DiLorenzo & Rush | Counselors of Law
Stepping Up & Standing Out

Recovering damages for dog bite injuries

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2021 | Personal Injury

Getting bitten by a dog can be traumatic, perhaps especially it was a dog you knew personally. However, the reality is that even the friendliest dog can bite someone when feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or threatened. Dogs may even bite someone during play time when they are at their happiest.

If you have been bitten by a dog in New Jersey, you may file a personal injury claim against the owner of the dog, alleging strict liability and/or negligence.

Strict liability

Many people believe they are not liable for a dog bite if their dog has never bitten anyone before and they were unaware of their dog’s “viciousness.” However, in New Jersey and other states with “strict liability” dog bite laws, dog owners are liable for damages if their dog bites someone, even if the dog had never bitten anyone previously and they were unaware of their dog’s dangerous propensities.


Dog owners can also be liable for injuries under the theory of negligence. Dog owners may be found negligent if they fail to properly leash their dog in accordance with city ordinances, fail to secure their dog, or fail to control their dog.

When is a dog owner not liable for dog bite injuries?

Dog owners are not always liable for dog bite injuries, even in strict liability states. Generally, a dog owner will not be liable for dog bite injuries if:

  • The alleged victim provoked the dog.
  • The alleged victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property at the time of the incident.
  • The alleged victim’s injuries were not caused by the dog bite.

Serious dog bites injure millions of people each year, resulting in costly medical bills, lost wages for time taken off work for treatment and recovery, and pain and suffering. A personal injury attorney in your area can help you file a claim against the owner of the dog that caused your injuries.