Bitten by a Dog? Here is What to do Next
After suffering personal injury from a dog bite, victims are often unsure of how to proceed. Read on for what to do after suffering a dog bite in New Jersey.
Document the Injury
Once you are safely away from the dog, take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible. Documenting the personal injury you have incurred will be an important piece of evidence in the event you decide to take the dog owner to court for the incident.
Obtain Any Identifying Information
If you know the person who owns the dog, obtaining identifying information should be easy. However, if you do not know the person, obtaining identifying information can be tricky. Document any information about the scene of the incident and the breed and appearance of the dog. Make and attempt to get the name and phone number of the dog owner, as well.
Contact a Local Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury attorneys often specialize in a variety of different areas of litigation. When planning to file a lawsuit against a dog owner after suffering a bite, it is important to take the time to research your options and find an experienced local personal injury attorney who specializes in dog bite cases and local dog bite statutes.
Get to Know Your State’s Dog Bite Laws
Although a qualified local personal injury attorney will always be the best resource for understanding how your state’s dog bite laws factor into your lawsuit, it is often a good idea to take some time to become versed in the local statutes yourself. This can help facilitate more informed and productive conversations with your legal counsel throughout the litigation process.
New Jersey state law follows a doctrine of law regarding dog bites that is known as “strict liability.” Under this system, a dog owner is deemed liable in civil court when their dog bites someone, provided the victim was either on public property or legally on private property when the bite occurred.
While some states follow a “one bite rule” where dog owners are only held liable for a victim’s injuries after a previously known bite, New Jersey holds dog owners to a stricter standard of liability (hence the term “strict liability”).
Prepare Your Case
A personal injury will work with plaintiffs to build their case against the dog owner. Plaintiffs must be prepared to prove three factors were at play in the events that led to the dog bite:
- The dog owner had a duty to take reasonable care in controlling the behavior of their dog.
- The owner failed in their duty (known as “breach of duty” in court).
- As a result of the dog owner’s failure, the plaintiff suffered a personal injury.
Professional Legal Counsel in New Jersey
Dog bite injuries can cause trauma that can last for years and lead to significant financial and emotional costs. Dog bite victims should never expect to traverse the litigation process on their own.
For years, the attorneys at Ferrara Law have been helping dog bite victims throughout New Jersey as they navigate the legal process and recover monetary compensation for damages. Contact Ferrara Law today to discuss your case and take decisive action.