Dog Bites, Strict Liability and You

N.J.S.A. 4:19-16 stipulates, in part, that “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.” Essentially, what this statute does is provide strict liability as to the owner of a dog who bites someone.

Dog bite injuries range from minor to severe. However, regardless of the nature of your injury, New Jersey’s dog bite statute makes recovery relatively easy. Now, as with all personal injury cases, the amount you are entitled to recover will depend on the severity of the injury. If a neighbor’s dog leaves a small bruise on your leg, your damages will be nominal and the case will not be worth pursuing. However, even a small scar may entitle you to a worthwhile sum.

Don’t want to cause trouble for the dog’s owner? This is completely understandable. However, most homeowners insurance will cover these types of injuries. That means the owner will not be held directly liable. Moreover, insurers know they are fighting an uphill battle and will generally be willing to settle these types of cases quickly.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of a dog bite, call us for a free consultation. If we take your case and you don’t recover, you owe us nothing. If you have suffered injury, you deserve compensation. Call HANNAN & BLACK LAW today.


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