If a dog attacks a runner in the state of New Jersey, the dog’s owner is liable for dog bite injuries sustained during the attack. According to New Jersey’s strict liability dog bite statute, the dog’s owner is liable when the runner is bitten while legally on public or private property (whether they are running or not).
New Jersey Dog Bite Laws
According to New Jersey dog bite laws, the owner can be liable regardless of their knowledge, or lack thereof, of any previous vicious behavior by the dog. Even if the dog has no previous history of aggression, the owner can be held accountable for injuries resulting from their dog’s bite. The owner is responsible for injuries resulting from a dog bite, also where they applied reasonable care in handling the dog, attempted to hold the dog back, or warn the runner.
This also means that the runner attacked by the dog is not required to prove negligence on behalf of the owner. The only thing they must prove is the occurrence of the bite.
However, it is important to note that the New Jersey statute only applies to injuries caused specifically because of dog bites and not other forms of attack. A dog may jump on a runner and knock them down, potentially causing them injury, but the strict liability statute doesn’t apply. In this case, the runner or injured person can claim negligence on behalf of the dog’s owner for losing control of the dog and file a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation.
Conversely, if a runner is unlawfully trespassing on private property when the attack occurs, the owner is protected from New Jersey’s dog bite statute. While postal workers are on private property lawfully when they deliver the mail, a recreational runner crossing private property when attacked by a dog is not. The strict liability statute does not apply in this instance, and the owner avoids being held strictly liable.
Seek Legal Counsel in NJ
If you suffered a dog attack, you might be wondering, what is the value of a dog bite lawsuit? The size of the settlement in dog bite incidents varies by case. Dog bites can range from minor injuries of inconvenience to disfigurement and even death, so if a runner has suffered a dog bite, he should consult a law firm he can trust in the Garden state.