Dog bite injuries
New Jersey Dog Bite Lawsuits & Settlement Amounts
Dog Bite Injuries in New Jersey
Dogs may be a man’s best friend, but they can also cause serious, and sometimes fatal, injuries. In fact, dogs bite more than 4.7 million people annually, and 800,000 dog bite victims require medical attention each year.
An important note to be aware of is that all dogs can bite, no matter how well trained it is. Risk of dog bite injuries is not restricted to only a few types of breed. While statistics may show which “types” of breeds are more likely to bite or show aggressive behavior, the fact of the matter is that all dogs are capable of biting.
Dog Bite Claims and Settlement Amounts
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States every year. This means that a dog bites 1 out of every 72 people.
In 2016, State Farm paid out over $121 million as a result of 3,660 dog bite claims in the United States. In the state of New Jersey alone, State Farm paid out $5.1 million due to dog related injuries – averaging just over $74,000 per claim – the highest in the nation.
Most Common Dog Bite Injuries
As per the US Department of Health and Human Services 43% of people who were hospitalized as a result of dog bite injuries required treatment for skin and underlying tissue infection; 22% had wounds of the legs or arms and almost 11% had head, neck or torso wounds.
With almost 900,000 people needing medical attention due to dog bites each year, we are often asked what some of the most common type of injuries are due to dog bites. The following are some of the more common injuries that we see resulting from dog bites:
- Puncture wounds & scars
- Broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Emotional damage and post-traumatic stress
Why Do Dogs Bite?
As we mentioned before, every dog is capable of biting, and you should be aware of your surroundings in all situations, not just around certain breeds.
Unfortunately, even dogs who are not typically aggressive can bite when in certain situations, such as:
- When they are reacting to a stressful situation
- When they are scared or startled
- When they feel threatened
- When they feel they need to protect something
- When they are playing, such as during tug-of-war or keep away
What to Do if You Were Bit By a Dog?
Although you can provide first aid for a dog bite injury at home, it is very important that you seek medical help, especially if an unfamiliar dog bit you.
Depending on the extent of your injuries, stitches or even reconstructive surgery may be required. You may also need to take a course of antibiotics if the dog was not up to date on vaccinations. It is strongly recommended to see a doctor regardless of the situation, as 1 in 5 dog bites become infected.
Pursuing a Dog Bite Claim in New Jersey
New Jersey is a “Strict Liability” state. If you were a victim of a dog bite, what you need to know is this: The owner of the dog can be held liable even if the dog never acted viciously. You are still allowed to recover the appropriate damages for your injury.
Often times, a dog bite victim will resist filing a claim because they are afraid the compensation will come out of the dog owner’s pocket, who may be a friend or a relative. With the average dog related injury in New Jersey being just over $74,000 last year, many people are concerned about taking that kind of money from a friend or loved one.
Many times, however, a person’s homeowner’s insurance policy covers the financial consequences of dog bite injuries. This is why State Farm paid out $121 million to dog bite victims last year, as we mentioned before.
However, even though there may be a contract between the homeowner and the insurer, do not expect the insurance agency to be jumping out of their seats to pay what is owed. For-profit businesses are not eager to pay the total and will often time try to minimize, delay or deny paying the claim altogether.
If a dog bit you, your child, or another member of your family, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for the injuries, pain and suffering, medical bills, and rehabilitation expenses. Legally, it does not matter if you were injured by a pit bull or a Pomeranian. If you sustained dog bite injuries, our attorneys can help you recover the financial compensation you are entitled by law to receive. Contact us today to get the help you deserve.