If you've been hurt in New Jersey when someone else's dog has attacked you, you may be able to obtain compensation for your losses. The New Jersey dog bite statute sets forth specific conditions, though, that you must meet to recover.
Technically, New Jersey's dog bite law is a "strict liability" statute. In most personal injury lawsuits, you must show that someone was careless or negligent and that your injury was caused by that wrongful behavior. With strict liability, though, there is no requirement that you show any negligence. Instead, all you need to show is that:
- The dog must have been owned by or under control of the defendant
- The dog bit you
- You suffered some injury or loss because of the attack
Under New Jersey law, you can only pursue damages for a dog bite if you were either on public property at the time of the attack, or you were on private property with permission or by invitation (express or implied). A trespasser will not have a claim for any injuries suffered because of a canine attack. With commercial property, the owner has liability if the injured person came on to the property in the ordinary course of business.
It's also important to understand that the New Jersey dog bite law only addresses bites, not scratches or injuries caused by knockdowns. You can, however, file a general negligence claim for those types of injuries.
A DOG OWNER'S DEFENSES
As the owner of the canine, you have two potential defenses:
- The injured person was illegally on your property at the time of the attack
- The injured person provoked the attack
CONTACT MALLON & TRANGER
We offer a free initial consultation to anyone in New Jersey who has been a victim of a personal injury. For a meeting, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333 (toll free at ) for an appointment. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.