Monmouth County Dog Bite Lawyer
For most people, dogs are adorable, lovable companions who would never hurt anyone. But the reality is that millions of people are bitten by dogs each year. Many of these attacks are unprovoked and/or the result of a negligent pet owner. And for the victims of dog bites, the attack can leave them with significant medical bills, emotional trauma, and other damages.
Dog owners can and should be held legally responsible for these attacks. A qualified Monmouth County dog bite lawyer can advise and represent you in pursuing a personal injury claim. At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, we understand that a dog attack is a serious matter, and we will make every effort to obtain the full measure of compensation that you are entitled to under the law.
New Jersey’s Strict Liability for Dog Owners
New Jersey follows a “strict liability” standard in dog bite cases. This means that if a dog bites or attacks someone, the animal’s owner can be held liable to the victims for civil damages regardless of whether the owner was negligent. Put another way, a dog owner cannot escape liability merely by claiming they had no knowledge of their dog’s propensity to bite someone.
Now this does not mean that dog owners are liable for all biting attacks. The victim must have been on public property or legally on private property at the time of the attack. For instance, if someone trespasses on private property and is bitten by a guard dog, the property owner is not legally responsible for any injuries. But if a dog bites someone in a public park or who is an invited guest in someone’s home, then New Jersey’s strict liability rule applies.
It is also possible to sue a dog owner even if they are attacked but not actually bitten. Say a dog gets loose and chases a person. During the chase, the victim trips and falls and sustains serious injuries. If the victim can prove the dog owner was negligent in failing to control their animal, they could recover damages even if there was no bite.
As with any personal injury case, a victim of a dog bite or attack can seek to recover a variety of economic damages, including but not limited to their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and even emotional trauma. Keep in mind, however, that New Jersey also follows a “modified comparative fault” rule in personal injury cases, so the dog owner can try and mitigate any damages by arguing that the victim was partly (or completely) at-fault for what happened.
Dog Bite Lawyers Serving Ocean, Monmouth & Middlesex County
Dog bites are a serious matter. Far too many dog owners are cavalier when it comes to exercising proper control over their animals, and innocent people often pay the price. So if you have been seriously injured as the result of a dog bite or animal attack, it is important that you take action to assert your legal rights. If you need to speak with an experienced New Jersey dog bite lawyer, contact Poulos LoPiccolo PC today to schedule an initial consultation.