Edison Dog Bite Injury lawyers
Many dog owners adore their furry friends and take care to keep them and everyone around them safe. Unfortunately, accidents happen. Some dog owners fail to take reasonable precautions to keep their pets in line and others safe. That lack of care may result in dog attacks and bites, which can cause significant injury to victims.
What should you do after a dog bite in Edison? How can you recover compensation? If you suffered serious dog bite injuries in Edison, contact our Edison Dog Bite Injury Lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today at (732) 287-6890 to learn more about your right to compensation.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP: Your Edison Dog Bite Accident Lawyers
At Jacoby & Meyers, LLP, our Edison Personal Injury Lawyers understand the suffering victims can experience following a dog attack. Dog bites can not only cause immense physical pain and risk of infection, but they may leave victims with emotional trauma and a fear of dogs that can impact their ability to go about daily life. While we cannot turn back the clock on the attack, we can help you seek the compensation you deserve for those injuries.
Our experienced Edison dog bite attorneys will review the accident and your attack to determine whether you have grounds for a claim, help compile the evidence, and put together an effective claim to recover the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If necessary, we can represent you in court. Our firm can also take over dealing with the insurance company or dog owner on your behalf, alleviating your stress so that you can focus on moving forward with life after your injuries.
“I had an amazing experience with Jacoby & Meyers, LLP. I would highly recommend them for anyone needing a law firm.” -Paul T.
New Jersey Dog Bite Laws: The Basics
According to New Jersey law, liability for a dog bite rests with the dog’s owner. It does not matter if the dog has caused serious injury to someone else in the past or if the dog comes from one of the most dangerous breeds. The dog’s owner must control the dog in all public spaces and in private spaces where others may legally be present.
As such, you can seek compensation in Edison after a dog bite that occurs in public or a dog bite that you suffer on private property when you otherwise have the right to be on the property.
It is also worth noting that it does not matter, for purposes of liability, whether the dog’s owner negligently cared for the dog or did not take steps to prevent you from suffering an attack. If you suffered injuries in a dog attack in Edison, New Jersey law provides that the dog’s owner bears liability for all those injuries.
Seeking Compensation After an Edison Dog Attack
If you sustain serious injuries in a dog attack in Edison, you may have the right to compensation. In many cases, the dog’s owner clearly bears liability for the actions of the animal. New Jersey law places a strict burden on the dog owner to ensure their dog is restrained and does not harm others. You can seek compensation for the direct financial losses you faced because of the dog attack as well as compensation for pain and suffering related to the attack.
Compensation for Medical Expenses
Severe dog bites can mean a trip to the emergency room for treatment. Dogs’ jaws can clamp down with a great deal of force, which may mean bruising, broken bones, and puncture wounds. If you suffered puncture injuries, you may need stitches and potentially treatment in the emergency room to stop the bleeding. More serious injuries may require ongoing medical treatment, such as surgery to repair broken bones or therapy to regain strength in an injured limb. Those medical costs add up quickly. You can and should seek compensation for them through your Edison dog bite claim.
Lost Wages Related to the Dog Bite Accident
Injuries from a dog attack can get in the way of your usual work duties, as such injuries often make it difficult to take care of daily tasks. You may need to miss work for a couple of days after the attack to ensure that you receive needed medical care. In some cases, a dog attack can prevent you from working for a prolonged time, especially if your injuries are severe. As part of your Edison dog bite claim, you can demand compensation for the wages you lose due to your injuries.
Other Financial Losses
The dog attack may not just mean that you suffered damage to your body. Dogs may destroy possessions, such as expensive electronics, in the attack. As part of your claim against the dog’s owner, you can demand compensation for lost or damaged personal property.
Pain and Suffering
A claim following a dog bite may also demand compensation for pain and suffering. Dog bites can cause immense physical pain, especially if you incur significant punctures, broken bones, or infection along from the bite. Dog bites also often cause significant emotional trauma.
Many people may struggle after a dog attack to be around other dogs at all, or have a hard time with going to places that remind them of the attack. That emotional suffering, including symptoms of PTSD, can make it very difficult for the survivor to cope. Talk to an experienced Edison dog bite attorney about how to include elements of pain and suffering as part of your claim.
Potential Impacts of Dog Bites
When thinking of a dog bite, you may immediately imagine the puncture wounds from the dog’s fangs. Dog bites, however, may cause more serious issues than you think, especially if you do not take the right steps to properly clean the wound after the attack.
