Dog Bites: What you need to know about the possible dangers and your rights
I’ve written before on the importance of educating you and your family of the potential dangers associated with dog bites. I cannot stress enough the need to be cautious when interacting with dogs you do not know. The advent of “pet friendly” locations such as stores, restaurants, parks and beaches only increase the risk for dangerous human-animal interactions.
If you, or someone you know, has been a victim of a dog bite, be sure to seek immediate medical attention. Even if the wound doesn’t look serious enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room, it is imperative that you seek medical attention in order to test for possible infections that may not be visible to the human eye.
Most people believe that in order to bring a claim against a pet owner after a dog bite, you have to be able to establish the viciousness of an animal. There is a common misconception that “every dog is entitled to one bite.” This is not true in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. This misconception stems from British Common Law, which did not impose liability, or responsibility, for damages caused by a dog bite unless the animal’s owner had some degree of knowledge of his dog’s dangerous propensities. Although a few states have adopted the one bite rule, many states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have not.
If you, or someone you know, has been injured due to a dog bite, first and foremost, seek medical attention. It is better to be safe than sorry, and ensuring you and your loved ones are safe is of the utmost importance. Secondly, consult with an attorney if you are unsure of your legal rights. Feel free to contact me here in my firm’s Lawrenceville, New Jersey office for a free consultation to see if you are entitled to monetary compensation for your injures.