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If you have been injured as a result of a dog bite incident, you may be eligible to claim compensation. If the dog bites occur on the owner’s property, homeowners’ insurance may cover the damages, depending on the circumstances. However, you should speak with a New Jersey dog bite attorney who has handled dog bite cases as soon as possible to explore your alternatives.
According to the Canine Journal, there were an estimated 78 million dogs in the United States in 2016, with 4.5 million dog bites, 19% of which resulted in harm. More than 36% of American families have one or more pets. Being bitten is more likely when you have a dog in the house. Children are more likely than adults to be bitten by dogs, and the injuries are frequently more serious. With four deadly dog attacks apiece in 2018, New Jersey and North Carolina had the greatest number of fatal dog attacks in 2018. According to records, all of the casualties in New Jersey were females aged 6 and under, with three newborns among them.

Dog Bite Laws in New Jersey

The law generally holds the owner of a dog that bites someone responsible for the victim’s injuries. The owner of a dog that has already been deemed dangerous may be punished with a misdemeanor if the dog strikes without provocation and injures a person or domestic animal. The dog will be held for 10 days, during which time the owner will have the opportunity to request a hearing. Personal injury dog bite cases in New Jersey may fall under one of the following legal theories:

Strict Liability by Statute

Dogs are still animals, and as such, they are unpredictable, no matter how much we love them. An regular dog can bite you at any time. As a result, several jurisdictions have a “one bite rule,” which gives a dog and its owner some leeway if it is the dog’s first bite and it has never been hostile before.
New Jersey, on the other hand, does not have a “one bite rule.” In dog bite cases, New Jersey, like many other jurisdictions, uses a legal principle known as statutory strict responsibility. The New Jersey Dog Bite Statute, Section 767.04, specifies that when a dog attacks a person when the person is in a public place or legitimately in a private area, the dog owner can be held strictly accountable for injuries. As a result, even if the dog has never bitten anybody or exhibited any signs of violent or aggressive behavior, the dog owner may be held accountable for the dog bite injuries. If the dog bite victim was somewhat to blame for the occurrence, the owner’s responsibility may be reduced. In that case, the victim’s compensation may be reduced in proportion to the extent of his or her fault.
In every dog bite case in New Jersey, strict responsibility does not apply. Strict responsibility does not apply to any of the following persons in general:
  • Violators of the law
  • Police or military dogs in the course of their work
  • Property damage caused by an aggressive dog
Dog bites aren’t the only type of dog-related injury. What if a dog pushed you down and hurt you instead of biting you? Non-bite injuries are included under Section 767.01. It holds a dog owner responsible for “any damage” caused to a human or a domestic animal.

The New Jersey Dog Bite Law and Negligence

You may have a cause of action based on negligence in addition to severe statutory responsibility. This means that a dog owner might be held accountable for a dog bite victim’s injuries if the dog owner breached a duty of care. In its most basic form, negligence examines whether a person’s acts are reasonable in light of the circumstances. To win a negligence case, you and your lawyer must show that the dog owner breached some duty of care, causing your injuries.
Negligence per se indicates that if a dog owner breaks the law, he or she is deemed to be negligent. For example, if the owner lets the dog to wander around the neighborhood unaccompanied in violation of a leash requirement, the owner may be held liable if the dog attacks and injures someone.

Torts Committed Intentionally

An intentional tort necessitates the presence of particular purpose. As a result, the dog owner must purposefully provoke the dog to bite another person. This idea may apply when a dog owner purposefully urges or directs his or her dog to bite someone.

Additional Parties Who Might Be Liable

In most cases, dog owners are held legally liable for their dogs’ bites and other damage. However, in some cases, another individual may be to blame for the injuries, such as when:

  • A person other than the dog’s owner who was responsible for or in charge of the dog.
  • If the dog’s owner is under the age of 18, the owner’s parents may be held accountable.
  • The owner’s landlord was aware that a tenant had a nasty or dangerous dog on the premises but did nothing about it.

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David A. DiBrigida is an excellent personal injury law firm, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family during this difficult time. Thank you, and God bless you.

Advocating for Those Injured in Dog Attacks Since 1995

The firm’s persistent commitment to fighting for their clients has resulted in millions of dollars in negotiated settlements and court-ordered penalties. Because each case is unique, it’s impossible to predict outcomes, but our team will fight for you and do everything we can to establish a solid case against liable parties so that you get the best possible outcome.

David A. DiBrigida legal team has more than 30 years of expertise helping injured clients get the compensation they deserve for losses caused by negligent parties in vehicle accidents and injuries.

Collecting Damages in Dog Bite Cases in New Jersey

A person who has been harmed by a dog bite may be entitled to both monetary and non-monetary compensation. Compensation for present and future medical expenditures, including doctor visits, medication, treatment, and rehabilitation, is included in economic damages. It might include missed earnings and other monetary losses suffered as a result of the injury. The court may require the defendant to pay punitive damages in particular instances.
Compensation for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, disability or deformity, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium are examples of non-economic losses. These damages differ from one case to the next. Some damages are subjective, making them difficult to quantify. Damages may also be limited by legislation or subject to standards.

