The typical New Jersey resident has never bothered to learn about dog bite liability rules. After all, most companion animals are friendly and never cause any serious injury to humans. Still, there is a tiny subset of canines living in New Jersey that have turned violent or will eventually do so.
Whether they received training to be aggressive from the people who owned them or have genetic issues that predispose them to instability, some canines eventually become violent toward people. A dog can do permanent damage if they are particularly large or if they attack a young or otherwise vulnerable person.
As someone affected by a recent dog attack in New Jersey, it’s important for you to understand what the law says about such cases.
There are strict liability rules for dog owners
Any decision an individual makes that can negatively affect others will create liability. Owning an animal almost always comes with liability, as they can hurt people or cause property damage through unpredictable behaviors. New Jersey law establishes a strict liability standard for those who own animals.
In most cases, an animal’s owner is personally responsible for the damages caused by their pet. Often, homeowner’s insurance will help reduce this liability. There are a handful of situations in which an owner won’t be to blame for an animal’s aggression. These scenarios include when someone intentionally provoked the animal or when they broke the law, such as by trespassing or assaulting a person, immediately before the attack.
Animal bites are often very expensive
Aggressive animals cause damage to people’s bodies and their property. Their attacks can cause other damages, such as mental health challenges that stem from a dog bite incident. Animal bites create a high risk of infections due to the puncture nature of the wound itself and the bacteria that could come from the animal’s mouth.
When the animal’s owner has homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance, the person affected by the attack may be able to file a basic claim. Other times, the best solution may involve a civil lawsuit against the animal’s owner for the financial expenses caused by the animal’s attack.
Educating yourself about the New Jersey rules for dog bite attacks will help you determine what steps to take when an animal hurts you or a member of your family.