My child was bitten by the neighbor’s dog! Now what?

The following post was written over one year ago. Laws often change and recent case decisions may impact how the law is applied. As such, the information in this article may not be current. We encourage you to contact our firm for information on this particular article and to make sure the analysis is still up-to-date.

Dear Ask the Attorney:

My 8 year old daughter was bitten by my neighbor’s dog that got loose from their yard.  We took her immediately to the emergency room where she needed 23 stitches to her leg where she was bitten.  This dog is a menace and my daughter is not the first person this animal has bitten.  But now she is absolutely terrified of all dogs that she sees.  What should I do?

Doggone Mad Mamma

Our Guest blogger today is Christopher L. Musmanno, Esq., a partner in the Personal Injury Department.  Mr. Musmanno has been certified by the State Supreme Court as a civil trial attorney and concentrates his practice in representing people who have been hurt through no fault of their own. 

Dear Mad Mamma:

In New Jersey, the owner of a dog that bites another, even if it is the first time, is strictly liable for the injuries to a person caused by the dog.  It does not matter if it was the first time or whether the owner has prior knowledge of the dog’s propensity for violence.  In other words, if a dog bites a person, the owner must pay for the bodily injury caused by its dog.

The child should immediately be evaluated by a plastic surgeon to minimize residual scarring and a consultation with a child psychologist is also warranted.  In circumstances like this, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney to protect the interests of your child.

“Ask the Attorney” is a blog in which answers to your legal questions submitted to may be answered. The answers to the questions are for informational purposes only and are not to be construed as legal advice or the creation of an attorney-client relationship. The facts of each case is different, therefore you should seek competent legal representation.