Dedicated New Jersey Lawyers Fight for Victims of Dog Bites
Pursuing full compensation for physical and emotional harm from attacks
Even the most loyal of dogs can bite someone who comes to their home or when they get loose. More than 4.5 million dog bites occur annually around the USA and the owners need to be held accountable for what has taken place. A dog bite can result in pain, scars, and even fear due to what took place. Owners have a responsible to control their dogs at all times and to prevent such problems from occurring.
Should you or someone you care about be the victim of a dog bite, it is essential to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You should also make a police report so there is documentation of the incident. The next step should be to find an excellent lawyer to represent you in the case. There can be compensation you are entitled to for your pain, suffering, injuries, and medical care. If there is long term nerve damage, that should also be compensated.
New Jersey is a dangerous state for dog attacks
According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are more than 90 million dogs held as pets in the United States, and those dogs bite about 4.5 million people a year. Although most dog bites require no medical intervention, more than 18,000 dog attacks result in insurance claims each year. In 2017, insurers settled dog bite injury claims for $686 million. In New Jersey, dog attacks are a significant problem; New Jersey ranked 9th in the United States that year in the number of dog bite claims and 5th in the dollar amount of insurance settlements, $29.9 million.
Serious injuries and wrongful death from dog attacks
Young children and older adults are most likely to die from a dog attack. In 2017, there were 39 dog-bite fatalities nationwide, of which 15 were eight years old or younger and 18 were age 50 and older. Among young children, victims are predominately boys (73 percent), while the victims among older adults are predominantly women (75 percent).
When dog attacks are not fatal, victims can suffer debilitating injuries that include:
- Blood loss
- Broken and crushed bones
- Lacerations and punctures
- Nerve damage
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Torn muscles, tendons and ligaments
- Psychological trauma
Large dogs can injure even when they don’t bite. Large breed dogs that jump up on people, knocking them to the ground, can cause serious injuries as well, for which the victim should be compensated.
What to do after a dog attack in New Jersey
A dog attack can be a harrowing experience, so it’s easy to get flustered or suffer a kind of mental paralysis. What you can do in the moment depends on how badly hurt you are, but you must remember that adrenaline often masks pain, so it might be hours before you realize just how badly injured you are. It’s vitally important to get immediate medical care, which for even a minor bite can include antibiotics and possibly a tetanus booster.
Other important considerations include:
- Identifying the dog — Cellphone pictures of the animal can be helpful
- Identifying the owner — If the dog is roaming free, this can be difficult. If a dog leaps a fence to attack you, make a note of the address. If the owner is present at the attack, make sure to get identifying information.
- Get contact information from witnesses — If anyone sees the attack and stops to assist, get contact information from them to strengthen your legal case later.
- Document your injury — In addition to creating a medical record by getting emergency care, you should take pictures of your injuries.
Most people will not have the presence of mind to preserve evidence for a potential lawsuit while they are reeling from a vicious attack. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced dog bite attorney as soon as possible, so your rights can be protected.
Always take a dog bite seriously
Don’t blow off a dog bite as it can be very serious. The injuries can be far more intense than you originally thought. There is the risk of infection, it can take time to heal, and the emotional trauma can linger. In some instances, dog bites can result in death or severe disfiguration. As soon as you are able, contact us about the possibility of a case. The owner of the dog is responsible for their behavior. As long as you didn’t provoke the dog, you aren’t considered to be at fault.
Contacting us right away can help to get your case moving forward. The full extent of the injuries may not be known immediately. With our help, you can get the medical care and the compensation you deserve. You may not be able to work or return to other activities for a period of time due to the dog attack.
Parents must inform children of the danger
As a parent, you need to always be aware of what is going on around you. Talk to your children too about the risk of dog bites. While you don’t want to scare them, you need them to be well aware of the risks. They need to know not to approach any dog they don’t know. Instead, they should wait for it to come up to them. They shouldn’t make noise or run as that can make the dog nervous.
An adult should be notified right away if there is a stray dog around the yard or if there is a odd acting strangely. Children need to avoid taking toys or food from dogs or bothering them while they are sleeping. Females can be very protective of their puppies, so children should always keep their distance.
Concerned about your dog? Reduce the risk of your dog biting
There are steps you can take to reduce the risk of your dog biting anyone. Learn about the temperament of various breeds. Don’t own any breed that is known for being aggressive. Keep your dog on a leash when you are walking them. If you let your dog out in the yard, make sure they can’t get out. Pay attention to how your dog is acting around others. If their behavior is unusual, take proactive steps to ensure nothing happens.
Settling an insurance claim for a dog attack
Very often, liability for a dog bite is covered by homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. An insurance company may contact you offering to work out a settlement. Initially, they may seem reasonable and conscientious, but you’ll soon find they are only interested in reducing the amount they have to pay. To get the full value for your claim, you need professional representation from a dedicated attorney who has your best interests at heart. Brach Eichler puts clients first. We’ve built our reputation on staunch advocacy in various injury cases where we’ve maximized the recovery for our clients.
Contact our determined NJ attorneys for your dog bite injury claim
Brach Eichler Personal Injury provides aggressive representation for victims of dog attacks throughout New Jersey. Let us help you obtain the full personal injury compensation you deserve. Call us today at 973-364-8300 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.