Atlantic County Dog Bite Lawyer
Anyone who has been attacked by a dog knows how strong these animals are and how harmful and painful a bite can be. If you recently suffered injury from an aggressive dog, you may be able to work with a personal injury attorney to file suit against the owner and recover compensation.
However, there are several unique aspects of civil claims based on dog bites in New Jersey that you should know about before getting started on your case. In order to maximize your chances of obtaining a successful outcome, you may need to seek counsel from an experienced Atlantic County dog bite lawyer.
Establishing Liability for a Dog’s Aggressive Behavior
New Jersey is one of several states that enforces strict liability on a dog’s owner if their pet bites or injures someone. Under New Jersey Revised Statutes §4:19-16, a person who is on public property or legally visiting private property does not have to prove a dog’s owner negligence to recover compensation from him or her after a bite, even if that owner had no idea the dog might act violently.
However, if a dog causes injury in some other way – for example, by jumping on someone and knocking them down – the traditional standard of legal negligence applies. In order to recover compensation on a plaintiff’s behalf in this kind of case, a local attorney would have to prove that the dog’s owner had a reasonable duty to control his or her pet, failed to fulfill that duty, and thereby allowed the dog to cause harm to the plaintiff.
Potential Obstacles to Recovery after a Canine Bite
There are two statutory defenses to liability for a canine bite that plaintiffs should be aware of before filing a civil claim in our area, both of which may restrict or fully prevent recovery for damages sustained during a dog attack. First, anyone who is bitten by a dog while trespassing on property owned by that dog’s handler cannot recover compensation for injuries they sustain as a result.
Second, an injured party may have his or her recoverable compensation reduced if a court finds him or her partially liable for provoking the dog to attack. As per NJ Rev. Stat. §2A:15-5.1, any plaintiff found more than 50 percent at fault for causing his or her injuries would be barred from recovering compensation. Any lesser percentage of fault would result in a proportional reduction of his or her final damage award.
It should also be noted that NJ Rev. Stat. §2A:14-2(a) generally gives potential claimants only two years after a dog bite incident to file a lawsuit. Otherwise, if he or she tries to file a claim after this deadline has passed, his or her case may be time-barred. In addition to maximizing recoverable damages, a dog bite lawyer in Atlantic County could work to ensure plaintiffs adhere to this filing deadline and any other procedural regulations.
Talk to an Atlantic County Dog Bite Attorney about Pursuing Compensation
A bite from a dog can result in significant and agonizing injuries, including broken bones, deep lacerations, and potential infection with rabies. You may be able to recover compensation for any financial and personal losses you suffer as a result of a canine attack, but you will have to prove the dog owner’s liability in private settlement negotiations or in civil court.
Whichever path your case takes, an Atlantic County dog bite lawyer could stand by your side and provide constant guidance and support every step of the way. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.