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Dog Bites & Animal Negligence

We Know Dog Bite & Animal Liability Law in NH

Dog Bite Under common law, it is often said that the first victim of a dog bite cannot recover in a negligence suit as the victim would have to prove that the owner had prior knowledge of its dog's vicious behavior which is difficult to prove if the dog has no history of prior attacks. This is often known as the “First Bite Law.”

While a plaintiff still has the right to proceed with a case under this law, an alternative was enacted when New Hampshire State Legislature relieved this burden from the injured party by passing a dog bite statute (RSA 466:19). This new law states that an individual who owns or keeps a dog can be held responsible for any damages, so long as the plaintiff didn’t trespass or commit some other offense.

Have questions regarding how this impacts your dog bite case? Call our New Hampshire personal injury attorney at (603) 883-4100.

Understanding Strict Liability Law

Strict liability law means in the event that a dog bites or attacks a person, the owner of the dog will be held legally responsible for any injuries or harm caused by the dog.

If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, and you were not trespassing or committing a crime, the dog owner is required to cover damages for your:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost wages
  • Decreased quality of life

With this strict liability law, you do not need to prove that the owner knew that the dog was vicious or had aggressive tendencies. You also do not need to prove negligence or fault on the part of the dog owner.

In addition, you may be eligible to recover for damages caused by a dog even if physical contact or a bite was not made. For example, if a dog frightens a victim and causes him or her to fall or flip off a bicycle or anything else which causes injury, the dog’s actions could be classified as malicious or vicious.

It is also important to note that an injured party's compensation may be reduced if the injured party's actions contributed to the attack. For example, if someone was taunting a dog immediately preceding the attack then they would be found partially at fault. In order to recover, the injured party has to be under 50% at fault. If the injured party is found 51% or more at fault, they are not entitled to recover damages.

Injuries Caused by Dog Bites

The most common injury sustained in a dog bite attack is scarring. The full extent of a scar is often not known until one year after the accident pending a scar review. Some bite injuries and scarring are so severe that plastic surgery is required. The second most common injury sustained in a dog attack is emotional distress.

Other common injuries include:

  • Disfigurement
  • Eye injuries
  • Muscle tears
  • Infections
  • Loss of feeling

Being attacked by any animal can have significant psychological impact upon a person, especially if the victim is a child.

Representing Victims of Other Animal Attacks

Animal attacks are not limited to just dogs. Our firm has been handling cases involving animal attacks for a long time. We have had previous clients who have been bitten by a domestic deer at a petting zoo and attacked by a cat they were trying to rescue for an older lady. If you’ve sustained injuries, don’t take it lightly. Our firm can review your case and help you determine if you have a claim worth pursuing.

Have You Been Attacked? Call (603) 883-4100.

A dog bite injury is a very traumatic event that no one deserves to endure. If you or a loved one have been bitten or attacked by a dog, the law is on your side. You are entitled to collect damages for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, and scarring.

Our New Hampshire personal injury lawyer has handled dog and animal attack cases with success over the years. We promise to exhaust all possible resources to help you and your family to recover maximum compensation possible when you retain our firm.

To set up a free consultation with the Injury Law Center®, call (603) 883-4100. We are ready to help.

Client Reviews
After my accident I was in so much pain and so confused that I didn't know where to go, so I contacted the Injury Law Center. Joe would sit and he would listen and talk to me and hear what I was saying and what was really going on with me. He explained everything. It really made a difference and gave me a peace of mind. I knew that he knew me well enough to take care of my best interests. He heard the story behind everything and made sure that the insurance company had to take action. Deb Brosnan
If someone I cared for was going to be going through something like this I would definitely recommend Injury Law Center as your first point of reference. My case went on for a very long time, over a year, and we were on very good terms the entire time. Attorney Russo came to visit me several times in the hospital and brought me things to do in rehab. They were very supportive the entire time. Injury Law Center was able to exceed my expectations and I am able to live comfortably without having to work. Valerie
I had a car accident that affected my business and my ability to deal with insurance companies was very difficult. Joe stayed the course and we were offered very fair compensation.I think it was because of Joe and the hard work of the team. It was a very long trial but it turned out to be in our favor which we were very happy about. Mat Morello