New Jersey Dog Bite Laws

Serving clients throughout New Jersey


The law governing dog bites in New Jersey is found in a statute enacted by the New Jersey legislature and caselaw interpreting that statute. In plain terms, the law provides that a dog bite victim may recover against a dog owner as long as he/she was lawfully on the property where the bite occurred and the victim did not provoke the dog in any way. It is called "strict liability" which means that the dog owner is responsible regardless of fault and whether or not the dog owner was aware of the dog's dangerous propensities before the bite happened. New Jersey dog bite laws are, therefore, very favorable to a dog bite victim. If a dog owner is covered by homeowner's insurance then the claim is generally handled directly with the insurance carrier. If the dog owner is a renter, a recovery is still possible, but the case becomes more difficult. In such a case where the renter/dog owner is not insured, the victim will generally proceed with a claim against the landlord and must present evidence that the landlord knew or, in the exercise of reasonable judgment, should have known of the animal's dangerous propensities. In that instance the strict liability standard of liability does not apply. If you have been the victim of a dog bite anywhere in New Jersey call or email me for a fuller explaination of New Jersey dog bite laws under the specific facts of your case.