Dog bites are both more common than most people realize and more dangerous. If someone else’s dog leaves you injured, the physical, financial, and emotional consequences can be immense. In fact, being attacked by a dog you don’t know is – by all accounts – terrifying. Because obtaining fair compensation that covers your losses in their entirety is critical to your ability to fully recover, it is important to work closely with an experienced New Jersey dog bite lawyer.
Dog bite victims can suffer serious losses – not the least of which is the physical and emotional pain and suffering, which is common. Your recovery can hinge on your ability to obtain just compensation, which requires you to navigate the complicated legal system forward toward a favorable resolution. Fortunately, you do not have to make this journey alone. A seasoned dog bite lawyer can help by ably taking on a range of important tasks.
Dog bite claims are often handled by the dog owner’s home or rental insurance provider, and you can count on them to do what they can to keep your settlement as low as possible. One of the tools at their disposal is obtaining statements from vulnerable claimants that only serve to weaken their claims. Leaving the communications with the insurance company to your trusted dog bite lawyer is always advantageous.
Dog bite claims are based on evidence, and your dog bite lawyer will leave no stone unturned in their quest to gather all the evidence relevant to yours. This evidence gathering generally includes:
Unlike many other states, the State of New Jersey does not have a so-called one-bite law on the books. These laws afford dog owners a bit of leeway in relation to liability if their pets have never displayed aggression prior to the attack at hand.
In New Jersey, dog owners are responsible for any injuries their pets cause – with the potential exception of attacks that are directly provoked. As such, you won’t need to prove the dog’s aggression, but you may have to fight an accusation of having provoked the incident. This is a complicated matter that is best left to a practiced dog bite lawyer.
Most dog bite claims are settled out of court, and your dog bite lawyer will engage in skilled negotiations with the insurance company handling your claim. In their efforts, your lawyer will seek compensation that is equal to the task of covering your complete range of legal damages – or losses. As long as the insurance company is willing to engage in fair negotiations that align with your rights, a settlement can be reached.
Finally, your dog bite lawyer will be prepared to address the matter of your losses in court. If the involved insurance company demonstrates that it is not interested in affording you a good faith effort to effectively and efficiently settle your claim, your focused dog bite lawyer will take the next logical step and resolve the matter in court.
Tactics that insurance companies often employ in their efforts to keep settlements low and that your lawyer will be on the lookout for include all the following:
In New Jersey, you have the right not to be attacked by someone else’s dog, and you have the right to seek compensation If you are. As mentioned, dog owners do not have to be aware of their pets’ latent aggression in order to be held liable for bite injuries. If someone’s dog bites you while you are on public property or while you are legally on private property, New Jersey’s dog bite law covers you – and this applies whether or not the dog who bites you ever gave any indication that it had the propensity to be aggressive.
Further, New Jersey law employs strict liability when it comes to dog bites. This means that even if the dog’s owner took reasonable precautions to protect the public from their pet, they are responsible for any injuries the animal causes.
Your burden is proving that you were attacked by the dog in question. However, the dog owner or insurance company might claim that you provoked the pet to deny liability altogether or reduce the compensation you receive. The challenge here is that there is no specific definition of provocation in this context, but your knowledgeable New Jersey bite lawyer has the legal insight and experience to help forcefully disprove this defense tactic.
They can also try to defend against liability by claiming you were trespassing, and you want our legal team ready to fight against any false allegations.
The damages you experience as a result of a dog bite can be immense, and they likely break down into several basic categories.
When a dog bites into the flesh of a bite victim, their sharp teeth can tear deep into the skin and underlying tissue, muscle, and – sometimes – even bone. These injuries are irregular, slow to heal, highly susceptible to serious infection, and often exceptionally painful.
Dog bite injuries are unique for the degree of care they often require. For example, if the bite is on the victim’s hand, which is common, it can lead to long-term motility concerns – even after an extensive treatment plan that can include multiple surgeries. When the bite is on the victim’s face, which is another common site of an attack – especially for children – it can lead to permanent disfigurement and can require multiple surgical procedures.
The recovery process after a dog bite can be lengthy, which can interfere with a victim’s ability to earn in the present. A dog bite, however, can also impede your ability to earn into the future, which can have much more dramatic financial consequences – and can also lead to emotional setbacks.
Being attacked by someone else’s pet can leave you feeling rattled to your core. There is not only physical pain and suffering but also emotional pain and suffering to endure. Many victims of dog bites experience troubling symptoms like the following that can take a serious psychological toll:
If you have been harmed by a dog bite, you recognize that you need to advocate for your rights – and your rightful compensation – but you are in the vulnerable position of having been injured, and you may have very little understanding of the legal process. The advantages of having a practiced dog bite lawyer in your corner can be difficult to overstate. Consider all the following:
A dog bite injury can leave you seriously injured and can come with long-lasting complications. If you find yourself in this difficult situation, David J. Cowhey at the New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer is an accomplished dog bite lawyer with an impressive track record for successfully resolving complex dog bite claims like yours. The outcome of your claim is important to your recovery and your future, and our distinguished legal team is poised to help. To learn more about what we can do for you, please reach out to us through our online form or call us at (866) 259-4377 today.