The force of a dog’s jaws can easily break bones. While some dogs, like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Havanese, may have smaller mouths, which can make it harder for them to get their jaws around a limb and apply enough pressure to break it, other, larger dogs, such as Rottweilers and Golden Retrievers, have large and strong enough jaws to wrap around a limb and apply pressure sufficient to break bones. As these dogs have been rated among the most popular dogs in New Jersey, you may encounter them in an Edison dog attack.
Broken bones cause immense pain and a longer recovery time, and can also significantly limit the victim’s activities during recovery. Many people with broken bones struggle to get around and maintain their independence. They may have a hard time taking care of daily self-care tasks or struggle to deal with their usual work responsibilities. A broken arm, for example, can make it difficult to type and operate a computer comfortably, while a broken leg can make it hard to stand up, move around the facility, or take care of customers.
When a dog bite breaks the skin, bacteria from the dog’s mouth can enter the open wound and quickly cause infection. Washing the wound as quickly as possible can reduce the risk of infection, but it may not eliminate it, especially in the case of deeper bites. Infection may start with swelling and redness around the wound or with difficulty moving the affected part of the body. As the infection progresses, it can lead to fever, shaking, and night sweats. Infection can slow recovery and lead to a long stay in the hospital, especially the longer it goes unchecked.
A deep dog bite can cause serious damage to the nerves beneath the skin. Nerve damage can lead to tingling or loss of sensation in the affected area. In some cases, nerve damage can also lead to chronic pain for the victim.
The rabies virus can quickly prove fatal once symptoms appear. Dogs are required to be vaccinated for rabies—but some owners fail to get their dogs vaccinated. Dog bit victims who contract the virus and do not receive prompt vaccination often die. Symptoms of rabies may include fever, confusion, muscle spasms, headache, or paralysis. Victims may also note excess salivation. After an attack, a dog will often have to go through a quarantine period to determine whether it has rabies. If a dog shows symptoms of rabies, an autopsy can confirm rabies and ensure that the attack victim receives the right treatment and prompt vaccination.
Dog bites often leave substantial scarring behind, especially if the bite covers a large portion of the skin or goes deep into the victim’s flesh. In some cases, scarring can have an immense psychological impact on the victim, especially if it occurs on a particularly visible area, such as the face. Many dog attack victims struggle with the change in appearance and the constant reminder of the attack. Sometimes, victims may need to reduce scarring through plastic surgery. Plastic surgery, however, may not permanently erase all signs of scarring, and it can prove extremely expensive, further increasing the victim’s medical costs and leading to further pain and suffering.
Who Pays for Edison Dog Bite Injuries?
Per New Jersey law, Edison dog owners bear liability for any injury caused by that dog in an attack. The dog’s owner must exercise all due caution to ensure that the dog does not place others at risk, whether on the owner’s property or in another location.
However, that does not necessarily mean that the dog’s owner will pay for the injuries directly. Instead, you may need to turn to the dog owner’s insurance company. Homeowner’s insurance may help cover the damage caused by a dog owned by the policyholder, particularly if the injuries occur on the property in question.
If you have questions about who should pay for your dog bite injuries, the experienced Edison dog bite attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP can help answer your questions, get you in touch with the right insurance company, and identify all potentially liable pirates.
Keep in mind that dealing with an insurance company after a dog attack may not be as simple as just submitting a claim and waiting for a check in the mail. Instead, victims often have a long road ahead in negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement.
Contrary to your rights, the insurance company may try to reduce the compensation you receive for your injuries by suggesting that you do not deserve compensation for pain and suffering, or that your medical bills may not reflect injuries caused by the accident but instead are due to pre-existing conditions or self-inflicted harm. The insurance company may also try to avoid liability altogether by arguing that you did not have a legal reason to visit the dog owner’s property: the only strategy a dog owner can use to get out of paying compensation for the injuries sustained during a dog attack.
An attorney can make it easier to navigate your interactions with the insurance company and increase the compensation you can receive. If you need to deal with a dog owner directly, an attorney can also help guide you through that complex process.
Edison Dog Bite FAQs
If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite attack, you likely have many questions about how you can vindicate your right to compensation under New Jersey law. Read below for answers to some of the most frequently asked of these questions. Do you have specific questions about your Edison dog bite case? Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP today for a free case evaluation.
