Millions of people are bitten by dogs each year and over 800,000 of those people require medical treatment for their dog bite injuries. Many dog bites claims are paid out through homeowners’ insurance policies, which is why insurance companies pay out over $500M per year in dog bite claims. Dog bite lawyers know that when cases involve insurance companies, injured plaintiffs need an experienced dog bite attorney to handle their cases.
On the positive side, when insurance companies are responsible for paying the claim, once the case has settled or the plaintiff secures a trial award, the insurance company will have the money to pay the claim. The downside, however, is that insurance companies are in the business of collecting premiums from policyholders and paying out as little as possible for claims. Their concern is not making sure that the plaintiff is fairly compensated which is why it is important for plaintiffs to have an experienced dog bite attorney representing their interests. Dog attack experts will examine the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries and damages and will help place a fair value on the claim so that any settlement offer that the plaintiff accepts will fully compensate him or her.
What to do if you are attacked
If you are bitten or attacked by a dog, important steps to take include:
- Seek medical treatment immediately. Even small punctures can lead to serious disease and infection.
- Get the dog owner’s contact information and veterinarian information so that you can confirm that the dog’s vaccinations are up to date and you are not at risk for rabies.
- If possible, get the contact information for any witnesses to the dog attack incident.
- Report the dog bite to local authorities that will investigate the claim and take appropriate action.
Dog bite injuries
Dog bites can be relatively minor, especially when the bite is more of a nip and medical treatment is not required. More serious bites include broken/punctured skin, broken bones, shredded muscles and tendons, and even death. Some of these injuries can lead to permanent disabilities and subsequent surgeries.
New Jersey strict liability for dog bites
Dog owners are responsible for injuries and damages caused by a dog attack so long as victim was legally on the property at the time the bite occurred. Basically, if you were not a trespasser, strict liability applies. A landlord may also be responsible for failing to warn those inside of his or her building that there is a dangerous dog or for failing to keep people working inside his or her building safe from dangers.
Strict liability exceptions
There may be an exception to strict liability if the owner can prove that the dog attack victim provoked the dog. Provoking a dog may include physically harming the dog or taunting and teasing the dog. Additionally, although an element of strict liability is that the victim was legally on the property, there may be an exception for child trespassers who are not mature enough to appreciate the concept and dangers of trespassing.
If you or a loved one was injured in a dog attack, contact a Lawrenceville dog attack attorney at The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. to discuss your claim and injuries sustained. When dangerous dogs attack, owners and their insurance companies should be responsible for seeing that you and your family receive the financial recovery that you deserve.