A dog can be your best friend. But what if you meet up with a dog who wants to protect their best friend and attacks you? Being attacked by a dog that results in a bite can be frightening. There are repercussions to the owner if you are ever bitten by a dog with the possibility of compensation for you.
Dog bites are not rare. It is estimated that there are 4.7 million incidents of dogs biting people every year in the United States. Out of those dog bite victims, 800,000 are treated with medical care. If you are ever bitten by a dog in New Jersey, there are some things you should know.
New Jersey is a strict liability state
The state of New Jersey operates under the strict liability law. This means that the owner of the dog will be held liable when the dog attacks someone. This is the case only if the victim was attacked while on public property or was on private property with proper authorization to be there. Strict liability does not need the owner of the dog to have prior knowledge that the dog has a history of violence. Simply, if you are bitten by a dog, the owner will be responsible for compensation due to the injuries.
An attack without a bite
If you are attacked by a dog but no bite takes place, the strict liability law does not come into effect. If this was to ever happen to you, there are other ways to obtain compensation. First, it would have to be established that the owner of the dog was negligent. The owner has a duty to make sure that their dog does not attack a person.
Attacks at a dog park, beach or event
If you are visiting a dog park, the beach or some type of event that does not require a leash, you can easily run into a dog that is unfit to be in these types of settings. An attack at one of these venues would still cause the owner of the dog to be held responsible. These settings do not provide immunity for dog owners. The only difference is it can be more difficult proving liability. The only exception would be if the owner was aware of the dog’s previous aggression and did not take that into consideration. Even though entering places like a dog park has risk to it, it is not an excuse for an owner who has prior knowledge of their dog being vicious to put people in harm’s way.
If you are a victim of a dog bite in New Jersey, in most cases the owner of the dog will be held liable and may have to pay for injuries. It is best to explain your situation with a professional personal injury expert who can determine if your situation qualifies you for compensation.