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Right to legal recourse for an animal bite injury

Law Offices of James M. Curran

There is a large portion of the population in New Jersey and across the country who love their pets. A pet can be a wonderful addition to a household, but when the animal injures a person, the pet’s owner may be held liable for any resulting damages. An animal bite can be quite severe and can cause significant physical pain, financial burden and emotional distress. Those who have incurred this type of injury do have the right to legal recourse.

Those who have been injured by an animal bite are advised to seek immediate medical attention. The failure to do so could only make the injury worse, often leading to infection and, in severe circumstances, death. Along with seeking treatment, those injured may be able to recover any losses suffered, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost income and damages to property.

Those who may be held liable for an animal bite include pet owners, animal keepers, landlords and property owners. Those entitled to compensation are those who were bit by an animal in a public place — with or without it’s owner — and those who have suffered this type of injury while lawfully on the pet owner’s private property. This applies regardless of whether a pet owner has knowledge of his or her pet’s past or current vicious behavior.

An animal bite is not something to take lightly and is something that will not be easily dismissed in court, as public safety is a top priority in New Jersey. Indeed, New Jersey is known as a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. Those injured by an animal may pursue personal injury and any other applicable legal claims in civil court. Upon successfully establishing proof of negligence in court, an animal bite victim or — in the event of fatality — the victim’s surviving family members may be granted monetary relief for any losses sustained.

Source: FindLaw, “Dog Bites and Animal Attack Overview“, Accessed on July 12, 2015

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