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When might your dog bite claim be refused?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2023 | Dog bites

A dog may be a man’s best friend. However, this friendly canine can become aggressive and cause serious physical injury. If you are attacked and hurt by someone’s dog, you may file a premises liability claim against the dog owner or handler. 

However, it is not uncommon for a seemingly valid premises liability claim to be refused. If your dog bite claim is denied, you deserve to know what went wrong and possibly explore your appeal options. 

Here are two common reasons why the court may decline your dog bite claim.

If you were unlawfully on the property

Per New Jersey dog bite laws, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries that are caused by their animals. However, the story is slightly different if the attack happens while you are unlawfully on someone else’s property. For instance, the dog owner may not be liable for any attack that happens while you are breaking into their property. Trespass defense can be further strengthened if you ignore a “fierce dog” warning sign on the property. 

If you overlook the statute of limitations period

New Jersey, like other states, has a time limit within which you must bring a premises liability claim against the dog owner following an attack. This is known as the statute of limitations period. Per the New Jersey statute of limitations, you have two years from the dog bite to file your claim. With a few exceptions, your dog bite claim will be denied if you do not file your claim within the statute of limitations period. 

A dog bite can leave you severely hurt. Worse still, it can result in infections. Learning more about New Jersey dog bite laws can help you protect your rights and interests while pursuing a premises liability claim.