Dog Bite Attacks, Injuries and Fatalities

Legal Assistance Following Animal Attacks in New Jersey and New York

Serious and fatal dog attacks are shocking and are therefore often covered by local and even national media. The unexpected and random nature of most dog attacks can lead naturally to the assumption that the attacks are uncommon or rare. In 2012, though, 34 fatal attacks by domestic dogs were reported across the U.S. Perhaps even more surprising, however, is the frequency of dog attacks resulting in injury: in most years, almost one thousand domestic dog attacks result in the need for emergency care every day.

Legally, dog attacks are not viewed as “acts of nature”, though most dog attacks are unprovoked and involve an animal acting in a more or less natural behavior. Instead, dog attacks are viewed as acts of negligence on the part of their owners. Why?

Dogs’ behavior cannot be fully controlled or anticipated. Dogs can, however, be consistently and safely contained so that they do not pose a risk to the general public. Dog owners’ responsibility to contain dogs can be likened to a homeowner’s responsibility to maintain a safe house and yard: when reasonable steps are taken to reduce risk, the chances of injuries and fatalities are reduced or eliminated. In the case of state and local laws in New Jersey and New York, these steps most often include:

  • Containing the dog in a yard or home or on a leash
  • Taking extra precautions in the event the animal has already caused injury or otherwise given reason to believe it may pose a danger
  • Making sure that small children are monitored when in the presence of a dog

Because dog attacks are usually the result of negligence on the part of a pet owner, it’s likely that victims can pursue compensation and damages following an attack. It’s also possible that the injuries or fatality are covered by the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance. Insurance coverage is a common source of funds following a jury verdict or settlement following dog bite or attack.

If you or a loved one were injured by a dog attack in New Jersey, obtain the legal assistance you need by contacting the law firm of Nagel Rice in Roseland or Red Bank, New Jersey and New York, New York. Our attorney team has achieved almost $1 billion in settlements and verdicts for our clients in its 30-year history, including numerous six-, seven- and eight-figure awards in injury cases. To contact us, call 973-618-0400 or 212-551-0400.