If you are the victim of a dog bite or any other animal attack in new jersey you need to know your rights

title:If You Are The Victim Of A Dog Bite Or Any Other Animal Attack In New Jersey, You Need To Know Your Rights

author:Tony Merlino

source_url:http://www. essayabc. com/articles/legal/article_435.shtml

date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:13



Dog Bites /Animal Attack - Overview

In New Jersey there are thousands of people bitten by animals every single year. Dogs are responsible for most attacks that result in injury. In nearly all cases, in New Jersey, a person bitten by an animal has a legal right to recover damages.

Usually it is from the animal's owner, however there are others that may be found equally accountable.

What To Do If You Have Been Bitten

Seek medical attention immediately. Dog bites can cause serious injury, especially if the skin has been broken. An untreated animal bite can quickly cause severe infection if the animal was carrying disease.

I'm assuming you have already received medical attention. If not, do it now. Then, it would be wise to think about consulting with an attorney to discover the best course of action.

At this point you will need to determine two things.

1. Do you have a legal claim?


2. What damages are you able to recover as a result of your injury?

Your Case Evaluation

To determine whether you have a claim, our New Jersey dog bite lawyers consider whether the animal's owner was negligent and indirectly caused your injury.

How Much Compensation Can You Expect?

The circumstances surrounding the attack are obviously different in every case. It is therefore important to accurately determine who is responsible for an animal bite.

This is why it is essential for you to speak with a lawyer in order to determine the severity of the attack. The amount of compensation you receive will be determined largely by which parties are responsible and the resources available to cover your damages.

You may be entitled to compensation for a variety of different reasons. For instance:

Medical Bills · Pain and Suffering · Lost Wages · Mental Anguish · Emotional Distress · Psychological Injuries · Disfigurement and many more!

There have been cases where the victim is awarded punitive damages in order to actually punish an animal owner for reckless or intentional behavior.

For instance, a case where the owner is fully aware of an aggressive animals behavior and recklessly allows the animal run loose demonstrating total disregard for the welfare of others.

Should This Case Be Pursued? and Is It Worth The Time And Effort?

Let's face it. Lawsuits are expensive, time consuming and require a tremendous amount of effort. Unlike other forms of personal injury cases in New Jersey, animal bites are fairly straightforward.

New Jersey is a " Strict Liability State." What does this mean to you if you are a victim?

It means the owner "shall be liable."

That is a direct quote from the New Jersey State Statute 4:19-16.and leaves little room for interpretation.

Notice the statute did not say, "could be", "might be" or "should be." It is emphatic. It says, "SHALL BE LIABLE."

It is even unnecessary to prove the owner negligent. If the dog bites in New Jersey, the owner is flat out liable.

How much compensation you receive is largely dependant upon the severity of the injury and even more importantly how articulately your attorney approaches and presents the case.

There are however a few circumstances where the owner of the animal is not liable. For instance, if the dog was intentionally provoked, taunted or teased causing an attack or bite.

Another possible reason an owner will not be found culpable is that the incident occurred while the victim was trespassing on a properly posted property.

In the "perfect world" any amount of injury caused by an animal deserves to be addressed. However, in the "real world" you and your attorney must decide if the claim will actually result in a favorable outcome.

At the end of the day, does it have sufficient value? Is it worth suing a family member, friend or neighbor, considering the social ramifications?

This is a question that can only be answered by careful evaluation and is one of the first things you should consider and discuss with your attorney.

Be sure your attorney is expert at uncovering possible sources of compensation for animal attacks that you may never have considered.