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What does New Jersey’s strict liability for dog bite claims mean?

On Behalf of | Jul 18, 2023 | Dog bites

Most Americans cherish their dogs. These friendly canines provided companionship for their owners. Some also serve as service animals. But dogs can also attack humans and cause grievous bodily harm.

If you are attacked and hurt by someone’s dog, you may hold the dog owner or handle liable through a premises liability claim.

Understanding New Jersey dog bite laws

New Jersey is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bite claims. Basically, this means that dog owner is responsible for injuries caused by their animal, no matter their intention. In other words, even if the dog owner’s child accidentally let the animal loose, they would be responsible for the resulting damages. The only time a dog owner’s liability may be reviewed is when the attack happened while you were trespassing or if you provoked the animal.

So, do you need to prove anything in a strict liability state?

To obtain a favorable outcome for your dog bite claim, you will need to prove the following elements:

  • That the defendant owned the dog in question or was handling it at the time of the attack
  • That you were in a public area or were lawfully in a private location, including the defendant’s property when the attack happened
  • That the dog attacked and caused personal injuries to you

To be clear, you are deemed to be lawfully in a private property when you are impliedly or expressly invited by the property owner, or when you are performing a legal duty like delivering a parcel.

Protecting your interests

While dogs are generally friendly animals, it is not uncommon for them to attack and hurt humans. Unfortunately, these attacks can not only leave you with serious physical and emotional injuries but also the risk of an infection. Learning more about New Jersey dog bite laws can help you better protect your interests while holding the dog owner liable for their animal’s attack.