It is terrifying to be attacked by someone else’s pet. Sometimes animals that seem friendly and sweet at first, such as some dogs, turn vicious and attack. You may be able to obtain damages for the harm you experience as the result of an animal attack. Harm animals may inflict includes deformities, disfigurement, tetanus, rabies, infections, scarring, broken bones, nerve damage, and sepsis. Tragically, in some instances, animal attacks cause injuries that result in death. You may be able to hold a pet owner accountable for injuries or deaths caused by their animal’s conduct. If you were injured or a loved one was killed as the result of an animal attack, you should call the experienced New Jersey personal injury attorneys of the Grimes Law Firm.Animal Attack
Dangerous pets can cause harm that is grievous and costly. When small children are bitten by dogs or attacked by other pets, they may be traumatized for life or even killed. Our lawyers may be able to represent you in your animal attack lawsuit. Depending on the circumstances, it may be appropriate to sue under a theory of strict liability, negligence, or both.Strict Liability for Dog Bites
In New Jersey, a strict liability law ensures that a dog’s owner can be held strictly accountable if the dog bites the victim while she is on public property or lawfully on private property. Unlike some other states, a pet owner can be held strictly liable under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 4:19-16 even if the owner did not know whether his dog had previously ever been vicious.
You cannot recover under the New Jersey strict liability law if you weren’t on private property lawfully when you were bitten. So, for example, if you entered your neighbor’s backyard in order to see whether your neighbor was home or not, and got bitten by her German Shepherd while there, you might not be able to recover compensation.
When a dog bite occurs such that there is strict liability, the dog’s owner can be held accountable not only for the bite, but also any other harms caused by the dog, such as broken bones caused by the dog jumping on the victim.Other Animal Attacks
Animal attacks that result in harm other than bites are also actionable. If you suffered injuries other than bites, our lawyers would need to prove that the harm was the result of the negligence of the dog or other pet owner. We would need to prove it’s more likely than not: (1) the pet owner owed a duty to use reasonable care to control the pet’s behavior, (2) the pet owner breached the duty to use reasonable care, and (3) because of the breach, the pet injured you. When a dog has a history of acting aggressively, a dog owner’s acts that would ordinarily constitute appropriate measures to control the dog, such as leashing it, may not count as reasonable care.
Your damages could be reduced if the jury finds that you were comparatively negligent. For instance, if you reached out to pet a dog even though it was snarling at you and he jumped on you so that you fell and broke a leg, you could be found comparatively negligent.
In New Jersey, when a dog is considered a serious threat by animal control officers because of an unprovoked attack, it may be impounded. A civil procedure will be kicked off. After a hearing, the pet owner may be ordered to meet certain conditions, such as placing warning signs on his property and keeping the dog in a locked space. When there is a finding a dog is vicious because it seriously injured another without provocation, there may be an order it be destroyed. A dog owner that doesn’t obey a court’s order may face fines of up to $1000 for each day he or she violates the order.Consult a Seasoned Animal Attack Firm
If you believe you need to pursue damages for injuries you sustained due to an animal attack, you should discuss what happened to you with experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney Raymond Grimes. The Grimes Law Firm represent clients in Somerset County and throughout the state and the Tri-State area. Please call us at (908) 371-106 or complete our online form.