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What If The Dog’s Owner Is A Friend Or A Relative?

Personal Injury Compensation For Dog Bite Victims

In dog bite cases, it is common that the pet’s owner is a neighbor, a friend or a member of the extended family. Many people are so uncomfortable with the idea of “suing” someone they know that they never seek compensation for the injuries.

While the situation can be awkward, you must remember that (a) it is mostly an insurance matter and (b) dog bite injuries can add up to thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket losses if you waive your rights.

It’s OK To Bring A Claim
Talk to the attorneys of Smith Magram Michaud Colonna, P.C. We have experience with these delicate scenarios, recovering dog bite compensation for clients in Burlington County and throughout South Jersey.

Dog Bite Claims Against Friends And Family

New Jersey is a strict liability state, meaning that pet owners are responsible for injuries caused by their dogs. Dog bite compensation is typically paid from that person’s homeowner’s insurance policy. In other words, rather than suing the individual you are making a claim against their insurance. You do not have to accuse them of being “negligent” or harboring a “vicious” animal. The owner is responsible for the dog even if it is normally known to be sweet and docile.

The insurance company will typically negotiate a settlement on behalf of the homeowner. Our role is to make sure our client is fully compensated. Dog bites, especially bites to the face, can cause nerve damage and disfiguring injuries. Some victims will require reconstructive surgery. Some will be left with physical scars. Some will suffer emotional scarring, such as nightmares and lifelong fear of dogs. The aftermath of a dog bite can include medical costs, counseling, lost income and other damages that are too much for the victim’s family to absorb. It is also normal and appropriate in injury claims to seek damages for pain and suffering.

Keep Your Options Open

The injuries may turn out to be worse than you thought. Arrange a free consultation with our experienced dog bite lawyers to explore and preserve your rights if you were bitten by a friend’s dog or a relative’s dog. We will handle everything for you, always in a professional manner that considers your ongoing relationship with the dog’s owner. Call our Burlington law office at 609-589-0649 or contact us online.