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New Jersey

Personal Injury Attorneys

When is a dog owner responsible for a bite in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Jul 24, 2021 | Dog Bites |

Having someone else’s dog attack or bite you is frightening, and you may have concerns about infection, rabies or nerve or muscle damage after a bite. You may also have questions about whether you might be able to hold the dog owner responsible for your injuries and have him or her finance costs related to your recovery.

Per the New Jersey Certified Animal Control Officer Association, New Jersey is not among the states that recognize a “one-bite” law. States that adopt one-bite laws typically give a dog one chance to bite before holding the owner responsible for resulting injuries. Instead, New Jersey has a strict-liability dog bite law.

Understanding New Jersey’s strict-liability law

If a dog bites you when you are on private property or in a public place where the law allows you to be, the dog’s owner becomes liable for any injuries resulting from the bite. This remains true regardless of whether the dog in question has any history of viciousness. It also does not matter if the dog owner made clear attempts to restrain the dog.

Understanding what happens after a bite

Once someone else’s dog bites you and you report it, the dog must enter a 10-day quarantine that the owner has to finance. Once the 10-day span ends, it becomes the responsibility of the animal control officer to determine if the animal is healthy and able to live safely alongside humans.

When a dog bites you in New Jersey, you need to make a claim within a particular timeframe. If the statute of limitations passes, you may not be able to hold the dog owner liable for your bite.