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A study was conducted by the Center for Disease Control and revealed that approximately 4.7 million dog bite incidents take place each year in the United States. About 80,000 of those cases necessitate medical treatment.
If you suffered injuries because of a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation, depending on the facts of your case. However, it might be challenging to assert your right to legal recovery without the professional guidance of a skilled Pennsauken Township dog bite lawyer. A seasoned personal injury attorney from our team could help you pursue legal action against a negligent dog owner.
Strict Liability Versus Negligence
There is a fundamental difference between strict liability and negligence. Under negligence, the plaintiff has to prove four elements:
The basis of a negligence claim rests on a claimant proving to the court that the defendant breached a duty of care which he or she owed to the plaintiff and caused him or her harm as a result.
In strict liability cases, a plaintiff is not required to prove the elements of duty and breach, only causation. Strict liability holds defendants responsible for their misconduct regardless of the duty of care they may have owed at the time. As long as they committed a strict liability offense, which includes dog bites in some states, they can be required to reimburse a plaintiff for any subsequent damages.
Under New Jersey Statutes §4:19-16, pet owners can be held liable if someone suffers a dog bite while lawfully visiting a private or public place, regardless of whether the animal has a history of viciousness. A Pennsauken Township dog bite attorney could present evidence on behalf of an injured plaintiff and establish a defendant’s strict liability. After establishing negligence, an experienced lawyer could help you recover the damages you deserve.
Dog Bite Defenses in Pennsauken Township
Although New Jersey has a dog bite statute that makes owners strictly liable, there are circumstances where a defendant could raise a defense to escape liability. A well-versed dog bite lawyer in Pennsauken Township would be familiar with potential defenses that might arise in your case and could effectively refute them in court on your behalf.
Defendants in dog bite cases commonly allege that the claimant was trespassing at the time of the incident. As the statute indicates, a person must be lawfully visiting the place where the dog bite occurs in order to receive compensation. For instance, if a plaintiff was bitten while at the defendant’s house, he or she must have been invited or given permission to be at the private residence. If a plaintiff was trespassing on private or public property at the time of the dog bite, he or she would not be covered under the statute, and the owner may not be liable for his or her injuries.
Another common defense for dog bites is known as a provocation. If someone is teasing, abusing, or otherwise provoking a dog to attack, the owner would not be responsible for any damages that result from his or her behavior.
Reach Out to a Pennsauken Township Dog Bite Attorney Today
Dog bite cases are relatively common in Pennsauken Township. And thousands of cases are pursued each year. If you are facing barriers to legal relief in your case, an accomplished Pennsauken Township dog bite injury lawyer could help you overcome those obstacles.
We could advocate for your rights and help you strategize against the opposing party. Find out more about your potential case by calling our firm today.