Dog Bites

 

Dogs are said to be man’s best friend.  Nevertheless, even dog lovers are seriously injured by dog bites and attacks every day.  History has shown that dog bites and attacks have the potential to cause significant disfigurement and psychological distress.

If you or someone you know has been seriously bitten and/or attacked by a dog, Schiller McMahon’s team of New Jersey dog bite lawyers can help.  Our attorneys have consistently obtained favorable outcomes on behalf of clients who have suffered injuries from dog bites.  Our firm boasts two former prosecutors equipped with extensive trial experience and proven results.  Schiller McMahon takes an innovative, investigative approach on behalf of our clients to achieve maximum success.

Due to the inherent dangerousness of dogs, New Jersey has enacted laws aimed at compensating dog bite/attack victims and punishing owners of dogs that had prior knowledge of their dog’s tendency to bite and/or attack humans.  Victims of dog bites are accorded rights statutorily (N.J.S.A. 4:16-19) and through common law.  In addition, dog bite victims can bring claims against the owners of vicious dogs under theories of negligence, gross negligence and infliction of emotional distress.  In some cases, victims are entitled to seek punitive damages against dog owners.  In all cases, however, the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company will defend a dog owner and provide compensation to a victim through settlement or after a jury award.

In some cases involving dog bites/attacks, owners of dogs are held strictly liability for the injuries caused by their dogs.  In those cases, victims need only prove that (i) an individual owned the dog, (ii) the dog bit and/or attacked them and (iii) the victim was in a public place or lawfully on the property where the bite occurred.  Under common law, dog owners or keepers are held strictly liable for injuries caused by their dog when the owner knew, or had reason to know, that their dog was dangerous.

Close loved ones that witness a serious dog bite or attack are also afforded certain legal rights in New Jersey.  Pursuant to Portee v. Jaffee, 84 N.J. 88 (1980), these individuals may bring an action against a dog owner if they witnessed the dog bite and suffer from severe emotional distress as a result.

In all personal injury lawsuits, time is of the essence.  In addition to filing suit prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations, victims should be mindful that as time passes, valuable evidence is often lost or destroyed.  Our attorneys work vigorously to protect your rights and maintain the value of your case by securing important pieces of evidence before these items go missing.

Schiller McMahon offers free, in-office consultations to individuals who have suffered injuries from a dog bite or attack in New Jersey.  All cases that the firm accepts are handled on a contingency fee basis, which essentially means that you do not pay legal fees unless and until a monetary award is recovered for you.