Experienced and Effective Newark Dog Bite Attorney
Get Full and Fair Compensation after Any Injured Caused by a Dog
We’ve all heard the old adage that “a dog is man’s best friend” and most of the time it holds true. Unfortunately, though, there are dog owners who either condone or even encourage aggressive behavior in their animals, or who fail to keep their animals properly penned in the yard or on a leash. Far too many people in Newark and across New Jersey have suffered serious injury from an unprovoked attack by a vicious dog. If you have been hurt in any way by someone else’s domestic canine, the Lee Law Firm, in Newark, New Jersey, can help.
Proven, Results-Oriented Dog Bite Lawyer in Newark
For over three decades, attorney Edward Lee has tenaciously protected the legal rights of injured men and women in Newark and throughout New Jersey, including people who have been hurt in any kind of dog attack. A proven and highly effective trial lawyer, Ed has been certified as a civil trial attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court since 2005. The National Association of Distinguished Counsel has listed him among the “Top One Percent” of attorneys and his clients rate him as Excellent on Avvo. He’s a Top Lawyer Lifetime Member of the Global Directory of Who’s Who and has long held the designation of New Jersey Super Lawyer.
If you have sustained any type of injury in an unprovoked confrontation with a dog, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 973-275-8452. There’s no charge or obligation for your first consultation.
How Do You Know When You Have a Dog Bite Injury Claim?
Like most other states, New Jersey applies the principle of “strict liability” when someone has been bitten by a dog.
As a general rule, most personal injury claims are based on “negligence,” which requires that the injured person prove that the person being sued failed to exercise ordinary care or to act as a reasonable person would have under the circumstances. Strict liability, however, requires no proof of negligence. Strict liability claims are commonly based on statutes, which typically set forth the circumstances under which the defendant will be liable. If the defendant meets the requirements of the statute, he or she will be responsible for any losses.
Under New Jersey’s strict liability dog bite statute, the dog’s owner has liability for any losses caused when his or her dog bites someone who was either:
- On public property or
- Legally visiting private property at the time of the attack
With strict liability in New Jersey, an injured party does not need to demonstrate to the court that the dog’s owner knew or should have known that the animal had exhibited aggressive behavior or tried to bite someone in the past.
Accordingly, if someone else’s dog bites you (even when on a leash), you can recover damages, with a couple exceptions. The dog’s owner will typically not be responsible if:
- You were trespassing on the dog owner’s property at the time of the attack
- You provoked the dog
What Losses Can Be Recovered after a Dog Bite or Attack?
In a personal injury lawsuit seeking damages after a dog bite or attack, you can ask for compensation for all injury and loss caused by the attack, including:
- Lost income or wages
- Medical expenses not paid for by insurance
- Physical and mental pain or anguish arising out of or related to the attack
- Your so-called “loss of enjoyment of life”—essentially, the inability to engage in normal activities of daily life or participate in hobbies, recreational sports or other things that brought enjoyment before the attack
- The loss of close physical contact with others as a result of your injuries, known as “loss of companionship or consortium”
- Any property damage or loss caused by the attack
The New Jersey strict liability statute only applies to dog bites. If you are injured in any other type of dog or animal attack, though, you can file a civil lawsuit alleging negligence. For example, if someone else’s dog knocked you down or mauled you, and you were hurt, you can file a personal injury lawsuit based on claims of negligence and recover damages.
Whether you file a strict liability claim or a lawsuit alleging negligence, you can seek compensation for virtually any type of injury, including sprains or strains, connective tissue injury, spinal cord and traumatic brain injury, permanent scarring and disfigurement, paralysis, mental anguish or amputation/loss of limb. The Lee Law Firm also represents surviving family members in accidental or wrongful death claims caused by dog attacks.
What Happens If You Were Partially At Fault for Causing a Newark Dog Bite or Attack?
Often, a jury will conclude that both parties to an accident had some responsibility for causing an accident. When that happens, the New Jersey comparative negligence laws apply, affecting the amount that the plaintiff (injured party seeking damages) can recover. In fact, if the injured party was primarily responsible for causing the accident or injury, recovery may be barred. Otherwise, fault will be allocated between the parties and the damages paid by the defendant will be reduced, based on the degree to which the injured party was liable.
What Legal Sanctions Can Be Imposed on a Dog’s Owner after a Bite or Attack?
In the aftermath of a dog bite or attack, an animal control officer will typically investigate the incident. If the officer concludes that the dog poses a threat because of an unprovoked attack on a person (or another animal), the officer can order the dog to be impounded. If that happens, the court will customarily hold a hearing to determine the extent to which the dog poses a risk to others. The animal control officer may compel the dog’s owner to:
- secure a special license for the dog
- post warning signs on his or her property
- lock the dog in a specific type of enclosure or
- keep the dog muzzled on a strong leash.
Failure to comply with the court order can lead to daily fines of up to $1,000. The New Jersey courts also have the discretion to order that a dog be euthanized.
Free Consultations Available—Newark, NJ Dog Bite Lawyer
Protect your legal rights when you have been the victim of a dog bite or animal attack. Call us at 973-315-9080 or contact the Lee Law Firm online to schedule a free initial consultation with the Lee Law Firm. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary. Evening and weekend appointments are available upon request. We accept all major credit cards. Nosotros hablamos Español!
Don’t let concerns about the costs of legal representation keep you from protecting your rights. We’ll handle your dog bite or animal attack claim on a contingency basis. You won’t pay any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.
The Lee Law Firm, LLC
It’s Not Just Business—It’s Personal!