Since you're here, we assume that you're considering contacting a New Jersey dog bite lawyer about a potential claim. If that's true, there are a few things you should know about our firm:
- We offer free, no obligation case reviews. You have nothing to lose by speaking to us about your case, and much to gain.
- We work on a contingency fee basis. If you retain us to handle your claim, you pay us nothing out of pocket.
- New Jersey law does not permit "one free bite". Therefore, even if a dog has never attacked before, the dog owner is responsible and you might have a claim.
Not ready to talk to one of our attorneys? No problem. We invite you to keep reading to gain a better understanding of what it means to have a dog bite claim in New Jersey.
The trauma of a dog bite often results in lasting effects far beyond the initial attack. The catastrophic aftermath of a dog bite usually requires the assistance of a NJ dog bite lawyer.
Consulting with an experienced New Jersey dog bite attorney prepares you for what to expect in every stage of your lawsuit for just compensation.
Are Dog Bites Common?
Dog bites occur more commonly than you would think. Nearly 5 million people are attacked every year in the United States.
While dog bites rarely result in death, many dog bites may result in infections requiring medical attention.
It's important to note that dogs may also cause injuries without biting. A dog may lunge at you and cause you to fall and injure yourself. A dog may also jump on you unexpectedly, causing injuries.
Although such injuries are different from dog bites, you should never presume that you do not have a claim for recovery because you did not suffer a dog bite.
A New Jersey dog bite attorney may assist on your path to recovering compensation for your injuries—even if you were never bit.
What Are Common Dog Bite Injuries?
Dog bites and other attacks may lead to minor or severe injuries. Additionally, many suffer from emotional distress resulting from a traumatic attack. The following injuries are commonly associated with dog bites:
- Puncture wounds and lacerations,
- Nerve damage,
- Permanent scarring,
- Broken bones, and
- Emotional distress.
In most situations, a doctor may advise a round of antibiotics to prevent your dog bite from becoming infected.
Additionally, obtaining a medical report of your injuries provides your personal injury attorney with the evidence needed to fight your case for compensation.
What to Do After a New Jersey Dog Bite
For most, becoming the victim of a dog bite represents a traumatic and unforgettable event in their life. One never plans to suffer a dog bite, and many don't know what steps to take after a dog bite occurs.
The qualified New Jersey dog bite attorneys at O'Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble assist clients every day in complicated and emotional matters like dog bites.
Seek Medical Attention
Immediately after suffering a dog bite, it's essential to make your health a priority. When you can safely distance yourself from the dog, assess your injuries or the injuries of a loved one, and determine if an ambulance is needed.
Even if the dog bite appears to be a minor wound, contact a medical professional promptly. Dog mouths contain bacteria and viruses that may cause severe infections from little bites.
Although serious bites more commonly cause infections, it's important not to diagnose yourself after a dog bite. Additionally, it's a good idea to check on your wound over the days following the dog bite, ensuring that no changes occur, as these may indicate infection.
Document the Dog Bite
Although most people never forget a dog bite, the details surrounding such a traumatic event can fade over time.
It's essential to document the facts and circumstances surrounding the dog bite if you plan to file a claim. Documenting the dog bite includes activity such as:
- Taking photographs of the bite, the dog, and the scene;
- Reporting the dog bite to law enforcement;
- Obtaining the contact information of all witnesses to the incident;
- Getting contact information of the dog owner and, if possible, their insurance information; and
- Writing down your recollection surrounding the events of the dog bite.
You should almost always contact law enforcement authorities after a dog bite occurs. They may assist in seeking additional information and assessing your needs as a dog bite victim.
Speak to a Dog Bite Attorney
Promptly contact us to discuss the facts of the dog bite.
A New Jersey dog bite lawyer can help you identify the next steps after your traumatic event, contact insurance companies, and otherwise handle complicated matters surrounding your dog bite claim.
It's never too soon to retain legal representation. However, it can be too late if you fail to file within the statute of limitations for dog bites.
What Mistakes Should I Avoid After a Dog Attack?
When you’re in the thick of it, traumatic experiences can wreak havoc on your common sense. Hopefully, you will never experience a dog bite scenario. But just in case, learning what 5 mistakes to avoid after a dog bite will help you physically, emotionally, and financially.
1. FORGETTING TO CLEAN YOUR WOUND
Immediately after a dog bite, panicking and forgetting to clean your wound is normal. But trust us—you want to ensure you follow all the steps laid out above. A thorough cleaning helps prevent infections and complications and promotes a quicker recovery.
