Dog Bite Lawyer in Middlesex County, NJ

Know Your Rights After an Animal Attack in New Jersey

Explained By Our Dog Bite Lawyer in Middlesex County, NJ

While many pet owners have friendly dogs that do not harm others, there are times when dogs may viciously or savagely attack an innocent person leaving them traumatized and severely injured. While some bites may be minor, other bites may cause catastrophic personal injuries. When animals do attack, 20% of people bitten by dogs require medical attention, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In the United States alone, the annual occurrence of dog bites is incredibly high with an estimated 4.7 million dog bites every year. Homeowner insurance liability claims pay out about $675 million every year for these dog bites and animal attacks. Despite this high figure, insurance adjusters will try to undervalue or undermine a victim who does not have an attorney. This is why it is imperative to retain an experienced dog bite lawyer in Middlesex County, NJ to protect your rights to compensation.

Here at Silverberg Law Firm LLC, our experienced Central Jersey dog bite lawyer has over 30 years of representing residents in New Jersey and New York. We presently focus on Central Jersey, which includes Middlesex County, Somerset County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Hunterdon County and other surrounding counties. We offer FREE consultations and only get paid our attorney’s fees if we recover money for you.

We understand just how serious animal attack injuries can be and we know how to work with local law enforcement and witnesses to obtain the details of the attack to build a case to prove liability. We utilize a variety of methods. They may include asking the dog owner or handler tough questions during a deposition, searching available records, using investigators, and doing whatever is appropriate to get the answers needed to prove a case. Additionally, our personal injury lawyer and his team will obtain your medical records while you are recovering from an attack to help establish and prove your damages.

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We have over 30 years of experience representing residents of Middlesex County, Somerset County, Mercer County, Monmouth County and other parts of New Jersey and New York in various types of legal claims. In this time of great uncertainty after the loss of a loved one, ask our wrongful death lawyer in Middlesex County, NJ to help guide you through the process to ensure your family’s rights are protected.

We offer FREE consultations and a no fee, no pay guarantee.
Learn how we can begin to help your family after the loss of a loved one by dialing (732) 992-3000 today.

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Common Animal Bite and Attack Injuries

Most people think of canine bites happening with large or aggressive breeds such as pit bulls, but they can happen with any breed of dog. Even a small dog can cause painful and significant injuries puncturing through nerves and blood vessels. In addition to injuries, any dog bite carries with it the risk for infection, which can be transmitted through deep puncture bites or wounds that reopen.

Victims of dog bites may sustain the following injuries:

  • Disfiguring lacerations
  • Nerve injuries and damage
  • Blood vessel damage, including to arteries
  • Amputations of toes, hands, fingers, or feet
  • Fractures or broken bones
  • Infections
  • Sepsis
  • Organ injuries
  • Tendon or ligament injuries of the knee (i.e. tears to the ACL, PCL, MCL, LCL or meniscus)
  • Vision loss or blindness
  • Permanent damage to the nose or ear (common sites of animal bite injuries)
  • Should injuries such as SLAP tears, biceps tears, torn rotator cuffs, impingement or labrum tears
  • Rabies if the dog is not vaccinated or is a wild dog
  • Need for surgery or other medical procedures
  • Wrongful death
  • Many other serious injuries that our experienced dog bite lawyer in Middlesex County, NJ should review for you

Determining Fault in Dog Bite Cases

New Jersey has a “strict liability” dog bite statute. It’s at NJSA 4:19-16. The owner is generally automatically liable when someone is bitten in a public place or if the victim is lawfully on private property. The animal owner is typically responsible for the attack in these cases. If someone else has the dog at the time of the attack (i.e. dog sitter), they may be partially responsible for the attack as well.

In New Jersey, a Prior Viciousness is Irrelevant

New Jersey’s dog bite statute is very advantageous in that a victim is able to recover without having to show that the canine had prior vicious propensities or that the owner was negligent. Some states require that the dog has shown some form of vicious propensities prior to the attack in order to place liability and make the owner responsible for damages incurred due to the attack. This is codified in NJ Stat. 4:19-16 which makes a dog owner automatically liable through “strict liability” even if there was no prior knowledge of aggressive tendencies or if the dog has never harmed anyone before.

Lack of Prior Knowledge Does Not Matter

As mentioned above, in New Jersey it does not matter if a dog has shown vicious propensities previously. Thus, it is not required for a victim to establish that there were prior canine vicious tendencies or prior attacks to place fault on the owner for the attack. In New Jersey, no investigation of prior history needs to be performed to prove liability on behalf of the owner. New Jersey is a pro-victim state when it comes to animal attacks.

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Common Defenses for Animal Attacks

While laws are in place to protect New Jersey canine bite victims, it does not guarantee that a victim will successfully win their case. Silverberg Law Firm LLC is aware of these challenges and is cognizant of common defenses that may place limitations on a victim’s personal injury claim.

For instance, a defense lawyer will often try to use the following defenses to protect the owner of the animal:

Trespass

If the victim did not have any right to be on private property (if it was private property), an owner may not be liable for a dog bite attack. If there is a warning sign, it may provide a defense for the owner to liability for the attack. However, people such as mail carriers and law enforcement officers have what is called “implied permission” which allows them to be on another person’s property.

Victim Fault

If the victim instigated the dog into attacking, the owner may not be liable for personal injuries sustained in the attack. Very commonly, a defense lawyer will try to use that defense even if the victim did nothing to provoke the dog.

Partial Fault and Comparative Fault in New Jersey

Sometimes the victim is partially at fault due to their own acts or omissions. If the victim is partially (but less than fifty percent) at fault, the victim has to assume partial blame for their injuries. In New Jersey, even if a victim is partially at fault, they are still allowed to seek partial compensation for their injuries through the doctrine of “comparative fault.” (as long as they are not more than fifty percent at fault). NJSA 2A:15-5.1.

Dog Bite Compensation Under New Jersey Law

Damages for a dog bite may make a victim eligible for compensation, which may the following:

  • Medical bills (past, present and future)
  • Past and future pain and suffering
  • Property damage
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional damages (post traumatic stress disorder)
  • Funeral expenses and burial costs for wrongful death
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future wages
  • Punitive damages in egregious cases, and
  • Other types of damages that our lawyer may recover for you after an animal attack in New Jersey.
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Click on the call icon to schedule your free consultation. You can also call us directly at (732) 992-3000 or email us at jay@lawjls.com to book an appointment today!

Injured in an Animal Attack in New Jersey? Ask Our Dog Bite Lawyer in Middlesex County, NJ for Help

If you or a loved one were seriously injured in an animal attack or canine bite in New Jersey, you may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately insurance adjusters and defense lawyers will fight hard to prevent you from recovering any compensation.

With over 30 years of experience representing residents of New Jersey and New York, Jay Silverberg of Silverberg Law Firm LLC is the lawyer that you need to protect your rights to compensation. We can help ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve under the law. Ask us for a FREE consultation by dialing (732) 992-3000 or send us a message using our convenient “contact us” box available here. We are here to help.

Contact Silverberg Law Firm LLC

Here at Silverberg Law Firm LLC, our wrongful death lawyer in Middlesex County, Somerset County, Mercer County, Monmouth County and other parts of New Jersey and New York. If you have lost a loved one due to the actions of another, please call us today to learn how we can help you.

We offer FREE consultations and can help advise you and your family on what your rights may be. You could also you can also send us a message using our convenient “contact us” box available here.

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