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Dog Bites and Dog Park Liability

By Lependorf & Silverstein on September 26, 2016

dog-biteThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that each year, more than 4.7 million dog bite incidents occur throughout the nation. 386,000 of these incidents will lead to hospital visits. Like the majority of U.S. states, New Jersey holds dog owners liable for all damages incurred by the dog bite victim, even if the dog has never bitten anyone or displayed any intent to do so before.

 Dog Park Liability

Off-leash dog parks are becoming more and more popular throughout America, particularly in urban areas where there are few alternative places to exercise your dog. They offer a great environment for dogs to play and socialize and for owners to meet and interact. Studies show that dogs that get regular exercise are not only healthier, but also tend to be less aggressive.

Problems can arise however, when owners bring aggressive dogs, dogs that are not used to socializing, or untrained dogs to the park. When these dogs are allowed off-leash there is always a chance that another dog or dog owner may be bitten. Dog bite liability in a dog park can be tricky to determine. Is it the fault of the owner, or the dog park’s? Sometimes there is no cut and dry answer to this question. This is mainly because liability for dog parks is often treated differently than it is in other situations. In general, if you have been bitten in a dog park, you will have very similar rights as you would anywhere else; which means the dog owner is usually liable. When you’re taking your dog to an off-leash park, remember to follow the park’s regulations to ensure maximum safety for the other dogs and their owners. Read the park’s signs carefully, as some may have postings which may attempt to limit liability in the case of a dog attack. These may not apply to your case, particularly if you have been bitten by a dog who has a history of injuring humans.

If you have been bitten by a dog in the Princeton area, contact an experienced New Jersey dog bite liability attorney as soon as possible. At Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. we can help you investigate each element of your particular case so that a claim for your damages can be made. Remember, in New Jersey you only have two years to file your personal injury case, so act now before your deadline! Contact us today at (609) 240-0040 for consultation.

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