If I was bitten by a family member’s dog, what should I do?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I was bitten by a family member’s dog, what should I do?

Asked on February 8, 2013 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the dog owner has insurance such as a homeowner's policy that covers this, you can file a claim with the insurance carrier when you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor.  When you complete your medical treatment, obtain your medical bills, medical reports, and documentation of any wage loss.  Your personal injury claim should include these items.  Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.  If the case is settled with the homeowner's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.

If the case is NOT settled with the homeowner's insurance carrier or there isn't any insurance , file a lawsuit against the dog owner for negligence if the dog does NOT have a history of biting others.  If the dog has a history of biting others, your lawsuit would be for strict liability.

Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dog owner would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).

Strict liability imposes liability whether or not due care was exercised.

If the case is NOT settled with the insurance carrier or there isn't any insurance, you will need to file a lawsuit as mentioned above.  If you obtain a judgment against the dog owner, which the dog owner does not pay, obtain a wage garnishment to satisfy the judgment or place a lien on the property.

If the case is NOT settled, you will need to file your lawsuit prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption