Dog Bites: When Further Investigation is Needed
Dogs and other pets bring a lot of joy to people’s lives, but unfortunately, bites and attacks can occur unexpectedly. Our personal injury attorneys at Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman have successfully recovered compensation for clients in hundreds of dog attack lawsuits. Although the facts of some cases are straightforward, it sometimes takes further investigation to uncover evidence and the identity of a dog’s owner.
New Jersey Dog Bite Law
In New Jersey, the concept of strict liability applies to most dog attack lawsuits. This means that a dog’s owner is liable for any damages due to the actions of their dog. In any personal injury case, there are several elements involved in proving liability. In dog bite cases, this can prove challenging when there are no witnesses to an attack or a dog, and the owner has not been identified.
Identifying A Dog Involved In An Attack
Correctly identifying the dog and its owner is the most important element of a dog attack lawsuit. Dog bites usually occur when the dog’s owner is present, but if you’re unsure of whether a dog is a stray or who it belongs to, it’s critical to talk to any witnesses or people who live in the area who may be able to identify the dog. Immediately following a dog bite, take photos of the scene and your injuries if possible. Document the address where the attack happened. If the bite occurred in a public park or other place, make sure to note where it happened, even if you don’t have an address. Write down everything you can remember about what the dog looked like, including its color, size, distinguishing marks, and breed.
Get the name, address, and contact information of the person who had custody of the dog at the time, as well as the name, address, and contact information of the dog’s owner, if different. If the dog was accompanied by a person who fled the scene, write down a description of the person as well.
Seeking Medical Treatment And Contacting Animal Control
Seeking medical treatment is also critical to get the care you need and document your injuries. Most health care providers are required to report animal attacks to the local animal control agency, which can be helpful in backing up your claim. It’s also important for you to contact animal control or law enforcement in the jurisdiction where the attack occurred. Making an official report provides crucial documentation of the incident and your injuries. It can also help you discover whether the animal has attacked someone before.
How An Attorney Can Help With Investigating A Dog Attack
Dog bites and animal attacks can cause serious injuries that require costly medical treatment, such as multiple surgeries, hospital stays, and rehabilitation. An animal attack can also cause permanent damage, including scarring, PTSD, other debilitating conditions, or death. That’s why it’s critical to correctly identify the dog that attacked you and their owner. Homeowners insurance often covers damages due to dog bites, even if the attack didn’t occur on the owner’s premises.
Personal injury attorneys often employ the services of investigators who can track down the owner of a dog by canvassing a neighborhood and finding out more about the dog and its owner. They may even be able to observe the dog in its yard and document any broken gates or fences where a dog may have escaped. Investigators often have connections with local law enforcement and animal control, which can give them an advantage when attempting to access public records, such as dog license information, previous documentation of bites or attacks, and other valuable evidence.
A personal injury lawyer also investigates to determine all potentially liable parties, which is critical to recovering maximum compensation for any injuries that may have occurred. Your attorney also knows how to accurately value your claim and handle any negotiations with the liable parties and/or their insurers. Insurance companies often attempt to deny or devalue claims in dog attack lawsuits. A seasoned personal injury lawyer is familiar with these tactics. They’ll understand how to counter them and develop effective legal strategies to protect your rights and interests.
Contact Our Dog Bite Attorneys To Learn More
If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a dog attack, our personal injury lawyers at Krivitzky, Springer & Feldman can help. Contact us online or call us at 201-798-2711 in Jersey City or 973-874-0556 in Newfoundland, New Jersey. We also serve clients in Jefferson, Vernon, Kinnelon, and throughout the state of New Jersey. Se habla Español.