NJ Dog Bite Injury Attorneys
Dog bites lawyers in Ridgewood serving northern New Jersey
Dogs are our best friends and companions, and in some cases, our eyes or protectors. However, some dogs have the capacity to become vicious. Children and seniors are most at risk, but even healthy adults can suffer serious injuries from a dog attack. At Seigel Law in Ridgewood, our lawyers can help you win the monetary compensation you deserve from a dog owner or the owner of the property where the attack occurred.
Helping dog bite victims recover damages since 1976
Our firm has a long track record of successfully pursuing dog bite injury claims in Bergen, Passaic, Essex and Hudson counties. These are often premises liability claims brought against homeowners or commercial or municipal property owners. Drawing on more than 40 years of experience, we thoroughly investigate the circumstances of each case and vigorously seek full and fair money damages.
Dog bite statistics
More than 1,000 people a day seek medical care for dog bite injuries in the United States and about 14,000 victims a year are hospitalized. Liability insurers paid more than $850 million in claims for bites and other dog-related injuries in 2020. Tragically, over a 15-year period from 2005 to 2019, canines killed 521 Americans.
Dog breeds that bite most often
The breeds that bite most often range from small, yappy dogs, whose bite is only slightly worse than their bark, to larger dogs capable of significant damage. The top ten breeds for bites are:
- English Bulldog
- Pit Bull
- German Shepherd
- Australian Shepherd
- Lhasa Apso
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Cocker Spaniel
- Bull Terrier
The pit bull has been singled out as a particularly dangerous breed. Studies show that compared to the other top biters, pit bulls are 4.4 times more likely to cause a complex wound. The odds of a pit bull launching an off-property attack is 2.7 times greater. Pit bulls were responsible for 66 percent of fatal dog attacks from 2005 to 2019.
What is the difference between a dog owner being strictly liable or being liable for carelessness?
New Jersey law makes a dog owner liable when the animal bites a person who is in a public area or lawfully on private property, even the dog’s owner land. Strict liability means the dog’s past conduct is irrelevant. The victim does not have to prove the owner was careless, such as by failing to restrain or confine the dog despite knowing it had a history of viciousness. As long as the attack was unprovoked and the victim had a right to be where he or she was, the owner is liable.
However, strict liability applies only to injuries resulting from the dog bite itself. If related injuries are alleged — such as harm resulting from being knocked down in a dog attack — the victim would have to prove the owner’s carelessness in not taking reasonable precautions.
Damages for dog mauling injuries
A canine attack is a terrifying experience and the repercussions can last a lifetime. Our lawyers help you recover the maximum possible compensation for such serious dog mauling injuries as:
- Scars and disfigurement
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Spinal cord damage
- Internal organ damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Anxiety and phobias
- Wrongful death of a loved one
We consult medical experts to understand and to document the full extent of your injuries.
Why you need a lawyer for your dog bite injury
You are entitled to compensation from the owner of a dog that bites you. Getting that money can be a difficult matter. In many cases, our lawyers successfully negotiate with the insurance company for recovery under the homeowner’s insurance policy. We also determine whether there is a third-party claim, such as if you were bitten on business- or city-owned property or at a public event. If your injury occurred while you were conducting employment-related duties — such as delivering the mail as a post office employee — we file a workers’ compensation claim in addition to your premises liability lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
Recover from the negligent owner of the dog that bit you
Seigel Law handles northern New Jersey personal injury claims. Call us at 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule your free initial appointment at our Ridgewood office or at your home or the hospital if your injuries prevent you from coming to us. We pursue recovery with a contingency arrangement, so you do not owe us attorney fees unless we win money damages for you.