Almost everybody loves dogs. We tend to think of dogs as our innocent companions, who want nothing more than to make us happy. Fortunately, this is almost always the case. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of dogs who were not properly trained. If you were bitten by a dog because their owner failed to take the proper precautions to ensure others’ safety, there is a good chance you are entitled to compensation. Since dog bite injuries are often very severe, you should do yourself a favor and hire a knowledgeable attorney who knows the ins and outs of the personal injury process. Do not suffer alone. Here are some of the questions you may have following a dog bite injury:
Am I entitled to financial compensation following a dog bite?
New Jersey’s “vicious dog law” states that if a dog attacks someone or kills a domestic pet, it can be considered vicious. Additionally, New Jersey is a strict liability state, which means that if you were bitten by a dog on either public property or if you were lawfully on someone’s private property, you are usually entitled to compensation. Of course, this generally excludes dogs who were provoked. While yes, owners are responsible for their dogs, they are still only animals. If you are taunting a dog or were trespassing on its property, you may have brought the injuries upon yourself. However, if an incident occurs which causes an animal control officer to believe that the dog bit an innocent person, the officer may decide to impound the dog. The dog’s owner may then have to attend a session in court to determine whether his or her dog is legally “vicious or potentially dangerous.” If deemed so, he or she may have to equip the dog with a muzzle in public, keep it in a locked enclosure, have warning signs on his or her property, and get a special license to continue owning the dog.
What information will I need to recover compensation?
The first thing you should do to prove your personal injury claim is to contact emergency services so law enforcement can document the incident. Additionally, you must acquire the name and address of the dog owner, confirm he or she owns the dog, obtain evidence that the dog has had proper shots, and prove that the dog is properly licensed and registered. To further prove your claim, you should seek medical attention immediately. A medical professional will treat your injuries accordingly and provide you with medical documentation, which you may also use as evidence.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
The law firm of Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller, P.C., is composed of experienced defense attorneys throughout the state of New Jersey. Please contact the office for a free initial consultation and get any questions answered regarding criminal charges and procedures.