Liability in Cherry Hill Dog Bite Cases
In New Jersey, because it is a strict liability state, proving liability in Cherry Hill dog bite cases is relatively simple. If the dog owner’s dog bites someone and that person was in an area that they were permitted to be and they are not a trespasser, then liability has already been decided. If you have been harmed after a dog bite in Cherry Hill, a distinguished dog bite lawyer can help you begin the filing process for any damages you may be awarded.
Proving Liability for Dog Bites
Because New Jersey is a strict liability state, the defendant would likely argue that the plaintiff was comparatively negligent. This means that the burden of proof is then put on that defendant. The defendant would have to prove that the plaintiff was unreasonable and voluntarily exposed themselves to a known risk. This would mean that the plaintiff, the injured person, knew that this particular dog had a propensity to bite either because that plaintiff knew the dog’s viciousness or because that plaintiff deliberately intended to incite the animal.
An example of this would be someone who is beating or tormenting the dog and the dog acts in self-defense. The way a lawyer would argue if the defendant attempted to make the claim of comparative negligence is with the facts of the case. If our injured party was not aware that this dog had a violent propensity or was not deliberately attempting to incite the animal, there is no comparative negligence because of the strict liability in Cherry Hill dog bite cases.
Process of Liability
Because dog bites have a strict liability, it is a fairly easy process to establish a liability for Cherry Hill dog bite claims. If one is unable to resolve the claim directly with the defendant, the insurance company, or the defendant dog owner, a lawsuit would have to be filed. Once the lawsuit is filed, liability must be established in a Cherry Hill dog bite claim. That process is fairly quick with regard to dog bites, because all that needs to be proven is that the person who was bitten was in a location that they were permitted to be and that a dog bite did occur. If that happens, the defendant is liable.
Impact of Insurance on Cases Involving Children
When determining liability in Cherry Hill cases, it is important to recognize that insurance companies do not have the person’s best interests. A person would want to make sure that they are consulting with an attorney to handle the insurance company and attempt to get the person the fairest value. Unfortunately, children are often involved and are the ones who are bitten in these cases. Depending on the severity of the bite, if there is scarring involved, there may be things that can be done, such as a scar revision surgery or other procedures to eliminate that scar.
If there is a visible scar, it is something that is a constant reminder of what happened and it is a traumatic event when a dog attacks the person. The parents sometimes may want to make sure that there is something that can be done down the road if in fact, that child chooses to do that. These insurance companies for the dog owner are on the hook for liability in Cherry Hill dog bite cases, not only for the pain and the suffering and those types of damages, not only for the past medical bills but also the cost of this future treatment if necessary.
Common Mistakes when Filing a Claim
The most common mistake when filing a claim is for an individual to settle their dog bite case for too little. Depending on their feelings, people may think that establishing liability in Cherry Hill dog bite cases is frivolous. It is not, and anyone who has ever been a victim of a dog bite can tell the person, it is one of the scariest things that a person could ever go through to have an animal attacking the person and biting them to the point that there is breaking skin causing severe injuries.
A lot of times people make the mistake of talking to the insurance company directly and taking a number for a settlement that is a lot less than what they should be getting based on the facts of the case, based on what happened, and what the long-term effects are going to be.
Not only can an attorney help preserve evidence and make sure that individual gets what they think is a fair number for everything that they have been through, but they can help provide proper resources. These resources can include medical treatment or psychological treatment. Depending on the facts of the case, attorneys might be able to recommend certain doctors who specialize in those areas for these people to either be helped physically or emotionally.
Attorneys will want to be sure to preserve evidence. That includes sending out letters, referred to as spoliation of evidence letters to make sure that no evidence is being destroyed, whether it is photographs, videos, or information about the dog. All of those types of things should be preserved to establish liability in Cherry Hill dog bite cases. Letters can be sent immediately to the insurance companies that are involved in advising them that the injured person is represented.
When the insurance company knows that that injured person is represented by a lawyer, they cannot contact the individual, attempt to get recorded statements or try to get the case resolved for a number that a lawyer does not believe is there. Those are all things that lawyers can do early on to prevent someone from affecting their rights, whether its evidence is being destroyed or the insurance company talking to them and making advantage of them.