Liability in NJ Dog Bite Cases

October 1, 2019

Animal Bite Injury Attorneys Serving Clients in Long Branch, Shrewsbury, Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, and across Monmouth County

Liability in NJ Dog Bite CasesIf you have been bitten by a dog and received injuries you may be wondering who is at fault and if you can recover compensation for your pain and suffering as well as medical bills. It is good to know that when it comes to dog bites and injuries caused by pets, New Jersey is a strict liability state as clearly stated in New Jersey Statutes section 4:19-16. This means the dog owner is responsible for whatever acts their dog or pet commits.

According to, every American has about a 1 in 50 chance of being bitten by a dog. In the shocking instant after a dog attack, it is common for someone to wonder if they somehow are at fault for the attack and what they should do next.  However, it is important to remain calm. There are several common-sense things you should do beginning immediately after the attack that can assure that you receive the compensation you deserve.  These include:

Identifying the dog as well as its owner

You should immediately identify the owner of the dog or the person who had custody of the dog when the attacked occurred. You will want to obtain the names and addresses of the owner or handler.

Seeking medical care

Depending on how severe the dog bite is you may want to contact first responders. In less severe cases you will want to see a physician. Due to the risk of infection as a result of dog bites, you should always seek professional medical treatment after being bitten or attacked by a dog.

Photographing your injuries

It is highly recommended that you photograph all of your wounds, including bruises, torn or bloody clothing.

Filing a report of the incident

After seeking medical treatment, it is highly recommended to file a dog bite report with the proper city or county authorities. It may not be the first time that the dog has bitten someone. This report legally documents your case and provides a record of the dog’s behavior.

Contacting an attorney

Because often the legal issues surrounding dog bites are complex it is recommended that you contact a dog bite attorney as soon as possible. You will need to take the correct steps in order to receive compensation for your injuries and an experienced dog bite/personal injury attorney is best qualified to guide you through this process.

Dog Bite Lawsuits in New Jersey Section 4:19-16

The State of New Jersey statute of limitations for filing personal injury cases is two years from the date of a dog bite injury. New Jersey Statutes section 4:19-16 make the dog’s owner liable for any dog bite injuries that occur:

  • When the attack took place in a private or public place
  • Regardless of the owners’ knowledge of any former viciousness
  • Even if the owner used reasonable care to restrain the dog or to protect or warn others

Thus if a person who is bitten by a dog in New Jersey, they do not need to prove that the dog’s owner was careless or negligent. All that needs to be proven is that the bite happened and that a specific dog was the attacking animal.

It is important to remember that the above-mentioned statutes do not cover injuries caused by dogs that may occur in other ways. For example, if a dog jumps on a person knocking them down and causing injury. However, a person injured in this manner may seek compensation through a negligence claim, based on the argument that the dog owner failed to adequately control the animal.

It is important to mention that in many cases a person may know the owner of the dog that bit them. In these cases, they may be hesitant to enter the process to receive compensation due to not wanting to cause any hardship to a friend. However, if the attack occurred at their home, often their home owner’s insurance will cover dog bites.

Contact Monmouth County Dog Bite Lawyers for a Free Consultation Today in Our Long Branch Office Location

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite, you should get in touch with a qualified personal injury attorney with experience dealing with dog bite cases as soon as possible. Get in touch with the personal injury attorneys at Chamlin, Uliano & Walsh. We understand the monetary impacts and emotional strain an experience like this can cause, and we are ready to help you navigate the recovery process.

Fill out our online form or call us today at 732-440-3950 or toll-free at 888-328-9131 to start your free consultation. Find out how a professional, dedicated lawyer can get you the compensation for your dog injuries that you deserve.