Dog owners are held responsible for their dogs’ behavior, including any attacks on humans, regardless of whether or not the dog had previously exhibited signs of violence. A dog owner can only avoid liability if the victim caused the attack, was trespassing on the owner’s property with criminal intent, or if the dog was under someone else’s care at the time of the attack. According to the NJ Dog Bite Statue N.J.S.A 4:19-16, any dog owner whose dog bites another individual in a public place or lawfully in a private place is liable for any damages suffered by the individual bitten. An individual is considered lawfully upon another individual’s private property when he or she is in the performance of a duty imposed by state laws or United States law, or when he or she is on the property upon the implied or expressed invitation of the owner.
Is the dog owner always to blame? No… but it’s hard to prove. The owner of a dog that bites or injures another individual is held strictly and legally liable for the dog’s actions. To prove the person that was bit is to blame, the owner must establish that the bitten person knew of the dog’s viciousness and/or did a deliberate act intended to provoke the dog and the dog was acting in self-defense.
If a dog bites you or a loved one in New Jersey, consult with a dog bite attorney from the Wilton Law Firm as soon as possible. New Jersey laws limit the period of time in which you are allowed to take action, and so you must act quickly.
If you or someone you love has suffered from a dog bite, contact The Wilton Law Firm. We have tried and settled many cases involving dog bites. Call 732-275-9555 for a free consultation if your spouse, child or loved one has suffered a dog bite. We serve clients throughout New Jersey.