The Neighbor’s Dog Bit Me – Now What?

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If you live in New Jersey, you’ll be happy to know that there are strict laws governing dog bite situations. First things first, there is a statute of limitations on reporting the incident. You have two years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog in New Jersey.

Next, New Jersey is considered a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. NJ’s dog bite law is covered by NJ 4:19-16. In essence, the dog’s owner is liable for any injuries caused by their dogs. This means that whether or not you were bitten in a private home or a public playground, the dog’s owner is liable. Whether it’s in your house or their house, as long as you were not trespassing on their property (being there without invitation and/or approval) you are covered by the New Jersey dog bite law.

In some states, the dog bite statute says that the owner must have had knowledge of the dog’s vicious tendencies or that the dog had bitten someone else before. That stipulation does not exist in New Jersey. Here, all you need to do is prove that the bite actually happened. The dog’s owner needn’t have been negligent at all.

It’s also important to note that this NJ dog bit law doesn’t cover other injuries caused by a canine. It only covers actual dog bites. For example, let’s say you are walking up to someone’s front door and their dog leaps out and tackles you. You fall to the ground and break an arm. In this case, the dog bite statute doesn’t apply to you. However, you can possibly sue under premises liability or general personal injury law, just not the dog bite law.

Talk to the experienced personal injury lawyers at Wilton Law Firm in Middletown, NJ. We have represented many clients injured by dog bites. We can help you recover the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation. We take all personal injury cases on contingency. That means that if we don’t recover on your behalf, you don’t pay.