People in the Garden State love their dogs. In fact, there are 1.38 million dogs in New Jersey alone.
If you live in New Jersey, you need to be aware of the dog bite laws that are in effect.
According to the CDC, a dog bites someone in the United States nearly 5 million times a year. That means a dog bites one out of every 69 people. Of those approximately 4.7 million dog bites that occur each year, 800,000 require medical care. New Jersey has specific dog bite laws. And, in case a dog bites you, you need to know what those laws are.
New Jersey Dog Bite Statutes
According to state law (4:19-16), when a person’s dog bites someone on public property, he or she is liable. The owner must pay for any damages or injuries that the person incurred. The victim can also be on private property, as long as he or she is there legally. This part of the law protects people who may come onto your property because you invited them. People can also come onto the property to perform a service. For example, pest control people or delivery people are lawfully on your property to perform a service.
What Are Other Provisions of the Law?
In addition to the location where the bite occurred, the law has other provisions. First, authorities do not have to consider the dog vicious for the owner to be liable. A dog owner may have never seen his or her dog bite anyone before. The dog may have bitten people without the owner’s knowledge. In the New Jersey courts, it doesn’t matter. Even if the dog has never bitten anyone before, the owner is still liable for injuries from a dog bite.
Like many states, New Jersey is a “strict liability” state with regard to dog bites. This means the owner of the dog is at fault if his or her dog bites someone and causes injuries. It doesn’t matter how careful the dog owner was. If his or her dog bites someone, he or she is at fault.
In fact, the victim doesn’t have to prove that the owner of the dog was careless, or even negligent. The dog might have been in a fenced-in yard, for example, but managed to bite someone walking by. According to New Jersey law, the court would say the owner used reasonable care. He or she kept the dog in a fenced-in yard. The owner might have also used signs to warn people he or she had a dog. However, he or she is still liable for the injuries.
What Should I Do?
Have you been the victim of a dog bite in New Jersey? If yes, then, you need to know that there are restrictions on dog bite lawsuits. First, you only have two years to file for damages. Second, you only have to prove that a dog bite occurred. You do not have to prove any careless on the dog owner’s part. Also, the statute for dog bites doesn’t cover other injuries you might have sustained. If you fell down after the dog jumped on you, the dog bite statute does not cover those injuries. However, you may be able to file a negligence claim under New Jersey law.
If a dog has bitten you, you have received injuries, and you want to know who is liable when a dog bite injury occurs you don’t want to waste any time. Get in touch with us today and let us begin working on your case. We want to make sure you can cover your medical bills and other needs in the event of a dog bite. Give our office a call or simply fill out our online form to get in touch.