Experienced Dog Bite Lawyers in Cherry Hill Helping Victims Recover Compensation
Dogs are arguably Americans’ favorite pets, and over one-third of households in the United States have at least one dog. Dogs make great companions, help relieve stress, and can even help with various medical, physical, or emotional conditions.
However, at heart, they are still animals who can be unpredictable and engage in instinctual and dangerous behaviors. Their bites can cause severe injuries and even long-term damage that often require months of recovery. In fact, in some cases, dog bites can leave victims with long-term medical issues and may even be fatal.
If you or someone you love were recently bitten by a dog, a skilled Cherry Hill dog bite attorney may be able to help. You may be owed financial compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, and other damages. To make your case as successful as possible, schedule a case evaluation as soon as possible.
Dog Bite Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that nearly one in five dog bite victims will need medical treatment. Dog bite injuries can include:
- Crushing injuries
Dog bites can cause damage to nerves, muscles, bones, and can even cause localized infections or infectious diseases. They can also cause other diseases such as rabies or tetanus. If a dog bite becomes infected, the victim may need to be hospitalized. In addition, many dog bites require the expertise of a plastic surgeon to help correct the aesthetic damage that has been done.
Some dog bite victims also suffer emotional injuries and will live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the incident. They may require long-term treatment in the form of therapy, counseling, or even medications.
Damages in a Dog Bite Case
Anyone who was bitten by a dog and sustained an injury should explore their legal options with a dog bite lawyer in Cherry Hill. In many cases, victims are entitled to compensable damages and could be entitled to punitive damages as well. Their compensable damages might include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Future medical care related to the bite
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of function
- Lost wages
In a lawsuit or a settlement negotiation, the losses and inconveniences of the victim will determine how much compensation they will receive. The more damages they have or, the more severe they are, the higher the compensation is likely to be. Hiring a bite attorney who can clearly show a jury or insurance company your injuries and losses, will increase the chances that your case will be successful.
New Jersey Dog Bite Laws
Dog bites can be one of the most complex personal injuries that a person can sustain. New Jersey lawmakers understand this and therefore enacted a specific dog bite law that applies in these cases.
New Jersey applies the legal concept of strict liability in dog bite cases. A dog owner can find themselves liable for any injuries their dog causes even if they did everything they could to restrain their dog or to protect or warn them about their dog. According to New Jersey Statutes § 4:19-16, dog owners are liable for any dog bites that happen:
- In a public place or if the victim is legally in a private location
- Even if there were no prior warning signs that the dog could be vicious, and the dog had never been vicious in the past
Unlike other personal injury cases, a dog bite claim plaintiff or their Cherry Hill dog bite lawyer on their behalf only needs to prove that the dog bite occurred – not that the owner was at fault. Some states will include other injuries caused by a dog under the umbrella of their dog bite statutes, but New Jersey does not. If you are knocked down by a dog and sustained an injury, for example, other personal injury laws will apply, but not this one.
If Trespassers Sustain Dog Bites
If the victim of a dog bite was not in a public place or in a private location with the proper permission to be there, this could be used as a defense by the dog’s owner and their legal team.
People who are trespassing when their dog bite occurs do not have the same protections under the law. In these cases, the victim may be barred from any recovery or could see their recovery reduced. If you are concerned that you were trespassing when your bite occurred, getting a consultation from a bite lawyer as soon as possible after sustaining your injury is the best way to determine if you might have a case.
Dog Bite Injuries Are Covered By Homeowners Policies in Most Cases
If you are reluctant to bring a claim against your neighbor or friend because their dog bit you, please keep in mind that any settlement or jury verdict will be paid by their homeowner’s liability policy and not by them personally. Similar to what happens in an auto accident. As a dog owner, keep in mind that some insurance companies exclude coverage for certain breeds of dogs. Check with your company and they refuse to provide coverage, switch to a company that will provide such coverage.
Most people do not realize that dog bites are covered by their homeowner’s policies. If you are bitten by someone who lives in an apartment with no insurance, you will only be able to recover if the renter had a liability policy, something most renters don’t have. The best outcome is for the dog who bites you to live in a home with someone who has insurance. That way any recovery will be paid by the insurance company.
Dog Bite Statute of Limitations
New Jersey personal injury laws place strict limits on how long an injured individual has to file a dog bite lawsuit. Commonly called the statute of limitations, for dog bites, the time limit is two years from the date of the injury. The statute of limitations is in place in part to ensure that lawsuits are based on recent evidence.
Help from a Cherry Hill Dog Bite Attorney
If you are injured by a dog, it is imperative that you receive proper medical treatment. Once you have done so, you should also reach out to a bite attorney. Just as you trust your medical team to help fix your injuries and bring you back to the best health possible, you can trust a personal injury lawyer to do all they can to help your legal and financial situation.
For your free consultation, reach out to the Ferrara Law Firm via our online contact form or call (856)-779-9500 today. Don’t try to navigate this difficult situation on your own; our experienced dog bite attorneys are waiting to hear from you.