Protecting Your Legal Rights After a Dog Bite
Most Americans love dogs and consider them as an important part of their family. However, as loveable as most of these pets may be, some are vicious and can cause serious injuries to unsuspecting humans, even when not provoked. Dog bite injuries and fatalities continue to be a problem. In 2014, 42 dog bite-related fatalities were reported throughout the country. This number does not account for the thousands of injuries suffered by innocent dog bite victims.
If you or a loved one has been viciously attacked or bitten by a dog, it is important to seek immediate legal advice so the animal can be properly dealt with and your attorney can build a strong case on your behalf. Although filing a legal claim against the dog’s owner will not undo the harm caused, it can provide you with the financial assistance to get the medical attention you need and provide you with the justice that you deserve.
New Jersey’s Two-Strike Law
Like many other states, New Jersey has a set of laws that specifically deal with dog bites. The state also especially deals with vicious dogs. Under the Vicious and Dangerous Dog Act, any dog that has a history of aggressive behavior is considered a vicious dog.
Once a dog has bitten or attacked, the owner is required to take extra preventive measures to ensure that the dog will not attack again. This includes muzzling the dog, leaving the dog in a cage, and building a stronger fence to prevent the dog from escaping and harming and seriously injuring others. If the owner does not take such measures, the dog may be taken by animal control. If the dog bites or attacks a second time, animal control will put it to death.
Your Legal Rights After a Dog Bite
When you or a loved one is attacked or bitten by a dog, New Jersey law automatically entitles you to compensation for your injuries from the dog’s owner. If the dog has a vicious propensity (meaning it has a history of biting or attacking) you may be entitled to an additional lawsuit against the animal’s owner for negligence.
You may be entitled to compensation for the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Any other out of pocket expenses you incurred as a result of the bite or attack
To ensure that you obtain the full extent of the compensation that you deserve, it is imperative that you hire an attorney who specifically handles dog bite cases.
If you or a loved one has been attacked or bitten by a dog, you need to call an attorney who has experience. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with New Jersey dog bite lawyer Dan Matrafajlo, please call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404.