A dog bite can be a terrifying experience. Recently, a New Jersey woman injured by a dog was awarded $850,000 by a jury is Morris County. The woman was dog-sitting for a neighbor.
The dog, a German shepherd and chow-chow mix, bit the woman in the face. She suffered scars and back problems from the attack. The woman sued the dog’s owner because he didn’t tell her about two prior attacks on others.
Although the defense argued that the woman’s back injuries stemmed from a prior condition, the jury at the first trial awarded the plaintiff $100,000. A second trial found that the attack resulted in the plaintiff’s permanent back injury. She ultimately received a total of $850,000.
Under New Jersey Statutes § 4:19-16, a person injured by another person’s dog may hold him or her liable. The statute says that the injured party can hold the owner responsible even if the animal hasn’t bitten anyone else in the past or if the owner didn’t realize the dog had previously “acted viciously.”
The dog bit law in New Jersey is a strict liability law. In a strict liability state like New Jersey, the dog’s owner is financially responsible if the dog bites another party, even if the owner doesn’t know the dog has a tendency to bite and if he or she took reasonable measures to restrain the animal.
New Jersey’s law is applicable to bites but doesn’t apply to any other type of injury a dog might cause. However, a person injured by a dog has the right to bring a negligence lawsuit in New Jersey.
If you or someone you love has been bitten or injured by a dog attack, consult a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You have a limited time to bring a claim against the negligent party. Contact The Law Firm of Christopher A. Brown for an initial case evaluation.