded punitive damages too, but only if the dog owner’s behavior is intentional. This means that the owner knew his or her dog was dangerous but allowed the dog to be a potential threat to the community.
In attempts to combat this statute, it can be argued that the dog bite was an act of trespassing when it occurred. Therefore, an injury that occurs on public property cannot be considered trespassing. For it to be trespassing, someone must be on private property unlawfully. In other states, it can be argued that if the dog was provoked, the owner wouldn’t be liable. However, New Jersey’s strict liability statute does not allow that to happen.
Were You Bitten? Contact Carbone!
If you are the victim of a dog bite injury, know that you have someone on your side. The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone is ready to help you move past this injury and recover the damages you rightfully deserve. Contact our offices today for free consultation.