While often beloved as welcome additions to a family, canine companions are still animals and capable of attacking individuals. Unfortunately, dogs, without provocation, can attack a person, resulting in devastating injuries. Victims often wonder whether they can hold the dog’s owner responsible for their pet’s vicious behavior. If a dog has seriously injured you, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Please continue reading to learn about New Jersey’s dog bite laws and how a skilled Monmouth County Dog Bite Lawyer can help you consider your legal options to seek reasonable compensation for the damages you’ve incurred.
Am I entitled to take legal action for a dog attack injury in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, a dog’s owner is strictly liable for injuries caused by their pet biting another individual, even if they acted responsibly. This means that even if they exercised reasonable care by restraining the dog at the time of the attack to protect or warn others about the potential danger, they would still be held responsible for the canine’s actions. In addition, a dog’s owner is responsible for a dog attack injury even if the owner has no known history of the dog’s vicious behavior. Therefore, under New Jersey’s dog bite strict liability statute, a dog’s owner is liable for any dog attack injuries when the victim is in a private place or lawfully on public property, regardless of any prior indications of dangerous propensity.
In addition to the statute of strict liability, courts recognize gross negligence claims against dog owners. It is imperative to note that while strict liability requires a victim to prove that a dog caused their injuries, negligence claims require the victim to demonstrate that the owner knew that their dog was aggressive or had exhibited warning signs of an imminent attack and failed to restrain the dog or take appropriate action. Proving a dog owner’s negligence can be challenging. That being said, to maximize your chances of recovering the maximum compensation that you may be entitled to, it’s vital to enlist the legal assistance of an experienced attorney who can help you investigate the circumstances of the attack and collect evidence that can help you prove your claim to hold responsible dog owners accountable for their negligence.
When would a dog’s owner not be liable for an injury?
Victims are entitled to pursue legal action for a dog attack injury. However, while dog owners may be held accountable if their pet attacks someone, there are exceptions to their liability. Firstly, if a victim were trespassing on private property during the attack, the dog’s owner would not be found negligent. This is because dog owners are only responsible for victims’ injuries who have been injured while lawfully on private property. Furthermore, if the victim’s negligence contributed to the dog attack, meaning they provoked the attack in any way by tormenting, teasing, abusing, or intentionally annoying the dog, the owner may not be liable.
If you or someone you love has suffered a dog attack injury, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined lawyer from the legal team at Falcon Law Firm, who will fight vigorously to help you attain the rightful compensation that you are entitled to for your injuries.