2. BRUSHING OFF MEDICAL ATTENTION
We understand—nobody likes going to the doctor. But even if your dog bite seems minor, visiting a healthcare professional is crucial. Treating your wound at home might seem like the best option. However, you may face complications, infections, and potentially dangerous bacteria like Capnocytophaga. A healthcare professional can also assess your bite’s severity and determine if you need a tetanus shot or rabies prevention measures.
3. FAILING TO COLLECT CRUCIAL INFORMATION
It’s common to forget to document a dog bite and its circumstances in the chaos. However, identifying the responsible dog and its owner is important. If you can, collect the dog owner’s name, address, contact details, information about the type of dog involved, and any identifying details like the dog’s size, breed, and color. If you decide to seek compensation for medical expenses or pursue a legal claim against the dog’s owner, you will also want to be sure you:
- Take photos of your bite, injuries, and the attack’s location;
- Write down the contact information for any witnesses;
- Obtain a copy of the animal control report;
- Keep copies of any medical records related to your treatment; and
- Keep a journal about your recovery, including any pain you experience or expenses you run up, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Collecting this information will better equip you to protect your health, legal rights, and overall welfare.
4. KEEPING QUIET ABOUT THE INCIDENT
Some people are embarrassed or reluctant to report a dog bite. But you should immediately report a dog bite to the authorities. It is important to report a dog bite because reporting can ensure authorities monitor the dog for further aggression or illness, protecting others from similar harm. You can also obtain important information, such as the dog’s vaccination history. Additionally, reporting a dog bite to the authorities will help you build a successful claim if you decide to pursue a lawsuit or compensation.
Always report the incident to your local animal control agency immediately. Don’t forget to request a copy of the report for your records.
5. SKIPPING OUT ON LEGAL ADVICE
Finally, one of the biggest mistakes to avoid after a dog bite incident is failing to consult an attorney specializing in dog bite cases. Consulting with an experienced attorney will ensure you receive valuable legal advice and help to maximize your compensation.
A skilled attorney can also help you with the following:
- Understanding your legal rights;
- Gathering critical evidence; and
- Negotiating fair compensation with the dog owner or their insurance company.
It’s also important to remember that many attorneys work on a contingency basis. So if you’re worried about the cost of hiring an advocate, know that most attorneys will only collect a fee if they recover a settlement for your injuries and damages.
New Jersey Dog Bite Law
New Jersey dog bite law does not permit "one free bite." For this reason, New Jersey law does not consider a dog's prior behavior when determining whether an owner was negligent in handling their dog and endangering the public.
Therefore, even if a dog has never attacked before, the dog owner is responsible. If a dog bites someone, a New Jersey dog bite lawyer works to recover damages for injuries resulting from the dog bite.
However, it may often be more challenging to determine who is liable for your injuries. A dog bite lawsuit may pursue legal action against any of the following parties:
- Dog owner,
- Business, and
- State, local, or county agencies.
Dealing with the after-effects of a dog bite while determining how to pursue a lawsuit for your injuries is an overwhelming experience.
A qualified dog bite injury lawyer can assist you through these steps to alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with your dog bite and your claim.
What Can a NJ Dog Bite Injury Lawyer Help Me Recover for My Injuries?
If you or a family member suffers an injury from a dog bite, we can represent you and your family members on the road to recovery. Our lawyers assists victims in obtaining compensation for their injuries, including:
- Medical expenses,
- Loss of income,
- Pain and suffering,
- Emotional distress, and
- Punitive damages.
The statute of limitations for dog bites in New Jersey generally requires you to file your claim within two years from the time of the dog bite.
If you were a minor when the dog bite occurred, consult with a New Jersey dog bite lawyer to file your claim within two years of your eighteenth birthday.
Contact a New Jersey Dog Bite Attorney
The attorneys of O'Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble prioritize our clients' needs with professionalism and successful results.
Our experienced legal team represents clients in a wide variety of cases while giving them a voice through difficult times.
We understand the complexity of dog bite law in New Jersey and serve as your advocate through every stage of your lawsuit. Our history of success shows our willingness to fight for each of our clients.
We offer free, no-obligation case reviews and work on a contingency fee basis. The trauma and pain of a dog bite attack represent an unforgettable event in your life. We are here to assist you in obtaining compensation for your injuries.
We also handle other premises liability cases, including:
Time is of the essence. Contact the attorneys of O'Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble for a free case evaluation.