What You Should Know About Dog Bite Injuries
Because of how many pet dogs are kept in households around the country, dog bites are common issues that can occur with a wide variety of breeds. It’s estimated that around 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs every year, which shows just how common this issue is. When you’ve been bitten by a dog, it’s possible that the owner will be liable for your injuries, but this can be determined by our New Jersey personal injury lawyers.
New Jersey Liability Statute
In New Jersey, a dog owner will be liable for a person’s injuries if the dog bit the individual on public property or certain private property. If this person was legally on the dog owner’s private property, the owner would still be liable for injuries. This liability remains the same whether or not the dog was previously deemed to be vicious. If you’ve suffered from injuries related to a dog bite, the owner would likely owe a substantial amount of compensation unless you’re deemed to be partially responsible for the incident. Total compensation can be reduced if the behaviors and actions of the injured individual were somewhat at fault for the initial attack.
Responsibilities Owners Have for Dangerous Dogs
It’s possible for a dog to be labeled as a potentially dangerous dog in New Jersey, which occurs if:
- The dog poses a severe threat of death to a domestic animal.
- The dog has injured or killed a domestic animal in the past.
- The dog has been encouraged or trained to attack domestic animals or people even when unprovoked.
- The dog has injured another person in the past and continues to pose a threat of bodily injury.
When a dog is deemed to be potentially dangerous, the owner will be legally required to take a number of different precautions to ensure that other people or domestic animals are not injured by the dog. If these precautions are not followed, the owner’s liability can be severe when an injury occurs.
Compensation You Could Obtain When Injured by a Dog
If you’re thinking about filing an insurance claim or lawsuit for the injuries that occurred when you were bitten by a dog, there are a number of types of damages that could be sought during the case. The main damages that can be paid following a dog bite include medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and compensation for property damages. Likely the most common form of compensation that can be obtained in a dog bite injury case relates to medical costs, which can include any of the expenses for hospital treatment, prescription medication, and physical therapy. If the dog bite caused a pre-existing medical condition to worsen, the owner would still be responsible for the medical bills pertaining to these injuries. Pain and suffering is another common type of compensation that takes both emotional suffering and physical pain into consideration. Dog bites oftentimes cause trauma, which can manifest itself in depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and other psychological issues. If the pain and suffering of the affected individual is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, it’s likely that some amount of compensation for this pain and suffering will be provided. This exact type of compensation can be calculated in a variety of ways. The term “lost wages” refers to the amount of money or income that was lost while you were being diagnosed or treated or you were recovering from the dog bite. If you had to take off work for a week to allow the injuries to properly heal, this would likely be factored into the total compensation. Punitive damages are only awarded when the owner of the dog was particularly reckless. These damages are designed to punish the owner along with compensating the victim. If you’ve been injured from a dog bite, call our New Jersey personal injury attorney in Parsippany today at (973) 585-6982 so that we can help you understand all of your legal options.