If a dog bites me, can I recover for my injuries?
Yes. New Jersey recognizes personal injury claims for people bitten by dogs.
What must I prove in order to recover for my injuries?
In order to recover damages for your injuries, you must prove that:
- The defendant owned the dog;
- The bite occurred while you were in a public place or lawfully on private property; and
- You were bitten by the dog.
What does it mean to be “lawfully on the private property” of the owner?
You are lawfully upon private property when you are expressly or implicitly invited by the owner or when you are in the performance of a legal duty, such as a mail carrier.
Does it matter if it was the dog’s first bite?
No. New Jersey’s “Dog Bite” statute imposes liability upon an owner regardless of whether the dog has bitten people on prior occasions or the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s propensity to bite.
Can I be held responsible?
The injured person can be fully or partially at fault if he/she incited the dog or knew of the dog’s propensity to bite.
If a dog attacks me and I am injured but not bitten, can I still recover?
Yes. If you are attacked by a dog and suffer injury, but the dog does not actually bite you, you can still recover if you prove:
- The owner failed to maintain reasonable control over the dog; or
- The owner knew of the dog’s propensity to bite or cause injury.
Where does a monetary recovery come from?
Dog bite claims may be paid by the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company.