Dog bite protections that may be available

The “dangerous dog” rule is a unique exemption to the New Jersey dog bite legislation, § 767.04. It states that if the victim is six years of age or older, the event occurs on the dog owner’s property, and those premises have a clear, publicly displayed notice reading “Bad Dog” or “Beware of Dog,” the dog owner is not liable under the act. The exemption does not apply if the victim is unable to read. This immunity from responsibility is meant to alert a person to a dog’s undesirable behavior or proclivity to attack and bite.

Other conceivable legal defenses in a dog bite lawsuit under New Jersey law include:

  • The victim was trespassing on another’s property.
  • The dog bite was triggered by the victim.
  • The danger was accepted by the victim.

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David A. DiBrigida is an excellent personal injury law firm, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family during this difficult time. Thank you, and God bless you.

How did you become hurt?

We understand how frustrating it can be to deal with an injury and the financial consequences that come with high medical expenses. No one should have to go through losing their capacity to work as a result of an injury and being harassed or disregarded by their insurance company.
A New Jersey personal injury lawyer from David A. DiBrigida may be able to assist you in recovering your damages, regardless of how you were hurt.

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Workers’ Compensation and Dog Bite Injuries

Staff who are forced to enter houses or private property as part of their job description, such as deliverymen, postal carriers, or other employees, might file a claim for workers’ compensation payments. According to the law, such workers have a “implied invitation” to be there because they have legitimately entered the premises in the course of their employment.
They may also be able to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner (provided it is not owned by the employer.) Compensation for injuries such as pain and suffering, as well as other losses not covered by workers’ compensation, may be available through a lawsuit against the owner.

Dog Bites Can Cause Serious and Long-Term Injuries

Dog bites can cause serious and long-term injuries. The following are some of the most prevalent injuries:

  • Scars from bites
  • Injuries to soft tissues
  • Abrasions, cuts, and bruises
  • Lacerations are a kind of wound.
  • Scarring that is permanent (children often have facial scarring)
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Head injuries from a traumatic event (TBIs)
  • Anxiety and depression
Dog bites are a source of germs and bacteria that may make you sick, in addition to the physical pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly one in every five dog bite injuries in the United States becomes infected each year. The following are some of the illnesses that can be contracted as a result of dog bites:

Rabies

01 is an uncommon illness, yet it is one of the most dangerous diseases spread by dog bites. Rabies is a brain-infecting virus that may be transmitted and is nearly invariably lethal once symptoms begin. The rabies virus is spread by direct contact with an infected animal’s saliva or nervous system tissue. Rabies is generally transmitted by the bite of an infected animal. Although it can infect wild animals, domestic dogs are responsible for up to 99 percent of rabies incidents in people. The sickness can be avoided by vaccinating the dog. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, consult a doctor right away to see if treatment is necessary.

Capnocytophaga bacteria

The bacterium has no effect on dogs or cats. The bacterium, on the other hand, may be transmitted to humans by bites, scratches, or even close touch with a dog or cat. The majority of individuals who come into touch with the bacteria do not become sick, but those with a compromised immune system are at a higher risk of getting sick because their systems have a harder time fighting diseases.

Pasteurella multocida

03 is a bacterium found in more than half of all infected dog bite wounds. Swollen glands, swelling in the joints, and trouble moving are common symptoms, in addition to the severe illness caused by the bite. In persons with compromised immune systems, it can lead to severe sickness.

Tetanus

is a toxin produced by Clostridium tetani, a kind of bacterium. When bite wounds are exceedingly deep, this poison produces stiff immobility in adults.

MRSA

(methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). MRSA can be carried by dogs and other animals without causing any symptoms. MRSA infections, on the other hand, can spread and harm the lungs, bloodstream, heart, bones, joints, and urinary system in patients. The infections have the potential to be fatal. Because it is very resistant to antibiotics, it is quite harmful.
David A. DiBrigida’s experienced New Jersey dog bite lawyers have dealt with insurance companies, investigated accidents, and assisted clients in recovering damages for their injuries. Allow an experienced lawyer to handle the intricacies of your case.

The skilled New Jersey dog bite attorneys at David A. DiBrigida have experience dealing with insurance companies, investigating accidents, and helping clients recover damages for their injuries. Let a qualified attorney handle the details of your case.

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David A. DiBrigida is an excellent personal injury law firm, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family during this difficult time. Thank you, and God bless you.

