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Despite being “man’s best friend,” domesticated dogs have the capacity to cause severe and even life-threatening injuries when they choose to attack other animals or people. Even a bite from a small dog could result in dangerous infections requiring months of intensive medical care, and larger dogs often have jaws strong enough to tear through muscle and shatter bones.
If you had to seek professional medical care for injuries related to a canine attack, a personal injury attorney in Cape May County may be able to help you seek civil compensation from the animal’s owner. Working with a Cape May County dog bite lawyer could help ensure that you comply with all applicable legal guidelines and build the strongest case for compensation possible in light of your unique circumstances.
When Are Dog Owners Considered Liable for Bites?
According to New Jersey Revised Statutes §4:19-16, dog owners bear strict liability for injuries their pets cause, even if the animal in question never showed aggressive tendencies before attacking. The term “strict liability” means a bite victim does not need to prove negligence by a dog owner to hold them liable for their animal’s injurious aggression.
Instead, the plaintiff only has to show that the defendant was the lawful owner of the dog or was responsible for controlling it at the time of the attack. It is also necessary to prove that the plaintiff did not provoke the dog into attacking or trespassing on the defendant’s property when the bite occurred.
Importantly, however, the statute of limitations for civil claims based on negligence also applies to cases based on strict liability. A Cape May County dog bite attorney could provide crucial assistance in complying with N.J.R.S. §2A:14-2 and seeking appropriate compensation within the two-year filing deadline set by state law.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Recovery After A Cape May County Dog Bite
While children and elderly adults are especially vulnerable to serious harm in the event of a dog bite, anyone who is attacked by a canine may suffer significant injuries that require a variety of expensive medical services to treat. A comprehensive lawsuit following a dog attack in Cape May County could seek restitution for all a bite victim’s medical expenses, including outpatient rehabilitative treatments and prescription pain medications. Other economic damages like lost income and damaged personal property may be recoverable as well, depending on the circumstances.
Perhaps even more crucially, a dog bite lawsuit could also allow for recovery of the subjective emotional and psychological consequences of a canine attack. A qualified lawyer in our area could help seek recovery for physical pain, psychological conditions like PTSD, other forms of emotional anguish, and permanent physical disability or disfigurement resulting from a dog attack.
If there was a death as a result of a dog attack, don’t hesitate to contact a Cape May County wrongful death lawyer.
Let a Cape May County Dog Bite Attorney Help
Even if they are domesticated and well-trained, dogs are strong enough to significantly injure and scar human beings if they ever become prone to attack. Fortunately, dog owners in New Jersey bear strict liability for the actions of their pets, so holding such an owner accountable for a canine attack is much easier here than in many other states.
If you want to get the most out of your civil claim, you should consider hiring a Cape May County dog bite lawyer from our team to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Call us today to learn more.