New Jersey is among the “strict liability” states when it comes to dog bites.  The liability stems from N.J.S.A. 4:19-16, which reads:

The owner of any dog which shall bite a person while such person is on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, shall be liable for such damages as may be suffered by the person bitten, regardless of the former viciousness of such dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.

For the purpose of this section, a person is lawfully upon the private property of such owner when he/she is on the property in the performance of any duty imposed upon him by the laws of this state or the laws or postal regulations of the United States, or when he/she is on such property upon the invitation, express or implied, of the owner thereof.[i]

Although the language of the statute is relatively clear, it can be broken down into elements which must be proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, in order for a defendant to be found liable.  A plaintiff must prove:

  1. That the defendant was the owner of the dog in question;
  2. That the plaintiff was on or in a public place, or lawfully on or in a private place, including the property of the defendant; and
  3. That the dog did bite the plaintiff while in such a place.

The statute imposes liability on the dog’s owner regardless of whether he knew or should have known of the dog’s former viciousness.  In addition, case law has established that a “bite” for purposes of the statute does not require broken skin.[ii]

While the New Jersey Dog Bite law is strict when it comes to liability in a dog bite case, there are a few defenses to liability.  Two defenses include comparative negligence and trespassing.  Comparative negligence describes an instance where the plaintiff provoked the dog to attack.  A trespassing defense simply describes a situation where a person was on private property without permission and was then bitten by a dog.  It is important to know of the potential defenses that may be raised so they can be addressed in a way that does not negatively impact your claim. 

If you have been injured as a result of a dog bite, call the dog bite lawyers at Hyberg, White & Mann to schedule a free consultation.  For us, it’s personal.  Let us work to get you the compensation you deserve.

 

[i] N.J.S.A. 4:19-16

[ii] DeVivio v. Anderson, 410 N.J. Super. 175

Message Us

Get In touch below. Ask Any Question or Start a Free Quote

Don’t Delay

CALL TODAY

Get a Free Legal Consultation Today!

Or Call Now: (609) 407-1000

7 + 14 =

I understand and agree that submitting this form does not create an attorney-client relationship or agreement to provide legal services.

Want to learn more about our legal services? Consult with one of our workers' compensation or personal injury attorneys by contacting our lawyers or call (609) 407-1000 today. Our Attorneys proudly serve all of Southern New Jersey including the nearby areas of Pleasantville, Galloway, Linwood, Atlantic City, as well as, Atlantic, Cape May, Camden, Cumberland and Ocean Counties and the greater Southern New Jersey region. We look forward to working with you!

Open Hours

Monday - Friday: 9am - 5pm

Weekends By Appointment Only

DISCLAIMER
The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. Each case is unique and we encourage you to seek licensed legal advice to ensure all of your questions are answered. No recipients of content from this site, clients or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the site without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice based on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from an attorney licensed in the state of New Jersey.