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.