New Jersey Dog Bite Accident FAQ

By law, the person who owns/possesses the dog is to be held liable for any dog bite injuries to other people. Cases may vary depending on the nature of the dog bite and the location that it happened.
Even the most docile, pleasant, and well-behaved dog has the ability to bite. There are a variety of reasons why dogs bite. When a dog is startled, unwell, scared, or upset, it may bite. To defend itself or its area, it may bite. They bite when they feel threatened or to safeguard something they care about, such as their puppies or food. While playing, dogs usually grow aroused and nip or bite. Before stroking someone else’s dog, always ask permission. Proceed with caution, even if you have authorization. To reduce the chance of biting, stay away from:
  • Getting close to a strange dog
  • Petting a dog without first allowing it to see and smell you
  • Allowing little children to interact with a dog without adult supervision
  • Running away from a dog, panicking, or making loud sounds are all examples of inappropriate behavior.
  • Getting in the way of a dog who is eating, sleeping, or caring for pups is not a good idea.
You may not know what to do in the aftermath of a dog bite due to the stress and bewilderment. The following are the measures you should do next:
  • Seek medical attention. After a dog bite, you should always seek medical attention. Even if you think the damage is small, sutures may be required. Infection is also a possibility. A medical treatment record can also be used as evidence if you decide to take legal action.
  • Make a note of what transpired. You should keep a record of what transpired after you’ve received medical care. You should submit a bite complaint with the local police department right away. You may get agitated or traumatized as a result of a dog bite, and you may forget or misremember parts of the occurrence. Keeping a written record of what you remember might come in handy if you ever need to file an insurance or legal claim. It’s crucial to remember where you were at the time of the occurrence and whether or not the dog was confined.
  • Make an appointment with a lawyer. A personal injury lawsuit, such as a dog bite case, must be filed within a certain time frame in all jurisdictions, including New Jersey.
  If you or someone you care about has been wounded by a dog bite, contact an attorney right once. A dog bite lawyer who is licensed and skilled in personal injury cases can examine your claim, advise you on your legal choices, and argue on your behalf. For a free case review, call David A. DiBrigida, LLC at (800) 322-5529 now.
3 years — Rhode Island General Laws Section 9-1-14 states you have 3 years from the time of the dog bite to file your lawsuit for personal injury.

What to Do if a Dog Bit You or Your Child

Even the most docile, friendly, well-trained dog can bite. Dogs bite for many reasons. A dog may bite because it is startled, sick, frightened, or stressed. It may bite to defend itself or its territory. They bite because they feel that they are in danger, or to protect something such as their puppies or their food. Dogs frequently become excited and nip or bite while playing. Always ask permission before petting someone else’s dog. Even with permission, proceed with caution. To keep the risk of biting to a minimum, avoid:
  • Approaching a strange dog
  • Petting a dog without permitting it to see and sniff you first
  • Letting young children play with a dog without supervision
  • Running from a dog, panicking or making loud noises
  • Bothering a dog that is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies
  • In the stress and confusion following a dog bite, you may not know what 
  • to do. Your next steps should include:
  • Get medical treatment. You should always seek medical treatment after a dog bite. Even if you believe the injury is minor, it may require stitches. There is also a risk of infection. A report of medical treatment also serves as evidence if you pursue legal action.
  • Record what happened. After getting medical treatment, you should create a record of what happened. You should immediately file a bite report with the local police. A dog bite may upset or traumatize you so that you forget or confuse details of the incident. Writing down everything you recall may help later with insurance or legal claims. It is important to note where you were when the incident took place and whether the dog was restrained at the time.
  • Consult an attorney. All states, including New Jersey, provide that a personal injury lawsuit, such as a dog bite case, must be filed within a window of time known as the statute of limitations.

What Our Clients Say

David A. DiBrigida is an excellent personal injury law firm, and I appreciate everything you’ve done for me and my family during this difficult time. Thank you, and God bless you.

Why Hire Us

Over 30 Years of Experience

We've been fighting for the rights of accident victims since 1995, and we wouldn't have it any other way.

Board Certified by the New Jersey Bar

New Jersey recognizes Attorney David A. DiBrigida's reputation for legal excellence. As a result, he upholds this prestigious title.

Case Reviews that are both free and confidential

Preparation is the key to a good case outcome. We get down with each client to have a better understanding of the personal injury issues they are facing.

You don't have to pay anything unless we win.

Because we operate on a contingency fee basis, our clients owe us nothing unless and until we win their case.

Helping those Injured in Accidents Across New Jersey

While we are proud to call New Jersey home, we are also more than happy to help injured people living anywhere in the Sunshine State. In fact, we’ve even been known to travel all around the country just to meet our clients’ needs.

We are here to help the residents of:

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What Our Clients Say

For a man who was rear-ended striking his knee on the dashboard requiring arthroscopic surgery to repair it.
INSURANCE OFFER
$10,000
WHAT WE GOT
$90,000
A 30 year old man who was walking to the store, a hit and run victim with a shoulder and head injury.
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WHAT WE GOT
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