Dog owners have a duty to supervise and restrain their dogs, to ensure they do not cause injury. However, nearly five million people are bitten by dogs each year, at least half of which are children under the age of 12.
Under Pennsylvania law, dog owners may be held liable for injuries inflicted by their dog, and dog bite victims may be entitled to personal injury damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and pain and suffering
If you were attacked by a dog, it is important to hold the owner accountable, not only so you can recover compensation for your injuries, but also to prevent others from being attacked in the future. If you do not know who the dog owner is, report your case to local authorities, or a dog bite lawyer who can begin an investigation.
New Jersey Dog Laws
New Jersey has a strict liability law that holds dog owners liable for injuries caused when their dog bites someone, regardless of whether the dog showed signs of viciousness or bit someone in the past. Plaintiffs must simply prove that the dog bit them, and that they were in a public place or lawfully on the dog owner’s property.
If strict liability does not apply, plaintiffs may also be able to file a claim based on negligence. This works if they can prove that the owner had a duty to take reasonable measures to control the dog’s behavior, the owner failed to uphold that duty, and the plaintiff was injured as a result. Such negligence claims may also be filed against non-owner defendants such as shopkeepers, landlords, or dog sitters.
If the dog has a history of being “vicious” or “potentially dangerous”, the owner must take greater measures to prevent the dog from injuring others. Dogs that are deemed vicious are euthanized, even if it was their first attack.
The New Jersey statute defines a vicious dog as one that killed or inflicted serious bodily injury on a human being without provocation or engaged in dog fighting activities.
A potentially dangerous dog is one that has done one or more of the following:
- Killed or inflicted serious bodily injury on a human being or domestic animal without provocation
- Poses a threat of death to another domestic animal
- Has been trained or otherwise encouraged to launch unprovoked attacks on human beings or domestic animals
Owners of potentially dangerous dogs must comply with certain requirements, including:
- Getting a license and paying up to $750 in annual registration fees
- Posting warning signs on their property
- Confining the dog in a proper enclosure
- Ensuring the dog is muzzled and kept on a leash when outside of the enclosure
- Maintaining liability insurance to cover any injuries or damage caused by the dog
Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
The amount of compensation available is determined on a case by case basis. You may be entitled to various forms of compensation, including reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, future medical treatment, emotional trauma, and pain and suffering. You must file your claim within two years of the incident to be eligible for compensation.
Contact an experienced New Jersey dog bite lawyer for assistance with your claim, so you can collect the compensation you deserve as soon as possible.
South Jersey Dog Bite Lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm Seek Compensation for Victims of Dog Attacks
The New Jersey dog bite lawyers at the D’Amato Law Firm understand how devastating dog bite injuries can be. We are dedicated to helping you obtain maximum compensation for your injuries, so you can recover as soon as possible. Our firm has collectively been helping personal injury victims, including those who suffered dog bites, for over 50 years.