Dog Owners’ Are Accountable When Dogs Bite
At Shebell & Shebell, we are dog lovers. Tom Shebell and his family have owned and hunted with dogs since he was a young boy. Dogs teach children about love, compassion, and responsibility.
In New Jersey, owning a dog requires that owners prevent their dog from biting anyone. 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs every year, and almost a million of these bites cause injuries that require medical care in an emergency room, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the dog bite injuries that receive medical treatment are suffered by children.
Homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance companies charge higher rates for the coverage of people who own dogs. These companies are aware that in many states, like New Jersey, the law holds a dog owner is strictly liable for injuries caused by dog bites, meaning that the insurance company must pay for all dog bite injuries regardless of whether the owner knew the dog was going to bite you.
Juries who hear dog bite cases are told that they must hold the dog owner responsible, but are never told that the insurance exists. Lawyers are not permitted to mention the word insurance during a trial. This allows insurance company attorneys to promote the lie that an otherwise innocent dog owner is being held directly responsible for what may be the completely unpredictable actions of a beloved family pet, when the reality is that an insurance company has likely refused to take responsibility by paying on claims for bites despite having charged higher premiums to the homeowner for the dog bite coverage.
It’s unfair to both the insured dog owner and the injured person when an insurance company fails to take responsibility for injuries it has agreed to cover.
No one should have to go to an emergency room, be hospitalized, or receive severe emotional and physical scarring from being bitten by a dog. We have represented people who have suffered significant scarring, nerve damage, broken bones, and emotional harm from a dog bite. None of us would choose to be faced with the decision to make a claim against the insurance company of another person and take the witness stand before a jury to discuss those injuries with complete strangers if it was at all avoidable.
We can help you. We will stand by you and help you navigate this fight with the insurance companies and force them to be held accountable. If you, or your loved ones have been bitten by a dog, the personal injury attorneys at Shebell & Shebell, L.L.C. are here for you. For a free consultation, call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online today.