1. My friend’s dog bit me—do I have to report the dog bite?
While you can choose whether to file a claim regarding an Edison dog bite, New Jersey law requires a physician who tends to your dog bite wound to report the bite to the appropriate legal authorities within twelve hours of tending to you. If you do not see a physician for your dog bite wound, you must report the bite to the appropriate legal authorities within twelve hours of the bite.
Keep in mind, too, that you deserve compensation for the losses you sustain after a dog bite, which often prove to be extensive. Dog bite victims often have considerable medical bills to deal with, as well as the potential for significant lost wages due to their dog bite injuries. If the bite happened at your friend’s house, they likely carry homeowner’s insurance, which may help protect your friend from the immediate financial repercussions of compensating you for your dog bite.
Discuss your right to compensation, including whether you should file an Edison dog bite claim and how it may impact you and your friend, with an attorney to give you a better idea of how to proceed.
2. Can I recover compensation for an Edison dog bite even if the dog does not have a history of violence?
Under New Jersey law, you can seek compensation for the financial losses you suffered in an Edison dog attack, even if the dog does not have a history of violence. New Jersey dog owners have a legal duty to control their animals on both public and private property. If you suffer an injury because of a dog attack in a place you otherwise had a right to be, from the owner’s property to a public dog park, you may have the right to compensation for those injuries.
3. I suffered a dog attack at an Edison dog park, where dogs are allowed to run off the leash. Do I have the right to file a claim?
In many dog parks in and near Edison, such as at Metuchen-Edison Community Dog Park and Brookdale Dog park, dogs may run free, and owners do not need to restrain their dogs. However, owners must still ensure their dogs do not present a threat to safety. Dog owners should not bring dangerous or violent dogs to a dog park and allow them to run freely while other animals and their owners use the space. Regardless of where the dog attack occurred, if you are in a public space, the dog’s owner may have to provide compensation for your injuries.
4. What should I do after an Edison dog attack?
Following a dog attack, you should protect your health and your legal interests by taking these steps.
- Step One: Take immediate steps to staunch any bleeding. Use emergency first aid to help slow any bleeding and prevent further harm. If you have access to running water or appropriate disinfectants, you may also want to take time to clean and bandage a minor wound.
- Step Two: Collect relevant information from the dog’s owner. Ask the dog owner whether the dog has received all its shots and has no symptoms of rabies. If the dog shows symptoms of rabies, you should seek immediate treatment and may need to take a series of rabies vaccines. You should also collect the name, address, and phone number of the dog’s owner as well as information related to any pertinent insurance the owner may carry.
- Step Three: Seek medical attention from a professional, if needed. In some cases, you may choose to handle a minor dog bite on your own. But if you suffered serious injuries, like deep puncture wounds, you should always seek attention from an experienced medical professional. Visiting a doctor or the hospital can help ensure you don’t suffer an infection and incur any other injuries from the attack. Some impacts may not be noticeable at first.
- Step Four: Snap photos of your injuries. If you are able, take pictures or have someone with you take pictures of your injuries. Make sure you capture any additional injuries you may have acquired while trying to get away from the dog, such as scrapes from the pavement. Take photos of the initial injuries and the injuries at each stage of healing—when you change the bandages or have any stitches removed, for example.
- Step Five: Report the attack. Report the dog attack to the local police station. The police report can serve as a record of the attack. The police may also help advise the dog owner about how to keep the dog safe and avoid potential attacks in the future.
- Step Six: Contact an experienced Edison dog bite attorney. Do not try to handle a dog bite claim on your own, especially if you sustained serious injuries. You are best off having an attorney on your side who will stand up for your rights and help you seek the compensation you deserve. An attorney can help ensure that you recover the full extent of compensation you deserve for your injuries.
5. Do I have the right to compensation for an Edison dog bite if I did not have an invitation to the owner’s property?
In general, New Jersey law assumes that the dog owner bears liability for any injuries caused by the dog to a person who had the legal right to enter the property. That may include mail delivery people and individuals doing business on the property.
If, on the other hand, you trespassed on a person’s property or entered it for an unlawful reason, you may not have grounds for an Edison dog bite claim.
That said, it’s worth your time to talk to an attorney in any dog attack case. An attorney can evaluate your case and determine if you can pursue even partial compensation.
6. The dog owner’s insurance company got in touch with me shortly after the attack and offered me an immediate settlement—should I take it?
