The Dog Owner’s Responsibility and Provocation
Many personal injury cases require that the injured individual prove that another individual acted negligently causing his or her injury. However, in the State of New Jersey, if you are bitten by an animal you are not required to prove that the dog’s owner acted negligently. For dog bite cases dog owners are strictly liable for the actions of their dogs, regardless of whether the owner knew or should have known of the dog’s vicious propensities.
Notwithstanding there are times when negligence plays a role in a dog bite case, like that of a landlord’s responsibility to a person attacked by a dog owned by the landlord’s tenant. If the landlord knew of the dog’s vicious propensities the landlord may be held responsible.
In general, there are two major exceptions to New Jersey’s strict liability law when it comes to dog bites:
- One is if the victim is illegally on the individual’s property when the attack occurs. Trespassers that get attacked are not covered by strict liability.
- The other exception is that of provocation. Provocation can be a difficult web to untangle. It is often a popular claim by insurance companies that want to avoid a costly compensation case. The reason it is so difficult is that there is no strict definition of what constitutes provocation. There are relatively obvious cases like physical abuse, but what about teasing a dog verbally or accidentally stepping on its tail? In these ambiguous circumstances, experienced NJ personal injury lawyers like those at Cerussi and Gunn will make sure your rights are fully protected.
Dog Bite Injuries
A dog bite can cause both physical and emotional injuries.
Common injuries that can result from a dog attack include:
- Significant scarring
- Head injuries
- Puncture Wounds
- Broken Bones
- Neck and Back Injuries
- Potential Infection of the Wound
- Emotional Trauma
What to Do After a Dog Bite
What steps you take in the aftermath of a dog bite can have a notable effect on your medical recovery. It is therefore imperative you take the right actions after the attack. We recommend the following steps:
- Seek Medical Attention – A dog bite can result in lacerations, broken bones and other serious complications. A diagnosis by a medical professional will be able to reveal the true extent of your injuries. Therefore, it is wise to go to your doctor or the hospital as soon as possible, especially in the case of a serious bite. Getting checked for rabies and possible infections is also extremely important.
- Inform the Appropriate Parties – Inform your local animal control center after the attack. Be sure to provide relevant details about the dog and the attack, especially if it was a stray that may have rabies. Animal control may also have records of past attacks by the same dog.
We Can Help if You Have Been a Dog Bite Victim
At Cerussi & Gunn, we are committed to ensuring that our clients receive the best possible representation and strategic, personalized resolutions to the issues that arise out of dog bite incidents. The dog bite lawyers at Cerussi & Gunn, P.C. pursue compensation for our clients and we will fight to ensure that your rights as a victim are fully protected. Our New Jersey office is conveniently located in Shrewsbury, NJ.