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In New Jersey does a dog bite victim have to prove that the dog previously bit another person?

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A: New Jersey’s dog bite law is a strict liability statute which means that dog owners will be liable if their dog bites a person, regardless of whether the dog previously bit someone or not. So, a dog owner would be liable if the dog attacks another person without provocation. However, a dog owner may not be liable if their dog attacked someone in self-defense. For example, if a dog attacks in response to being taunted or attacked, the owner would probably not be liable.

There are three elements to a dog bite claim in New Jersey:

  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 plaintiff.

Proving that the dog previously bit someone is generally unnecessary, but may be advantageous in serious injury cases or where there are other potentially liable parties. For example, proving that a dog was known to be violent may result in liability of a landlord in addition to the dog owner.

Related Article: New Jersey Dog Attack Lawsuit – What You Have to Prove

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

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