Trenton Dog Bite Lawyers
Experienced Dog Bite Lawyers Fight for Victims’ Right to Fair Compensation for Serious Injuries in Mercer County and Throughout New Jersey
In New Jersey, dog owners are held strictly liable under the law for any injuries their dogs inflict, even when that dog has no history of biting. With close to 5 million reported dog bites in the United States each year, and many more going unreported, it’s evident that dog bites are common and can cause lasting physical and emotional damage.
It’s not uncommon for dog bite victims to be reluctant to take legal action. Pets are a wonderful addition to life, but when they cause serious injury to you or a loved one, you shouldn’t be left to shoulder the financial cost of the dog owner’s carelessness.
If you suffered a significant injury associated with a dog bite in New Jersey, you should consult with the Trenton Dog Bite Lawyers at Kalavruzos, Mumola, Hartman, Lento & Duff, LLC as soon as possible to preserve your right to compensation. To schedule your free initial consultation to discuss options in your case, call or contact us online today.
There is No “One-Bite Rule” in New Jersey
Sixteen states currently have what’s known as the “one-bite rule,” essentially allowing the dog and owner one liability-free bite. However, this is not the law in New Jersey, where there is no free pass. All dog owners are legally liable if their dog bites someone, even if it is the first time.
If you have been injured in a dog bite accident, the experienced personal injury legal team at KMHL&D can review the exact circumstances surrounding your case and can provide counsel as to whether you have a potential legal claim.
It is worth noting that every state has statutes of limitations, which are the legal deadlines for filing civil claims. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations for a dog bite is two years from the time the bite occurred. If you do not file your dog bite claim within two years, the New Jersey court will dismiss your case and you will be unable to recover any damages. There are exceptions to this two-year deadline; it is best to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney if you think you may be unable to meet the filing deadline.
Establishing Liability for Dog Bite Accidents in New Jersey
To establish liability for a dog bite in New Jersey, the person who was injured must prove that:
- The dog that bit you was owned by the defendant;
- You were either in a public place or you were legally permitted to be on private property, such as the dog owner’s home, when you were bitten
- Or the dog was loose and bit you off of the owner’s property
In short, as long as you were not illegally in a place when bitten by the dog (such as breaking into someone’s home or trespassing on private property) then the dog owner faces absolute liability for the bite. It does not matter whether you were a stranger or you were working for the dog owner (babysitter, house cleaner, dog walker, etc.), the law states that the victims of dog bite injuries may have grounds to pursue monetary compensation for injuries and damages that are caused by another person’s pet.
Exceptions and Joint Liability in New Jersey Dog Bite Accident Cases
If you are bitten by a dog but provoked the attack through your own acts of aggression, the dog owner may not be held liable for the bite depending upon the exact circumstances of the case. In these situations, the dog may be deemed to have been defending itself or perhaps its owner.
If two people co-own a dog (in cases where they live together or are married) both parties can be held liable for the dog bite.
Agents of a dog owner, such as a dog walker or pet sitter, are generally not held liable for a dog bite while the animal is in their care. In these cases, liability tends to remain with the dog owner, with certain exceptions.
Contact Our Experienced New Jersey Dog Bite Injury Lawyers to Discuss Options Today
Dog bite cases are not always as straightforward as they appear. Knowing which parties can be held liable is often made more complex by at least one party claiming that they are not the dog’s owner. Insurance issues can also become complicated. This is why we suggest that if you have been injured by a dog bite in New Jersey, you should contact the legal team at KMHL&D today so we can review the facts of your case and advise you as to the best course of action.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Bite Injuries in New Jersey
We do. The KMHL&D legal team has experience in all areas of injury law, including those involving people injured by dog bites. If you have been the victim of a dog bite in Mercer County, Burlington County, Somerset County, Middlesex County, or throughout New Jersey, contact us today for a free consultation.
In New Jersey, you may still have a claim if a dog causes you to be injured other than by biting you. If you were injured, for example, by an unleashed dog who knocked you over, you may still be entitled to recovery for your injuries.
Interestingly, they are not. The standard of negligence applies to owners of other animals that may bite you.