Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
Somerset County
Hunterdon County

When the dog bites

Attacks by a vicious animal can be utterly terrifying. Beyond the physical damage, which can be substantial and can range from broken skin to death, is the emotional and psychological trauma, the embarrassment, lost wages, medical costs and hospital bills. If you have been bitten by an animal, it is important to get to safety and receive medical attention for any wound. Following that, you may want to report the attack to the appropriate authorities in order to prevent the animal doing the same thing or worse to another person in the future.

Following such an incident, you may want to ensure substantial records are made regarding your attack. You may file a report with the police and with animal control. Also, gather any witness statements. Keep your medical records and take photos of any injuries that resulted from the attack. These may all be helpful should you decide to build a case for remuneration.

Fortunately, New Jersey is unlike much of the US and does not require the dog to have bitten another person prior to your attack to hold an owner accountable. The liability of a dog's actions rests appropriately upon the dog's owner, and this remains so even if the dog never demonstrated violent tendencies before. The law backs the notion that there are not bad dogs, there are bad dog owners. If a dog's owner trains or treats it in such a way that it lashes out at visitors or strangers, they should be held accountable.

If you had a right to be on someone's property and their animal attacked you, it may be entirely justifiable to hold them accountable. First, make sure you are safe and report the incident to ensure everyone else's safety. Then you may want to contact a New Jersey attorney who stays current on dog bite laws and who knows the best avenues to help you.

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