That dog bite could hurt more if you don’t recover any compensation.
Aww, that dog over there is cute. Wait, where’s his leash? And why is he running towards me? Where’s his owner??
We all know that dogs will bite, and depending on the dog or the victim, that bite can result in real physical injury and scarring. Often a plastic surgeon is needed for a scar revision when the scarring is severe. The issue is, who is responsible for these injuries and the resulting medical bills?
If you are bitten and injured by your own dog, there isn’t much you can do about that. However, if you are bitten by someone else’s dog, then that person likely will be held responsible. In New Jersey, you don’t have to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent to prove your personal injury case. The standard is strict liability against the dog owner for the injury, whether or not that dog owner was negligent.
However, you still need to have a source of payment, and usually collecting a judgment against a dog owner who is uninsured is difficult. If that dog owner owns a home and has property insurance, then that insurance policy would be the source of any funding you would go after. Unfortunately, this becomes way more complicated if the dog owner is a renter or tenant, and not a homeowner. In order to prove a case against the homeowner (that is the landlord), you will need to prove that the homeowner had notice and knowledge that the renter owned a dog and that the dog had a prior vicious propensity.
Often this is proven by circumstantial evidence, such as showing that the landlord periodically inspected the property and that there were obvious indications of the dog living at that location. But you will also need to prove that the dog had a vicious propensity. This can be shown by evidence that the dog was aggressive in the past. This propensity can also be demonstrated if you can prove that this dog had previously bitten someone else. But this kind of evidence is sometimes difficult to find, especially if the prior bites were not documented by the police or other authority.
Remember, dog bite cases can be hard to prove without an attorney representing you for your injury. Your attorney will make sure that you are obtaining the required proof to bring your claim for injuries as a result of the dog bite. If you are injured from a dog bite and need more information or guidance, please contact the Law Offices of William S. Peck to discuss your options and to protect your rights.