Protecting Your Rights When You Have Been Bitten by a Dog
Statistics show that nearly 5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States every year. While the number of fatalities is customarily around 25 to 30 per year, many of the injuries suffered are serious and permanent, including scarring and disfigurement. New Jersey and Pennsylvania both impose strict liability on dog owners for injuries caused by their dogs, but the rules are slightly different in each state. If you have been hurt in an attack by someone else’s dog, we can help.
At the Law Offices of Adam M. Kotlar, we have more than 17 years of experience protecting the rights of personal injury victims in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including people who have suffered dog bites. Our lawyers have over 60 years of combined legal experience. We focus on results, and will use our skill, knowledge, experience and resources to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses. To learn about the experiences others have had when working with us, see our testimonials page.
Recovering Damages after a Dog Attack
The strict liability laws governing dog bites in New Jersey and Pennsylvania mean the same thing—the owner of a dog is responsible for any injuries sustained when his or her dog bites another person, whether the dog has any history of violent behavior, or whether the owner knows the dog to exhibit vicious behavioral tendencies. In Pennsylvania, this rule comes principally from a statute known as the “Dog Law.” In New Jersey, the legislature has also enacted a specific statute addressing the liability of dog owners.
Under the New Jersey statute, all you must show to recover for a dog bite injury is that the defendant owned the dog that bit you, and that you were either lawfully on the defendant’s property at the time of the attack, or were in a public place. There are specific instances where strict liability does not apply, including situations where:
- You were trespassing at the time of the attack
- You did not suffer any injuries as a result of the attack
- The injuries were caused at least in part by someone else’s negligence, including the plaintiff
In Pennsylvania, if a dog has a history of biting, or has indicated a tendency to do so, an injured person may file suit to recover full compensation for all losses. If, however, there is no prior history of attacks, the remedy available will typically hinge on the severity of the injury. A “severely injured” person can seek damages for medical expenses, plus all other losses and legal damages. A person whose injury is not deemed severe can only recover medical expenses.
Contact Our Office Today
We have the experience and knowledge you want to help you get the outcome you need. Contact our office online or call us at Local # : (856) 751-7676 for a free initial consultation. We have office locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.