May 072012

New Jersey law is clear that victims of animal attacks such as dog bites can recover for their injuries. Unfortunately, children are the most common victims of such attacks.

New Jersey’s dog bite statute is a strict liability statute. Under N.J.S.A. Section 4:19-16, the dog bite victim does not have to prove that the dog was previously vicious or bit another person. The owner is liable for the injuries.

In order to make out a valid dog bite claim in New Jersey, the injured victim must prove the following:

  1. the defendant was the dog’s owner,
  2. the victim was not trespassing at the time of the incident, and
  3. the dog bit the victim.

In some instances, a landlord or property management company will be liable when a tenant’s dog attacks another if the landlord/property management company knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous. Thorough investigation often reveals whether the dog was previously dangerous. Sources of evidence may include:

  • animal control records,
  • police reports of prior attacks,
  • vet records, and
  • neighbor/witness testimony.

Dog attacks often lead to serious injuries, such as:

  • loss of limbs,
  • broken bones,
  • scarring,
  • infection, and
  • severe mental scarring.

In dog bites resulting in such serious injuries, having the case investigated properly will reveal all sources of liability, including that of the landlord or property management company. One often overlooked source of evidence is a statement from a postal service employee. Such employees often witness or know of the dangerous dogs on a given route and can be vital witnesses in a dog bite case.

If you’d like to have your case reviewed by our New Jersey and Pennsylvania dog bite and animal attack lawyers, call 215.925.4451. Our lawyers are available for a free, no obligation legal consultation.

The personal injury lawyers at Schwartz & Blackman handle cases in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area:

  • NJ: Atlantic County, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Camden, Cherry Hill, New Jersey shore cities
  • PA: Berks County, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Philadelphia County, Allentown, Lehigh Valley, Norristown, Philadelphia

*This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is important to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case.  See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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