Bayonne, New Jersey, police killed a dog that attacked a child, according to recent reports. The young girl was waiting for a school bus when a pit bull escaped from its home and charged the girl at West 20th Street in Bayonne. The dog bit the girl in the head and drew blood. She was treated at a local hospital and released.
While there were no reports of the dog previously attacking anyone, the dog went on to attack its owner after biting the girl when the owner punched the dog to try to stop it. The owner and one other person trying to help the girl were treated for bites. Police arrived and shot the dog to prevent any more bites.
New York and New Jersey Dog Bite Law
New York has one of the most complicated dog bite laws in the nation. The state takes a “mixed” approach to dog bites, with the owner of a previously recognized “dangerous dog” strictly liable for veterinary and medical costs. New York requires that a victim must prove that a dog was dangerous and that the owner knew it in order to recover other damages.
New York’s standard for determining if a dog is dangerous is if the dog has attacked in the past or if a reasonable person would find the dog vicious. In these cases, the victim may have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit against the dog’s owner if he or she is bitten.
New Jersey law is quite different. New Jersey holds dog owners legally responsible for any bite, including dogs that have never bitten before. Victims may be able to file a lawsuit for damages, including medical bills, pain and suffering and even punitive damages if the owner is shown to have deliberately allowed a vicious dog to bite someone.
In both states, the owner as well as a landlord or someone keeping the dog may be held responsible for the dog’s behavior.
Because the law surrounding New York and New Jersey dog bites are so complicated, it is important that victims of dog bites have sound legal advice from a personal injury attorney like those at the Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York. With the help of these attorneys, dog bite victims can learn more about their rights and how they may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for their damages.