An Overview Of New Jersey’s Dog Bite Laws
Dogs have the potential to be very dangerous. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates that 4.5 million people across the country are bitten by dogs each year—with young children and elderly people being at the highest risk of suffering severe injuries. A dog owner must be held responsible for its failure to protect people from risks posed by an animal. In this article, our New Jersey dog bite lawyer provides an overview of New Jersey’s dog bite liability laws.
A Dog Bite that Punctures the Skin Requires Professional Medical Attention
Dog bite injuries require medical attention. When a dog punctures the skin, there is always a risk that a serious infection could develop. Make sure that you or your loved one gets the proper care for a dog bite injury. Additionally, you cannot recover personal injury compensation for a dog bite in New Jersey unless you have seen a doctor.
New Jersey is a Strict Liability State for Dog Bite Injuries
Dog owners are responsible for their animal. Under New Jersey law (N.J.S.A. 4:19-16), a dog owner can be held strictly for injuries caused by a dog bite. In other words, a dog owner is liable for a dog bite in New Jersey regardless of negligence. They are liable even if the dog never previously displayed aggressive behavior.
While New Jersey is a strict liability state for dog bites, there are some defenses that can be raised in these cases. To start, a dog bite victim who was trespassing at the time of the attack may not have a claim. Likewise, a dog bite victim who was deemed to have provoked an attack by a dog may have their compensation reduced or denied on those grounds.
Non-Owners May Also Be Liable for Dog Bites (Negligence Claims)
In New Jersey, a defendant other than a dog owner may also be legally liable for a dog bite injury. However, these types of cases are no longer strict liability claims. The victim must be prepared to prove that the third party defendant’s negligence—failure to take due care—contributed to the attack. As an example, an apartment complex in New Jersey that failed to remove a tenant’s dangerous dog after repeated complaints may be liable for injuries caused by that dog.
What Compensation Can Be Recovered in a Dog Bite Injury Claim In New Jersey?
Following a serious attack by a dog, you may be wondering what types of compensation are available through a legal claim. The answer depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your damages. Through a dog bite injury claim, compensation may be available for:
- Emergency medical treatment;
- Hospital bills and other health care costs;
- Lost wages and loss of earning power;
- Pain and suffering;
- Mental distress;
- Scarring or disfigurement; and
- Wrongful death.
Get Help From a New Jersey Dog Bite Injury Attorney Today
At Poulos LoPiccolo PC, our New Jersey dog bite lawyers are committed to protecting the rights and interests of injured victims. If you or your child was injured by a dangerous dog, we can help. Call us now or connect with us online to set up your no cost, no obligation consultation. With a law office in Ocean, we handle dog bite injury claims in Monmouth County and throughout the wider area.