Laws determining liability for dog bites vary according to state and are of two general types:
- The “one-bite rule” focuses on whether the dog’s owner knew (or should have known) that his or her dog would bite. The important question asked in these cases is whether the necessary steps were taken to prevent the animal from biting. The recipient of the bite (the plaintiff) must provide sufficient evidence to convince the jury that it was “more likely than not” that the defendant knew or should have known that the dog might bite.
- States that have adopted the “strict liability” statutes hold the defendant liable if a biting event occurs — regardless of whether the defendant could have done anything to prevent it. New Jersey uses a “strict liability” dog bite law.
If you suffered a dog bite injury in New Jersey, you need a qualified NJ injury lawyer to take a look at your case and help you determine the next step. Speak with a personal injury attorney about your NJ dog bite case.
HINT: The “one-bite rule” is actually a misnomer in that it no longer allows dog owners “one free bite” before they get into legal trouble.