Who is liable for a dog bite?

Dog bites can result in serious harm to New Jersey residents. When dogs attack, victims may be left with severe lacerations, disfigurement and other medical problems. Medical help should be sought by dog bite victims to ensure that their injuries have been properly assessed and treated.

Victims in New Jersey do, however, have the benefit of strict liability laws when it comes to dog bites. That means that a person will be held liable for the bite harm their dog causes without the victim having to prove that the dog was vicious. In order for a victim to prevail on a strict liability claim the dog bite or attack must have happened in a public space or when the victim was legally on the land of the dog owner.

When a dog causes harm to others outside of biting, though, victims can use negligence laws to pursue their damages. For example, if a dog gets loose and trips a person as they walk down the sidewalk, causing the victim to suffer a broken bone as they fall, the victim may be able to sue the dog's owner based on their negligent handling of their animal.

Just as victims should talk to their doctors after suffering dog bites and other injuries, they should also speak with their trusted personal injury attorneys when they want to pursue litigation against the dog owners who caused their harm. This information contained in this post should not be used by readers as legal advice. Specific case guidance should be sought from personal injury attorneys familiar with readers' individuals' cases.

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