Having a pet around the house can lessen depression and anxiety and improve mental health. While many people treat their cats or dogs like family members, domestic animals are not people. Even with hours of obedience training, dogs still occasionally attack or bite people.
When a dog bites you or your loved one, you should consider filing a personal injury claim for compensation against the dog’s owner or handler. A Woodbridge dog bite lawyer from our firm can meet with you and guide you through the steps necessary for bringing a legal claim. Call today to learn more about your options.
Local Laws Regarding Domestic Animal Attacks
Some states follow the one-bite rule. In these states, a dog bite victim must prove that the dog’s owners were aware that their dog had vicious tendencies. In other words, to win a claim for compensation, they must prove that the dog had a history of biting.
Claims in New Jersey are different and are generally more favorable to people who have suffered dog bites. According to New Jersey Statutes Annotated § 4:19-16, a dog’s owner is strictly liable for a person’s bite injuries, even if the dog has never attacked anybody else. Additionally, pet owners are legally responsible if a bite happens while someone is on public property, such as a sidewalk or park, or lawfully in a private place, such as in the home where the dog lives.
Our seasoned Woodbridge Township attorneys have vast experience with the relevant statutes and understand how to build solid claims for compensation under state dog bite laws. Working with our team gives you the best chance at a favorable outcome for your situation.
How To Fight Against Possible Defenses to a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Dog owners might try to use several different defense strategies to avoid strict liability.
Sometimes, people suffer serious injuries from dog attacks without actually getting bitten. For example, a dog might jump up onto a person and knock them over, causing the person to suffer a head injury in the fall. A dog might also run up to and scare a bike rider, causing them to fall off their bike. In these cases, the dog’s owner might still be liable; however, not under a strict liability theory.
To prevail under strict liability, the relevant law requires that somebody suffers a dog bite. If there was no dog bite, strict liability for compensation would not apply. Our dedicated Woodbridge legal team can help an injured person prove that the dog’s owner was still somehow negligent.
A dog’s owner could also argue that the injured person was trespassing and not legally on the property where the attack occurred. A diligent attorney can help produce evidence showing how the attacked person had a legal right to be on the property.
Even the calmest dog could attack a person if unreasonably provoked. A dog’s owner might argue that the claimant intentionally taunted or hit the dog. They could also argue that the claimant unintentionally provoked the dog by accidentally stepping on its tail. Our team could help prove that there was no provocation.
Call a Woodbridge Dog Bite Attorney for Trusted Legal Guidance
Dog attacks can leave people with devastating physical and emotional wounds. You might bear disfiguring scars on your body and experience debilitating pain. You might also develop an overwhelming fear of dogs. A compassionate legal team might be able to help you move forward. Call a Woodbridge dog bite lawyer from Fredson Statmore Bitterman, LLC today to learn about pursuing a legal claim for compensation.