Often, insurance companies will try to get in touch with a dog bite victim as soon after an attack and make a settlement offer. In many cases, because of New Jersey’s strict liability dog bite law, an insurance company may offer compensation for your medical expenses and the cost of any lost wages you faced because of your injuries. However, their offer might not encompass the full extent of compensation you are eligible for, such as for pain and suffering.
An insurance company also may attempt to minimize the extent of your injuries and medical costs, especially if the offer comes before you determine what your medical recovery from the dog attack will look like.
Talk to an attorney before accepting an offer from the dog owner’s insurance company. Even if the offer seems like a lot, your attorney can help you see where the insurance company may be holding out, and provide you representation to negotiate for the full amount you deserve.
7. Do I have to report an Edison dog attack?
Yes. Under New Jersey law, parents have an obligation to report a dog that attacks their children, and physicians must report a dog bite of a patient they tend to. Even if you suffer dog bite injuries as an adult, you must report the attack.
However, reporting the attack will serve several important purposes.
- First, it will establish that the dog has a history of biting, which means that the owner may need to take additional care in restraining it both on his property and in public.
- Second, it will serve to indicate when your injuries took place. If you go on to develop a serious infection or other complications from the attack, it will be valuable to have a record already in place so that you can more easily pursue compensation for your injuries.
8. How long do I have to file for compensation after an Edison dog attack?
In general, you should contact an attorney and start moving forward with a claim as soon after your attack as possible. As time goes by, it can prove more difficult to collect evidence related to the attack. However, you are allowed to file a lawsuit for the dog bite accident any time within the statute of limitations, which in most cases will be two years from the date of the accident. Contact an attorney to learn more about how the statute of limitations will apply to your specific claim as well as any additional steps you may need to take to protect your right to compensation.
9. Can you sue for a minor dog bite?
Most of the time, people who suffer minor injuries due to a dog attack, such as small bite wounds with relatively minor damage, will not sue. After all, the damage done is minor, and will not end up costing them much to treat or prevent them from working, and the damages you can recover are generally based on the losses you incur based on the severity of an injury.
10. Will the dog that bit me get euthanized if I report it?
Most of the time, a dog without a history of violent attacks will not get put down because of a single bite in Edison. Other measures will first be considered. However, a dog with a long history of attacks, whose owner does not control it properly, may need to be put down.
11. How long will it take to receive compensation for a dog bite claim?
Often, it can prove simpler to deal with a dog bite claim than other types of claims, since dog bites are strict liability offenses. For the most part, you need only to prove that the dog did bite you. If you suffered a bite while on the owner’s property, you may need to show that you had the legal right to enter the property, based on your specific actions at that time or permission given by the owner. In some cases, trespassers, especially minor children, may still receive compensation for injuries sustained in a dog bite.
However, some insurance companies may try to draw out the investigation, leading to a longer waiting period before you receive compensation for your injuries. Even if they do not object to liability, they may try to minimize the amount they have to pay out. If you suffered severe injuries in the attack, you may need to see how your recovery progresses before making a demand for compensation, since you will need to have a good idea of what your future medical bills may amount to and what other long-term losses you may face. These are expenses that should be accounted for in your compensation demand.
12. Who pays for my medical bills after an Edison dog attack?
While the owner of the dog bears liability for any medical expenses you may sustain due to the dog attack, you, as the person receiving medical treatment, will need to make arrangements to pay your medical bills pending your recovery of compensation. If you carry health insurance, it may pay your initial medical bills after the accident, minus your deductible.
13. Will I have to go to court to settle my dog bite claim?
In most cases, dog bite claims settle out of court. Going to court can substantially increase the legal expenses faced by the liable party in any claim, so they most often prefer to settle. However, a small percentage of dog bite claims may need to go to court to be resolved. If your Edison dog bite claim does have to go to court, you are best off having an experienced dog bite attorney represent you.
Jacoby & Meyers, LLP Can Help You Seek Compensation After an Edison Dog Bite
With all of the expenses and changes you will have to face following a severe dog bite in Edison, Jacoby & Meyers, LLP can provide the legal representation you need to recover the compensation you need and deserve. Our skilled dog bite attorneys can offer experienced counsel that will help you get a better idea of the strength of your claim and how much compensation you may recover. If you move forward with our firm, we can provide all the legal services you may need, from representation in court to negotiation with defendants and their insurers.
If you suffered serious injuries in an Edison dog attack, an experienced Edison dog bite lawyer can help you manage your claim.Contact Jacoby & Meyers, LLP online or call at (732) 287-6890 for a free case evaluation.
Edison, NJ 08817
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