Dog bite attorneys often confront a crucial issue. Imagine that you are taking a stroll in your neighborhood. It could be anywhere in New Jersey, Fair Lawn, Paterson, Clifton, Paramus, you name it.
All of a sudden, a dog darts out of its owner’s property and attacks you. You suffer deep wounds on your face, arms, legs, and torso. You need to go to the nearest hospital emergency room for treatment.
The doctors are forced to place many stitches to close your wounds. Even after the wounds heal, you have visible scarring in the affected areas. You must take antibiotics to prevent infection.
Months later, a plastic surgeon operates on you to reduce the scarring. Even so, not all the scarring goes away. Permanent scars remain all over your body. Some of them remain on your face.
You realize that the law limits the time you have to take legal action. Therefore, right after the dog bite, you search for dog bite attorneys.
You find a local dog bite attorney with many years of experience. The attorney files a claim against the owner of the dog that bit you.
However, the large insurance company that represents the dog owner claims that you have no case because the dog never bit anyone before. In fact, the dog owner claims that the dog was never even vicious before in any way. He claims that the dog actually was quite gentle to everyone else before it fit you.
Does the dog owner have a leg to stand on? Can you still win your case even if what he says about the dog is true?
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No “First Bite” Law Bars NJ Dog Bite Attorneys from Suing
In some states, the answers to the preceding questions are yes or no. That is to say, in those states, if a dog was never vicious prior to biting you, and, therefore, the owner had no way of knowing that it would attack you, you likely would not be able to successfully sue the owner.
Fortunately for you, in New Jersey, a dog bite victim does not have to prove that the dog bit anyone before. Indeed, you wouldn’t have to prove even that the dog was in any way vicious prior to attacking you.
Accordingly, under the facts as I presented them above, you would likely be able to sue the owner of the dog and recover compensation. Compensation for your pain and suffering, medical expenses not covered by insurance, lost wages, etc.
There are a few exceptions to the general rule. For example, if a dog bite victim was trespassing at the time of the bite, or if the victim provoked the dog to bite, he or she may not be able to recover compensation.
However, generally speaking, a New Jersey dog bite victim will be able to obtain compensation even if the dog in question never before exhibited any viciousness.
At least some aspects of life are fair in the Garden State.