For the most part, dogs live up to the title “Man’s Best Friend.” However, there are some that may be prone to viciousness or lash out for unknown reasons.
If you’re on the other end of this aggression, you could suffer serious injuries through a dog bite or other type of animal attack.
Fortunately, New Jersey does impose liability on certain individuals when their furry friends cause bodily harm.
While you should trust an experienced personal injury attorney to fight for your rights as a victim, an overview of NJ dog bite laws may be useful.
Multiple Theories of Liability Under Dog Bite Laws in NJ
In general, people who sustain injuries due to an attack by a dog may be able to recover compensation for their losses. Still, there are distinctions regarding the specific theory of liability for the owner or handler.
1. Strict Liability for Dog Bites: One NJ dog bite law was enacted as a statute that imposes strict liability on a dog’s owner. This means that a victim doesn’t have to prove that the person knew the dog had bitten someone before or had acted viciously in the past. You could be entitled to legal relief if you’re bitten in a public place or while legally present in a private location. The statute only applies to dog bites, so you cannot seek compensation under the statute’s strict liability if you were only mauled.
2. Negligence: If you were hurt in an attack not involving a bite, you may be able to recover monetary damages by proving that the dog’s owner was negligent in handling it. These individuals have a legal duty to exercise reasonable care to control the dog’s behavior, so a breach of this duty could make the owner accountable for all resulting harm.
An example of negligence may be a store owner allowing a dog to roam freely within the premises, knowing it had bitten someone before.
3. Negligence Per Se: The same rules regarding negligence may apply in a situation where the dog’s owner was engaged in unlawful acts. For instance, if the dog was not on a leash while out walking, in violation of New Jersey’s leash laws, you may have a claim of negligence per se.
Your Rights as the Victim of a Dog Bite
If you’re able to prove the essential elements of a dog bite case based upon strict liability or negligence, you may be able to recover monetary damages for your losses. Depending on the details, your compensation may include:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering; and,
- Emotional distress.
Contact Our New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyers to Discuss Your Rights
While this summary of your rights under NJ dog bite laws should be useful, it’s important to work with a knowledgeable New Jersey personal injury attorney regarding your legal remedies.
Call us toll-free 1‑(800)-4-JUSTICE® –1-(800)-458-7842 to begin evaluating your case.
You put your rights at risk if you try to represent yourself, especially at a time when you’re trying to recover from your injuries. For more information on your options, please contact the Kreizer Law Firm to schedule a free case evaluation.