Dogs are known as “man’s best friend” because they make wonderful companions and alert their owners when guests arrive better than any doorbell ever could. However, regardless of how cute and playful they are, dogs are unpredictable animals.
In New Jersey, a dog owner is strictly liable when his or her dog bites another person, if the injured party was on public property or was lawfully on the property of the dog’s owner. Regardless of the dog’s history, the owner will be held responsible for the injuries that occur because of the dog’s bite, unless the dog was provoked. In addition, an injured party may be able to recover under a negligence claim where a dog’s actions cause other injuries, such as where a large dog jumps up and knocks a person down, causing a broken wrist or other injuries. The cost of these injuries can be astounding. Between medical bills, lost pay due to time off to recuperate and the physical and emotional pain and suffering associated with being attacked, a dog bite can weigh heavily on one’s mind and wallet.
If you are injured by a dog, it is important to clean the wound and determine if medical care is necessary. Some of the many injuries people suffer because of a dog include torn skin, injuries to tendons and muscles, lasting nerve damage, serious disfiguring scarring, and broken bones. Sometimes, being attacked by a dog can impact a person psychologically. It is not uncommon for a dog bite or other injury to subject a person to post traumatic stress disorder.
If your injuries are serious, seek medical attention. Doing so can help document some of the facts of your case and help you get the care you need. If possible, collect information about the dog owner and the dog itself. Name and address of the owner, breed of dog, any history of aggression, and more can help you develop your case. If someone saw the attack, speak to them about what they saw and collect their contact information.
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