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A dog bit me, but it was my friend’s: what now?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2021 | Animal Bites & Attacks

Dogs bite. Even previously non-aggressive ones may strike out if they find themselves in a stressful or unfamiliar situation or are in pain or ill.

If your friend’s canine companion has sunk its teeth into you, a conflicting mix of emotions is probably running through your mind right now. It may be difficult to figure out your next step.

Take immediate medical action

The first thing you need to do, if you have not already done so, is disinfect your wound and bandage it. After this, you may want to seek care at an urgent care facility, hospital emergency room or doctor’s office. Even if it seems like an insignificant injury there are many potential consequences, including the possibility of developing tetanus or rabies. There is also a risk of infection from the bacteria that frequent most dogs’ mouths.

Consider trying to receive compensation

New Jersey law holds owners strictly liable for any bites their pets inflict on people even if they restrain them or warn others of danger. As a result, it entitles you to compensation. You may experience hesitation because you know and are close to the individual whose dog bit you. Your friend might not have to pay out of pocket. Many people have liability insurance for their dogs. Many homeowner’s insurance policies cover dog bites. Whether or not to seek compensation is a decision only you are able to make, but note that not all coverage applies to every case. Before filing you might want to discuss it with your friend.

If you decide to pursue a claim, keep in mind that you have two years from the date of the incident to file. Also, the state’s regulation on dog bites does not extend to any other kind of injury caused by the animal.