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Liability for Dog Bites in New Jersey

Your Rights When an Unleashed Dog Attacks You

Liability for Dog Bites on Public Property in New JerseyIt’s a different world we live in right now, with many folks either working from home or laid off due to shelter-in-place precautions. To avoid cabin fever, many Americans are taking the opportunity to get outside by going on walks in the neighborhood. When you’re out stretching your legs, it’s not uncommon to encounter man’s best friend. What happens if you’re walking down a road or public sidewalk and a dog bites or otherwise attacks you? In terms of liability, is it any different from an attack that takes place on private property?

New Jersey’s Strict Liability Dog Bite Law

Like many states, New Jersey applies the legal concept of “strict liability” to dog bites. With strict liability laws, an injured person does not need to show that the wrongdoer was negligent or careless. Accordingly, in New Jersey, a person bitten by a dog does not need to show that the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog would be aggressive. So, if you are bitten on public property in New Jersey, you can seek damages without having to prove that the owner had prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive behavior.

The canine’s owner is responsible for any losses caused by a dog bite as long as it can be proven that they owned the dog and the victim was either on public property or legally on private property. A trespasser typically will not be able to recover compensation for injuries caused by a dog bite.

It’s also important to understand that the concept of strict liability applies only to dog bites. If you are knocked down, scratched, or otherwise injured—but not bitten—you will need to prove negligence.

Contact Howard D. Popper, P.C.

For a free initial consultation to discuss any personal injury claim, contact our office online or call 973-993-8787. Our offices in Morristown and Newton are closed, but we are available to answer questions and meet with you by phone or videoconference.

We handle all medical malpractice claims on a contingency basis. You won’t pay anyattorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.