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May I sue if a normally friendly dog goes on the attack?

| Oct 19, 2020 | Personal Injury |

New Jersey law generally considers a dog vicious when it poses a threat to another animal or a human being. A canine, however, does not need a special classification for you to hold its owner liable for injuries.

The Garden State’s animal laws operate under strict liability. This means an owner could face a legal action whenever his or her dog bites or goes on the attack. The law does not provide a pet’s owner with a free pass for attempting to restrain it, as explained by the New Jersey Certified Animal Control Officers Association Board.

Why would I want to hold a dog owner liable?

If you sustained an injury from a dog bite, medical care may become a serious issue. A dog’s saliva could contain harmful bacteria known as Capnocytophaga. Obtaining medical care immediately after a dog bite may make a difference in averting a serious infection.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it could take up to 14 days to experience infection symptoms, such as muscle or joint pain, fever or blisters around a wound. Left untreated, the bacteria transmitted through an animal bite carry the potential to cause kidney failure or a heart attack.

What other damages may result from a dog bite?

After an animal bite, you may need to take time off from work for medical attention. Moving forward from a serious attack may also require reconstructive surgery or trauma counseling.

To seek relief, you may file a legal action to recover for damages. Your suit may provide you with compensation for lost income, medical expenses and for your pain and suffering.