Dog bites are a serious event in the lives of both the dog owner and the person who was bit. If you reside in New Jersey, you should understand the state dog bite laws in order to protect yourself. 

By familiarizing yourself with the basics of New Jersey’s dog bites laws, you may feel better about navigating your legal options. 

Who is liable for a dog bite injury?

According to the New Jersey dog bite statute, dog owners are strictly liable for any injuries caused by their pet. It does not matter if the owner knew of any former viciousness in the dog or if he or she used reasonable care to warn others or to restrain the dog. The bite must occur in a public place or while the victim was lawfully on private property. 

Following a 10 day mandatory quarantine of the domestic animal, an animal control officer conducts a health evaluation of the dog that bit or scratched you. 

What potential damages can I recover?

Depending on the nature of your injuries, you can attempt to recover expenses for medical or emergency room visits, psychological therapy, plastic and reconstructive surgery or hospitalization in general. Other potential damages include requesting that a court grant damages for any lost wages stemming from the injury, for disfigurement and disability or for diminished quality of life. 

What is the time limit to file a lawsuit?

As a victim of a dog bite, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury claim. If you are suing for property damage, the time limit for filing a claim is six years.