With summer drawing to an end, New Jersey residents may be thinking of taking end-of-summer weekend excursions. Those road trips may even include the family dog. However, a recent article reminds pet owners that liability may attach if they fail to maintain control over their animals.
According to accounts, a pit bull boxer mix owned by a New Jersey man recently bit the lip of a four-year-old girl at her babysitter's house in Alabama. The babysitter is a relative of the owner, who was not present during the attack. The girl's mother says her young daughter will require reconstructive surgery because part of her lip was lost in the attack.
Authorities verified the dog's vaccinations and decided not to press charges after determining the attack had not been malicious. Had this out-of-state dog bite attack happened in New Jersey, however, the outcome could have been much more severe.
Under New Jersey law, owners are held strictly liable for any injuries caused by their pets, even if the animal did not have a history of violence. To prevail, a dog bite or other victim of an animal attack must only establish ownership, proof of the attack, and that he or she was lawfully on the owner's property or in a public place at the time of the incident. Negligence is not part of the equation. However, it is import to seek adequate damages after an animal attack. In that regard, an experienced personal injury and dog bit lawyer can provide wise counsel.