Summary of New Jersey Dog Bite Law

Dog bites are occurring with greater frequency around the country. These incidents cause a great deal of trauma and physical harm to those involved. In New Jersey dog owners are held strictly liable for any injuries that result from a dog bite. New Jersey does not have a “one dog bite rule” which allows an owner to avoid legal liability if the dog did not previously show viciousness or bite someone.

Under N.J.S.A 4:19-16, a dog owner is liable for the attack of their dog if the injured party can show that:

  • the other party was the owner of the dog;
  • that the person was in fact bitten by the dog
  • that the injured person was lawfully on private property or in a public place.

For purposes of the New Jersey dog bite law, a person is considered lawfully on the property of the owner if they are a guest or they are performing an official duty. So if your neighbor’s child is playing in the backyard with your children and your dog bite’s the child you will be held liable. Similarly, if a letter carrier or delivery person walks on to your property, performing their official duties, you will be held liable for the dog bite.

Dog Bite Statute of Limitations

For most personal injury cases, there is a statute of limitations that applies to the case. This means that you must file your claim within the period that is set for the statute of limitations or your case will be dismissed. In New Jersey, the statute of limitations to file a dog bite claim is (2) two years from the date of the incident. Do not wait to speak with an experienced dog bit attorney so that you can protect your rights.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

The King Law Firm handles cases in the following counties: Essex County, Hudson County, Passaic County, Union County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Bergen County, Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County, Atlantic County.
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