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Posted On November 21, 2012 Personal Injury

Understanding Dog Bites: the Myths & the Truths

There are many misconceptions when it comes to dog bites. For one, they are not as rare as you may think. In fact, approximately 1,000 Americans need emergency care as the result of a dog bite each day, according to DogsBite.org. If you or someone you love suffered an injury due to a dog bite or attack, the lawyers at Console and Associates P.C. can assist you.

Another common misconception is that only certain types of dogs will attack or bite a human, and this is simply not true. It is easy to be lured into this school of thought because the mainstream media tends to only focus on attacks from certain breeds, but the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has stated otherwise. The AVMA found, after analyzing dog bite data from the past 20 years, that there is no discernible information to show that one breed is any more likely to attack than another.

What is the New Jersey Dog Bite Law?

New Jersey law (NJ 4:19-16) states that the owner of the animal is legally responsible for any harm their dog causes to another person. This is true regardless of whether or not the animal has a history of violent behavior. The one stipulation is that the victim needs to have been on public property or legally on private property at the time of the attack. In other words, the statute does not protect a person who was unlawfully on the property (trespasser, burglar) if they are injured by the animal in question.

What to Do If You Have Been Bitten by a Dog

The very first thing you should do is call 911. Emergency responders will be able to treat your injuries and a full report will be compiled by the authorities. Open wounds, such as those caused by a dog’s teeth, need to be properly cleaned, stitched, and dressed in order to ensure proper healing and to prevent infection. You should take photos of your injuries when you can to document how bad they were, once they heal you should also take photos of any resulting scars.

You should always contact a New Jersey dog bite attorney following an attack of this kind.

The lawyers at Console and Associates P.C. have been assisting victims of dog bites since 1994. We have helped more than 5,000 clients recover deserved compensation. Call us today at   (866) 778-5500 to learn of your rights and options following a dog bite.