When a Dog Bites You in NJ—Here’s What You Need to Know
July 6, 2021
Firstly, most people who have been bitten by a dog are reluctant to speak with an attorney because they do not feel comfortable suing their neighbor, friend, relative, etc.
A dog bite claim is covered by the owner’s homeowner or renter insurance and is not paid by the neighbor/friend. In fact, that is why they bought insurance—to cover them for instances like this. We will negotiate the claim with the insurance company for the dog owner without troubling the dog owner.
Laws to Know When a Dog Bites You in NJ
An unexpected dog bite in New Jersey can have severe consequences. A dog may bite out of fear or aggression and cause painful injuries that have long-lasting effects for the victims. To maximize your chances of recovery, it is crucial to have a basic understanding of the law surrounding dog bites.
If a dog bites you in NJ, here is what you need to know to build a strong case and achieve the justice you deserve.
Statute of Limitations
After a dog bite in New Jersey, there is only a limited time when you can file a civil lawsuit. This time limit, called the statute of limitations, is two years from the date of the accident that caused the injury. If you try to file a lawsuit after this period, it might be dismissed by the judge. It is recommended you immediately hire an attorney such as Hoyt & Hoyt after the incident so that you do not run the risk of missing this deadline.
Dog Owner Liability
New Jersey has a strict liability law regarding dog bites. The dog owner’s insurance company is responsible for the costs associated with the injury even if the dog owner was using reasonable care at the time of the bite. Within New Jersey, all that needs to be proven is that the dog bite occurred.
In New Jersey, a dog’s owner can be held responsible for the injuries from a dog bite when:
- The bite occurs on private property.
- The bite occurs when lawfully in a public place.
- The bite occurs whether or not the owner knew that the dog was vicious.
Dog Owner Defenses
If a person was bitten while trespassing on private property, then the owner is not liable. This is because the victim was acting illegally, and the dog had the right to defend the home or property. Someone using the defense of provocations argues that the dog was provoked, either intentionally or unintentionally, and that provocation justified the bite. New Jersey does not recognize the defense of provocation, which is common in other states.
Compensation for Injuries
New Jersey awards money for both economic and non-economic damages stemming from dog bite injuries. This includes claiming past and future medical bills, lost wages. New Jersey also allows recovery for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and emotional distress caused by the dog bite.
Hoyt & Hoyt Helps You Achieve Justice
If you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite, you should immediately call Hoyt & Hoyt at (973) 490-4844 about your case. We’re ready to help you achieve the compensation and justice you deserve for your personal injury claim.