It has become increasingly popular among businesses to allow employees to bring their pets to work. It is thought that dogs in the workplace can lower stress levels and increase the happiness of employees by allowing this flexibility.
But that can come with risks and it is important for the organizational leadership to be aware of those risks.
If you’re hurt at work while performing your normal work duties, you are likely to file a claim with workers’ compensation. “New Jersey law requires that all New Jersey employers, not covered by Federal programs, have workers’ compensation coverage or be approved for self-insurance” means that every employer should have coverage for injuries that happen at work from the State of New Jersey. An aggressive dog that bites you while you’re at work would be an eligible claim.
The New Jersey Insurance system is a ‘no-fault’ coverage program. That means that a worker injured at work can receive compensation for medical bills and lost wages, without having to prove a coworker or their employer was at fault for causing their injuries.
An employer must compensate a worker for any injuries that happen while they are performing their job duties. Workers’ compensation benefits will cover required medical treatment, wages while you recover, and benefits for permanent disability if applicable.
In exchange, workers give up the right to sue the employer for pain and suffering or other damages when they accept workers’ compensation benefits.
In essence, yes. In personal injury law, there are two main types of damages in a dog bite claim – economic and non-economic.
Economic damages can be calculated objectively as losses such as medical bills and lost wages covered by a workers’ compensation claim.
Non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional trauma are more difficult to quantify. These may be applicable to the situation with your dog bite claim and the owner of the dog would be responsible for these damages.
New Jersey dog bite law holds dog owners strictly liable for any damages their dog inflicts on another that has lawfully entered private property. A knowledgeable dog bite attorney will help you to assess your unique situation and what damages you should be entitled to.
If you suffer a dog bite or dog attack while at work and the dog belongs to your employer, the situation can be more complex.
Due to the ‘no-fault’ insurance coverage system in New Jersey, you’re unable to sue your employer if you accept workers’ compensation benefits. But like a situation with your co-worker, the dog owner is ultimately liable for damages. This depends on factors such as the type of organization – sole proprietorship, corporation, or a partnership – where the dog bite occurred, and other factors.
It is best to speak to an experienced dog bite lawyer if this applies to your dog bite case.
If an employee’s dog bites a customer, it is likely that the business will be liable. The business owes a duty of care to its customers to provide a safe environment.
If you’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog while at work, contact David J. Cowhey who is experienced and knowledgeable in New Jersey dog bite law. He will provide a complimentary consultation to discuss your dog bite case and will give you his honest evaluation.