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Dog Bite Law in New Jersey: Winning a Dog Bite Injury Claim
Whether you were injured while walking down a street in your own neighborhood or while visiting a different area, you may face significant medical bills, a lengthy recovery process and long-term emotional damage if you get bitten by a dog. You should not have to deal with this on your own. A dog attack can result in catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord damage, head trauma, broken bones, nerve and tissue damage, puncture wounds, eye injuries, permanent scarring, infectionsor diseases (like rabies) and blood loss. In the worst cases, a vicious dog attack can cause wrongful death.
New Jersey law recognizes the serious nature of dog bite injuries by imposing strict liability on dog owners in the Garden State. As set forth by N.J.S.A. 4:19-16, a dog owner must keep their animal in control regardless of whether the dog has a prior history of vicious attacks. Even if the dog has never attacked anyone else before now and the owner has no reason to believe that the dog will commit an attack, the owner is still liable for your dog bite injuries.
In order to win your dog bite case, you need an attorney who understands the nuances of dog bite law in New Jersey and who can prove every required element of your personal injury claim. Your attorney will need to establish that the defendant was the legal owner of the dog that attacked you, that you were in a public place or legally on the dog owner’s premises at the time of the dog attack, and that you sustained injuries as a result of the dog attack or dog bite.
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Steps to Take if You Have Suffered a Dog Attack in NJ
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries as a result of a dog bite, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical treatment for your injuries. You may even need to get a tetanus booster shot. After getting medical care, there are steps you can take to preserve your legal rights and give yourself the best chance of securing compensation for your injuries:
- Contact the police: You may need to file a police report so there is an official record of the dog attack.
- Contact an attorney:There is a statute of limitations (deadlines) for filing dog bite personal injury claims in NJ and NY. Further, evidence gets corrupted or lost over time. By calling Voto & Cavalli Attorney at Law, P.C. right away after a dog attack, you can rest assured that you have a qualified attorney guiding you through the legal process and protecting your rights.
- Take photographs of your injuries: Do not wait to take photographs of your injuries. You should also take photos of your injuries throughout the recovery process so your attorney can establish the extent of your damages.
- Get the dog owner’s contact information: This will help your attorney serve the dog owner with necessary documentation later on.
- Get witnesses’ contact information: Your attorney may need to speak with witnesses and get them to testify in court.