New Jersey Dog Bites — Civil and Criminal Remedies

Dog bites send some 368,000 victims to hospitals nationwide every year. Fortunately, most dog bites don’t cause fatal injuries, but they can result in serious damage to nerves and tissues. Some dog bites cause permanent disfigurement as well as emotional and psychological trauma.

Two male pit mixes recently attacked a 49-year-old Plainfield man as he rode his bicycle down a residential street. The dogs ran from a porch through an unlatched gate and bit several parts of the man’s body, including his calf, ankle, forearm and buttocks. Paramedics treated his wounds at the scene and then transported him to the hospital. The humane society took the dogs until the court issues an order. If the court deems the dogs vicious based on their history of attacking people, the humane society could be ordered to euthanize the dogs.

Criminal assault by animal?

Some owners train their dogs to attack other people. New Jersey lawmakers introduced a bill to criminalize assault by animal. Under Bill A1717, you are guilty of fourth-degree assault if you purposely use an animal to intimidate a person. If the dog injures a person, it is a third-degree crime. If the dog injures a police officer, it’s a second-degree crime.

Take legal action and get compensation for injuries

Criminal charges against dog owners are separate from civil penalties the owners face for injuries caused by their dog. New Jersey laws hold a dog owner legally liable even if the dog has not previously exhibited a propensity to bite people.

Dog bite survivors can seek financial compensation for:

Medical expenses
Physical therapy
Lost wages
Mental anguish
Physical pain
If you or a loved suffered a dog bite injury, contact a New Jersey dog bite attorney before agreeing to any settlement of your claim.


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