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What Should I Do if I Am Bit by a Dog at Work?

Our Monmouth County Dog Bite Lawyers at Lombardi & Lombardi, P.A. Help Victims of Dog Attacks

Being bitten by a dog in the workplace can be a traumatic experience, and knowing how to respond promptly and correctly is crucial. In New Jersey, employees have specific rights and responsibilities regarding workplace injuries, including dog bites. This guide outlines the steps you should take if a dog bites you on the job and the legal options available.

Immediate Actions

  1. Seek Medical Attention
  • Your health and safety are the top priority. Even if the bite seems minor, getting medical attention immediately is essential. Dog bites can lead to severe infections, such as rabies or tetanus, which may not be apparent right away.
  • Document your medical treatment, including emergency room visits, medications, follow-up appointments, and any prescribed treatments.
  1. Report the Incident
  • Notify your employer about the incident as soon as possible. In New Jersey, employers are required to report workplace injuries to their Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier. Failure to report the incident promptly could affect your Workers’ Compensation benefits eligibility.
  • Provide a detailed account of the incident, including the circumstances of the bite, the location, and any witnesses. Ensure that your employer files an official report of the injury.
  1. Document the Incident
  • Take photographs of your injuries and the location where the bite occurred. If possible, obtain contact information from any witnesses.
  • Keep a written record of all communications with your employer and any insurance representatives. This documentation can be crucial if there are disputes about the incident later on.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation

In New Jersey, Workers’ Compensation laws benefit employees injured on the job, including injuries caused by dog bites. These benefits can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. To qualify for Workers’ Compensation, the injury must have occurred within the scope of your employment.

  • Medical Benefits: Workers’ Compensation should cover all necessary medical treatment related to the dog bite, including emergency care, surgeries, medications, and other required medical services.
  • Temporary Disability Benefits: If you cannot work due to the injury, you may be entitled to temporary disability benefits, which provide partial wage replacement.
  • Permanent Disability Benefits: If the dog bite results in a permanent impairment, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits.

Legal Action Against the Dog Owner

In addition to Workers’ Compensation, you may have the option to pursue a personal injury claim against the dog owner. New Jersey follows strict liability laws regarding dog bites, meaning the owner can be held liable even if the dog has no history of aggression.

  • Identify the Dog Owner: If the dog that bit you belongs to a co-worker, customer, or another individual, you must identify the owner. This information will be essential if you pursue a personal injury claim.
  • File a Personal Injury Claim: Consult an experienced attorney to determine if you have a viable case against the dog owner. A successful claim can provide compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any additional medical expenses not covered by Workers’ Compensation.

Protecting Your Rights

  1. Consult an Attorney
  • It is advisable to consult with an attorney. They can help you navigate the legal system's complexities and protect your rights.
  • An attorney can also assist in negotiating with insurance companies and representing you in court if necessary.
  1. Know Your Employer's Responsibilities
  • Employers in New Jersey have a duty to maintain a safe working environment. If your employer allowed the dog that bit you in the workplace, they might bear some responsibility for the incident.
  • Review your employer's policies regarding animals in the workplace and ensure that they are adhering to safety regulations.
  1. Understand the Statute of Limitations
  • New Jersey has specific time limits for filing Workers’ Compensation claims and personal injury lawsuits. Awareness of these deadlines is crucial to ensure you do not lose your right to compensation.
  • For Workers’ Compensation, you typically have two years from the date of the injury to file a claim. For personal injury claims, the statute of limitations is generally two years from the date of the incident.

Our Monmouth County Dog Bite Lawyers at Lombardi & Lombardi, P.A. Help Victims of Dog Attacks

Being bitten by a dog in the workplace is a serious matter that requires immediate and informed action. Consulting with a lawyer can provide valuable guidance and help you navigate the complexities of Workers’ Compensation and personal injury claims in New Jersey. Our Monmouth County dog bite lawyers at Lombardi & Lombardi, P.A. are here to help. Fill out our online form or call us at 732-906-1500 today for a free consultation. With offices located in Brick, Freehold, Point Pleasant, and Edison, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients across the state.



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