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New Jersey’s Dog Bite Law


If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog in New Jersey, you can file a lawsuit to recover compensation for injuries that you suffered. There are, however, specific conditions that must be met before you can receive damages.

First, you must show that you were either on public property at the time of the attack, or that you were lawfully on private property when you were hurt. Trespassers generally do not have a right to sue for dog bite injuries. The dog bite law specifically applies only to bites, and not to other types of injuries. For example, if a dog knocked you down and caused broken bones or other types of injuries, those losses would not be covered by the dog bite statute. You can, however, file a general negligence action for such injuries.

Like many other states, New Jersey imposes “strict liability” for dog bites. This means that, if you are bitten by a dog, you don’t have to show that the dog owner was negligent or that any negligence on the part of the owner caused your injuries. Instead, you need only show that:

  • The dog was owned or controlled by the defendant
  • The dog bit you
  • You suffered some type of injury or loss because of the bite

Defenses to a Dog Bite Claim

New Jersey law allows a dog’s owner to raise two different defenses, if applicable. First, if the injured person was illegally on the dog owner’s property, the defense of trespass may be appropriate. In addition, because New Jersey recognizes “comparative negligence” in personal injury lawsuits, a dog owner may have a defense if the injured person engaged in actions that provoked the dog.

Contact Us Now

Don’t run the risk that evidence will be lost— contact us online or call our office today at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is free. We are available evenings and weekends upon request. We’ll also travel to your home or the hospital, if necessary.

We handle all product liability claims on a contingent fee basis. We won’t charge any attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.

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