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Liability in New Jersey Dog Bites Cases 

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In a New Jersey dog bite case, there is no impact on the compensation if the person knew the dog or the dog owner. If a person has homeowner’s insurance, it is assumed that their dog could bite someone and the insurance company would pay for it.

By not filing a claim, the person is not helping their case or someone they know who has been affected by a dog bite, the person is helping the insurance company make money. If they are going to continue to charge the person’s friend or family member, there are premiums for that coverage, regardless if it is used or not.

In a liability consideration in New Jersey dog bite cases, a person should never neglect their dog bite because they are not helping themselves get the reassurance they deserve from a skilled and dedicated attorney.

Liability of Injured Person

If the injured person has a relationship with the owner of the dog, there is no liability on the injured person. What could potentially happen is the dog owner could try to argue that the injured person was comparatively negligent, they knew this dog was violent, or they knew this dog could bite people, and they could argue that the person bitten disregarded that knowledge and were still in the area of the dog and got bit. But that burden is shifted to the defendant. It is a tough standard for that defendant to argue.

However, there is not liability on the injured person simply because they knew this dog. The defendant would have to argue that not only did they know this dog, but they knew this dog bit people. This can get complicated because that begs the following question: Why did the dog owner know that the dog was violent and bit people and still allow that dog to be in the vicinity of people? A New Jersey dog bite lawyer would take care of all the complexities involved in liability.

Defining Strict Liability

New Jersey is a strict liability state, which means if a person’s dog bites someone and that person is in an area that they are permitted to be, the owner is going to be liable to that individual for their damages. It is important to understand that this is not the case for anyone trespassing on another’s property. If a person is the victim of a dog bite, the person is going to be incurring damages.

It could be economic losses or medical treatment, the person may be out of work depending on the severity of the injury and, a lot of times, working with a New Jersey dog bite lawyer can make dealing with substantial non-economic damages easier to confront. These are considered the person’s pain and suffering the injured person has experienced since the incident. Most dog bite cases deal with scarring that may last for an extended period of time, if not forever. Any individual going to be going through all of that, the person would want to make sure that they are being compensated fairly for those injuries.

Leash Laws

Leash laws in New Jersey require dogs to be on a leash. Depending on whether or not the dog is in a dog park or certain other areas, there are some exceptions to the leash rule.

The accused person may or may not be liable depending on if there was a leash on the dog. It depends on if there was a dog bite. Sometimes there could be an incident where the dog does not actually bite an individual, but knocks them down and injures them. In that situation, a person needs to prove that the dog owner was negligent. Strict liability is only triggered if there is an actual bite. If there is a dog attack with no bite or if the dog knocks someone down and injures them, a person has to prove that the defendant’s dog owner was negligent in some way. Thus, not having a leash will assist in proving that the owner was negligent when establishing liability for a dog bite claim in New Jersey.

Investigative Tactics

Investigative tactics include eye witness accounts, which are the most important. Video footage is excellent, as well. Many times that is not available, so it is necessary to prove liability and negligence on behalf of the dog owner by looking at the dog’s prior behavior. If this is a dog that has frequently escaped its home and attacked individuals, that could be used to assess why the dog owner did not take proper precaution in preventing this from happening multiple times.

Every case is different, but establishing a liability for New Jersey dog bite claims takes as much information as possible, including witness statements, police reports, the dog’s history, and video footage. If you have been bitten by a dog, hire a New Jersey dog bite attorney to see what claim you could be entitled to.