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Under New Jersey’s dog bite laws, “history of viciousness” is irrelevant in determining whether a victim is entitled to compensation after an attack. Owners (or the owner’s insurance company) cannot cite a dog’s placid history as a defense or mitigating factor in a dog bite case.
However, this does not mean that a dog’s history is irrelevant. We always urge you to report the attack to your local animal control unit as one element of what you should do after an attack.
As part of the investigatory process, our dog bite lawyer will look into the dog’s history to determine if there’s a pattern of aggressive behavior and attacks. While such a history isn’t a necessary condition for receiving compensation, it’s still vital information to have.
If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite attack in New Jersey, you should speak with our lawyer immediately. Please call David J. Cowhey at 609-245-5217 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Dog bite cases are complicated by a few factors. First is the fact that most dogs are pleasant, delightful creatures who enjoy the presence of people in their lives.
Second, even the most pleasant, delightful dog can react poorly in a stressful situation and bite an unsuspecting human victim.
Third, “stressful situations” from a dog’s perspective are quite different from “stressful situations” from a human’s perspective. There doesn’t need to be any provocation for a dog to react poorly to an unfamiliar situation- many new people in a dog’s presence or an unfamiliar location can be enough to throw off a dog’s equilibrium.
In recognition of this, New Jersey has written a strict liability statute that imposes liability on a dog owner for any injuries the dog causes, regardless of attack history (or lack thereof).
Still, it’s a good idea to learn as much as possible about the dog that attacked you. Our New Jersey dog bite lawyer understands the importance of a thorough investigation and will leave no stone unturned while representing you.
This information can prove useful for a variety of reasons. For example, in a case where provocation has been used as a defense, the fact that a dog has a history of bites can make for an excellent argument in response.
Every attack is unique, and we don’t pre-judge what information will be important. We will gather all the facts so that we will have as much evidence as possible when we fight for you.
Hurt by a dog attack in New Jersey? Our dog bite lawyer can help. Please call David J. Cowhey at 609-245-5217 or contact us online for a free consultation.