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Can I sue someone if their dog bit me on their property?

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2022 | Personal Injury |

A dog bite can be traumatic and leave both physical and emotional scars. You may also be worried that you will have to pay for expensive medical treatment that you’ll need to heal the wounds. You might think that you are unable to get compensation from the owner since you were at their property when the attack happened, but that is not the case. In New Jersey, the owner is responsible for the harm their dog causes to another, no matter where the incident happened.

New Jersey’s dog bite laws

The law in New Jersey states that the dog owner is liable for another’s injuries if their dog bit that person either in a public place or on private property. This means that you can get compensation even if you were at their property when the accident occurred. Also, you do not have to prove that the dog was vicious or dangerous to get compensated. You could get damages even if that was the first time the dog ever bit or attacked someone.

Important considerations

While the dog owner is liable for another’s injuries in most dog bite cases, there are some exceptions. You cannot get compensation if the dog bit you if you were trespassing on the property unlawfully. Also, you may not be able to get money if you provoked the dog and it acted in self-defense.

If you had some fault in the accident, the court would reduce your compensation amount according to your percentage of fault. If the judge or jury considers that you were solely responsible, it may not find in your favor. Lastly, there is a time limit in which you must file the legal claim for it to be valid. In New Jersey, you must file a personal injury claim against the dog owner within two years of the date of the incident, though minors would have until their 20th birthday.

Your lawful compensation

If you did not provoke the dog and you were legally on the dog owner’s property, you still have the right to get compensation for your injuries. That way, you can hold the owner responsible and make them pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and/or pain and suffering. This is your right under the New Jersey law, and our firm can help you fight for the money you are entitled to in court.