These days, many people complain about seemingly frivolous lawsuits. There are horror stories of suits for actions outside of the defendants’ control, or seeking exorbitantly high payouts for what would seem to be a minor inconvenience. However, there are some areas where compensation is justly awarded for unnecessary suffering on the part of the complainant, and getting bitten by an animal is among that category. Whether it’s the neighbor’s dog or a more dangerous wild animal, if you have been injured you should immediately (after getting medical care of course) seek out a competent attorney to understand your legal options moving forward. Here’s a look at some of the ways you can or cannot get compensation after being bitten by an animal.
In New Jersey, we have very strict liability laws, where pet owners can be held accountable for the damages of their animals, regardless if the creature had ever shown violent tendencies in the past. This is much stricter than in many other states, including those neighboring us. You will be entitled to file a personal injury claim, which will request more information and the results can vary depending on the type of the animal in question and the severity of the bite and your associated injuries.
The most common type of animal bite comes from dogs, those canine companions kept so regularly by most everyone you know. The pet owners are liable, as they would be similarly if you had been clawed up by a cat or even violently pecked by someone’s pet parakeet. More dangerous animals such as horses, regularly kept, can also cause serious injuries to those who deal with them. However, for large domestic animals such as cows or horses, the owners will be held responsible primarily if they had prior knowledge of the animal’s behavior and did not take the proper precautions to contain the animal or protect those would come in contact with it.
Some people these days are even taking to caring for more wild animals in their living space, and they can also be held liable even if they followed proper protocol to contain the animal. It should be noted, however, that if an individual is found to have acted recklessly or intentionally provoked the animal, they will lose their rights to claim compensation for their injuries. Legally, it will be classified as ‘contributory negligence’ for their role in the event.
If you have been bitten by an animal, you’ll know how difficult it can be—both physically painful, and also carry with it emotional trauma and financial difficulties. For relief from these troubles, you’ll want to seek out compensation, and we at Yampaglia Law are here to help. Contact me, Mark Yampaglia, today for a free consultation about your options and our experience in this area. I can be reached by phone at 844-847-0106 and look forward to discussing your case with you today.