If you’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog, you may be thinking about getting a dog bite lawyer. It can be a traumatic experience and often involves dogs you are familiar with. A study confirms that 66% of victims know the dog that bit them.
When you know the dog that attacked you, it can complicate an already difficult situation. A dog bite lawyer can often help.
Whether you know the dog that attacked you or not, we go through the top questions to determine if you should hire a dog bite lawyer. The top questions to ask yourself if you need a dog bite lawyer are:
Although other animals attack and bite people, a dog bite lawyer will primarily deal with people that have been injured by a dog. So if it was a dog that attacked you, you would seek out the services of a dog bite lawyer.
The next question to ask is if there are injuries from the dog attack. Dog bite injuries can be minor to severe. Dog bite victims will generally seek compensation for their injuries when they are more severe. Severe injuries will require more medical care and the victim may need to miss work or school.
A dog can cause life-changing injuries for victims. Injuries can look different in each case – some with facial injuries requiring plastic surgery, some with no broken skin but neurological injuries from a fall caused by a dog, broken bones, or pain and suffering. Keep any medical bills from an emergency room visit or other medical professionals as this can help your personal injury attorney.
You will need to have the information of the dog owner to hold them responsible for your injuries and to start a dog bite lawsuit. If you don’t know the dog, try to get information from the dog owner when the dog bite happens. Witnesses to the attack may also be able to provide contact information. Authorities may also be familiar with a dog if you have details about the dog and they might be able to track down the dog owner. If you don’t have any information on the dog owner, it will be difficult to pursue litigation.
Most dog owners will have insurance coverage for the attack through their homeowner or renter’s insurance. It is this insurance policy that will likely cover the expenses you’ve incurred from a dog attack. If the dog owner does not have any type of insurance in place, you may still be able to sue them, it is best to speak to a dog bite attorney to determine the best course of action.
New Jersey holds dog owners strictly liable for injuries, but there are a few exceptions. If you hold some or all of the responsibility for the dog attack, it may be hard to get compensation for your injuries. For instance, if you were on private property without reason to be there. There is no statewide leash law in New Jersey
In these situations, it is best to speak with a dog bite attorney to find out if you will have a case against the dog owner.
If you know the dog owner, you can still pursue compensation for the dog bite without unnecessarily damaging your relationship. Most claims are paid out by insurance companies and not by the dog owner themselves. An experienced dog bite lawyer will be skilled at navigating any complications in relationships in pursuing litigation. If you think you’re ready to start a dog bite claim, it is best to seek legal advice from a dog bite attorney.
Contact David J. Cowhey to discuss your dog bite claim. He’s handled dog bite cases throughout New Jersey for both adults and children with dogs familiar to the victims and dogs that were not. He’s available 24/7 for a free consultation to discuss your New Jersey dog bite case and dog bite laws.