Even the roughest looking dogs are cute and cuddly – to their owners! And, the smallest, cutest pooches can pack a mean bite – just like the more notorious breeds like Rottweiler and pit bull.
If you are attacked by a dog, you have a right to defend yourself with any means possible. This could even include killing the dog if you believe you, or someone else, is in serious danger during a dog attack.
The truth is though, contrary to what we see on TV and in the movies, dogs rarely go on vicious hunts biting anyone in their path. Most dog bite situations happen in residential neighborhoods. The dog naturally protects its owner and its home. If it gets spooked – perhaps someone walked into a house unannounced or got to close to the dog while it was eating – the result can be a severe bite. Dog bites injuries cause broke breaks and lacerations that require stitches. If the dog hasn’t been vaccinated properly, the injured person could be at risk for rabies or other infection.
So, what do you do when you get bitten by a dog in New Jersey?
First, if your injuries are very serious – acute bleeding or even a life-threatening emergency – seek medical assistance immediately. Next, if possible, get the names and contact information for the dog’s owners and any witnesses. Get a good description of the dog and photos if possible. (This is especially important if the owners are not at the scene of the attack. With a description of the dog, you may be able to find the owner.) If you have to get to the hospital right away, try to get someone to collect that information. At the very least, get the dog owner’s phone number or photo of the dog.
Don’t think you were badly injured? Legal experts say it’s critical to collect the information anyway. During a dog attack, your adrenaline is at its highest. You may find you twisted your back trying to get away from the dog. Get the information in case you need to seek medical treatment in the days or weeks after the dog bite.
Can I hold the dog owner responsible for their dog?
Absolutely! In New Jersey, dog owners must take full responsibility for their pets. If you were bitten, make sure you keep copies of all medical bills and a record of doctor and hospital visits. With this documentation, a skilled personal injury lawyer at Lombardi & Lombardi can fight to get your medical expenses reimbursed.
In addition to medical bills, we will work tirelessly to make sure you are fairly compensated for your pain and suffering. People who sustain dog bites often suffer from emotional injuries as well. It’s not uncommon to experience panic attacks, sleeplessness and other symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after a dog bite.
One more important note: many people decide to forego a lawsuit because they don’t want to sue a friend or neighbor. Rest assured, that’s what they have insurance for! They won’t be writing you a personal check. You will be compensated by their homeowner’s insurance carrier.
Contact the experienced dog bite lawyers at Lombardi and Lombardi today for a free consultation about your injuries.