Dog bites are often more serious than they first appear. Prompt treatment is essential, but even a properly treated bite can lead to painful and expensive complications.
Despite this, victims may hesitate to take legal action for a variety of reasons.
Confusion about the law
If you can not prove that the dog’s owner was negligent, you may assume you can not recover damages.
However, because of New Jersey’s strict liability law, you need not prove negligence in a dog bite case. You only need to establish that the defendant owns the dog and that the bite occurred while you were somewhere you had a right to be, such as a public place or a private home with permission.
If the dog belongs to a neighbor, friend or relative, a lawsuit might be the last thing you want. However, if the bite occurred at the owner’s home, his or her insurance may cover your injuries. It may be possible to recover compensation without forcing the owner to pay anything out of pocket.
Underestimating medical expenses
At first glance, a dog bite might seem like a minor puncture wound. Unfortunately, the true costs of treating a dog bite are not always apparent right away. Animal bites are prone to infection, and a severe bite can have long-lasting complications. An animal attack can also cause psychological trauma, especially for children.
If you have just experienced a dog bite, it is normal to feel hesitant about pursuing legal action. Consider your options carefully before you make a decision.