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Dog bites can be more than marks and bruises

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2024 | Personal Injury |

Man’s best friend can sometimes cause an injury. Dog bites are surprisingly a common occurrence in the US with an estimated 7.4 million people bitten yearly, of which 800,00 need medical attention. While many New Jersey residents believe their pet will not bite, dog bites can cause serious injuries and emotional trauma or worse.

Dog bites can vary in severity

Dog bites can be a frightening and painful experience. Common injuries include:

  • Puncture wounds: These are the most common type of dog bite injury. While they may appear minor, they can be deep and carry high-risk infections.
  • Lacerations: Torn or ripped flesh can require stitches and leave permanent scarring.
  • Nerve damage: Bites near nerves can cause numbness, tingling, and even paralysis.
  • Broken bones: Dog bites, especially from large dogs, can exert enough force to fracture bones.
  • Muscle damage: Bites can tear muscles, leading to pain, weakness, and long-term recovery.
  • Emotional trauma: Dog bites can be a frightening experience, leading to anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and phobias of dogs.

The severity of a dog bite varies from case to case, depending on the size, location and force of the bite and the breed and temperament of the dog. If a dog bites you, seek medical attention right away and report the incident.

A legal recourse exists for dog bite victims

The state has a “strict liability” law for dog bites, meaning the owner is responsible for any injury caused by their dog to someone else. This is regardless of the dog’s past behavior and the owner’s knowledge of aggression. Dog bites victims can expect to recover compensation for medical treatment, lost wages and other damages resulting from the injury.

However, there are exceptions to the law. The owner might not be fully accountable if the injured person trespassed on private property or provoked the dog. The burden of proof often falls on the owner to demonstrate these exceptions. It is advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can assist you in pursuing compensation for your injuries.