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Penalties proposed for dog bite incidents when owners flee

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2021 | Personal Injury

When people in New Jersey express concerns about being injured in an accident or incident, they will automatically think about an auto collision, a work accident, being hurt on someone else’s property or suffering harm because of a defective product. There are, of course, other ways in which people can face personal injury. While many have an affinity for animals, being injured by someone else’s dog can also cause serious damage and even death. Dog bites might lead to a long hospital stay, massive expenses and personal and emotional aftereffects. Owners can be held accountable if others have been injured by their dog.

Lawmaker wants dog owners to be held liable for fleeing after dog bites

A challenge in these cases is that the dog owner might flee the scene after the dog has bitten someone. A recent proposal seeks to address this. Comparing dog owner behavior to a driver who has committed a hit and run if there is a biting incident, the person would be confronted with a disorderly persons offense if this happens and police are not contacted. Citing several recent incidents in the state of dog bites and owners fleeing, the goal is to penalize the owner if this occurs.

The lawmaker uses anecdotal evidence of one of his constituents who was bitten on the leg and suffered injuries because of a dog bite. In that case, the owner – who had the dog on its leash – left without exchanging information. A conviction would carry with it certain ramifications such as a fine of $500 to $1,000, six months in prison or both. Owners are often negligent in caring for and restraining their dogs and this should be known after a biting incident has happened.

Injuries after dog bites can be severe and life-changing

The intention of this law is to make sure people are responsible for their pets and do not simply shirk their responsibility if their dog bites someone. Still, this is a proposal that may or may not be enacted and dog bites will continue to happen one way or the other. If there was a dog bite and a person suffered personal injury because of it, there are options available to ensure the owner does not simply walk away without consequences. Consulting with experienced professionals in these types of cases can be helpful when assessing the situation and determining a strategy.