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It seems that as the weather gets warmer, the rate of dog bites and attacks goes up. If you’ve been injured by someone else’s dog, you should speak to a New Jersey personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and options for recovering compensation for your medical bills and other expenses and losses. 

Why Are Dog Attacks More Frequent in the Summer?

It is often difficult to pinpoint why dogs choose to bite or attack people. This makes it equally difficult to say with any certainty why the rate of dog bites and attacks goes up in the summer. However, there are a couple of theories to try to explain this phenomenon. 

First, just as humans become more agitated and cranky when they are hot, dogs likely also become more agitated when out in the summer heat, making more dogs more predisposed to lash out at someone.

Perhaps the single biggest factor that explains the rise in dog attacks during the summer is the fact that the summertime provides more opportunities for bites and attacks to occur. With more people out during the warmer weather, there are far more encounters between people’s pet dogs and others. In particular, with kids out of school during the summer, they are also more likely to be out and about in neighborhoods where they may come across someone else’s dog. Children are unfortunately much easier targets for dogs that attack a person.

Are There Signs That a Dog Might Attack?

The ASPCA has identified several behaviors that dogs exhibit when they become aggressive and more likely to lash out and bite or attack a person or another animal. Signs that a dog may be getting ready to bite or attack include:

  • Becoming rigid and still
  • Keeping the head and tail low
  • Growling
  • Snarling
  • Displaying teeth
  • Barking
  • Lunging at a potential bite or attack target
  • “Muzzle punching” (repeatedly hitting another person or animal with the dog’s nose)

If you observe a dog displaying any of these signs, you can help defuse the situation by calmly and slowly walking away from the dog. Avoid the temptation to try to run away from the dog, as you may trigger the dog’s chase instincts, and many dog breeds run faster than the average human. 

What Are the Dog Bite Laws in New Jersey?

If you do suffer injury from a dog bite or attack, you may be entitled to recover compensation from the dog’s owner. New Jersey is considered a “strict liability” state when it comes to imposing liability for injuries and damages caused by a dog bite or attack. A person injured by a dog bite does not need to prove that the dog had a history of viciousness or violence or that the owner was aware of their dog’s aggressive or vicious tendencies. Instead, the owner is liable for any bite that is inflicted on a person who was lawfully in the place where they were attacked. 

Of course, a dog can inflict injury in other ways during an attack besides biting. For injuries other than from a bite, the attack victim will need to show that the dog owner’s failure to take reasonable measures to handle their animal caused harm to the victim.

Contact a Rochelle Park Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Dog Bite Case in New Jersey

Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries due to a dog bite in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients injured by dog bites in Fair Lawn, Fort Lee, Garfield, Mahwah, and throughout New Jersey. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.