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Proving Fault in a Dog Bite Case – What’s There to Know?

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So, you’ve been bitten by a dog. While you were taking a morning walk you suddenly bumped into your neighbor and their pooch. You started chatting.

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The furry little creature bit you out of nowhere. Your poor neighbor was screaming “No”. The beautiful animal grabbed your foot in their teeth and gave it a good mauling. Infection represents the biggest danger when it comes to dog bites.

More often than not, the injury requires medical attention. If the dog bite was serious – in other words, if you’ve dealt with high medical bills or lost your livelihood – you should consider suing.

You must get compensation for the fact that you’ve been attacked. Someone acted negligently.

Demonstrate the owner knew or should have known about the dog’s aggressive tendencies

Some dogs are more aggressive than others, in the sense that they’re more prone to biting.

However, attention needs to be paid to the fact that all dogs, under certain circumstances, can get aggressive. Many animals exhibit different behavior when they’re afraid. They feel the need to defend themselves and, consequently, attack.

In court, you need to demonstrate that the owner knew or should have known that the dog is potentially aggressive. The judge must be convinced that the pet is a major threat.

Generally speaking, canine aggression is influenced by the following factors:

  • Breed and size of the animal
  • Being restrained by their leash
  • Occasional muzzling
  • Confinement of the animal
  • Hierarchy battles

A reasonable dog owner is someone who knows what their pet is capable of. If the pooch is known for growling at people while walking on the leash, the owner should know that the animal will hurt someone at some point.

Look up the law to understand what you’re entitled to

The personal injury lawyers at Levin & Malkin can confirm that proving liability in a dog bit case tends to be hard.

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To win, you must demonstrate the owner was aware of the fact that the dog was likely to cause the type of injury you sustained. Basically, you have to prove they were careless. It could be argued that you, i.e. the injured person, were negligent too.

The dog’s owner could say that you provoked the animal. Californian courts, for instance, don’t deny the plaintiff financial compensation just because they contributed to the injury.

New Jersey law is a little bit different. To be more precise, the dog owner is required to take full responsibility for the injury, no matter if they used reasonable care to restrain the dog.

This means that you’re lucky. You don’t have to go through the trouble of proving the dog attacked you. The vicious dog law was introduced in 1989 and amended in 1994. If the court arrives at the conclusion that the dog is vicious and you were seriously injured, the dog could be euthanized.

If you’re seriously thinking about suing over a dog bite, talk to a legal professional. An attorney specializing in personal injury law will help you understand your defenses and help you protect your rights.

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