In order to file a dog bite complaint in New Jersey an individual must follow the general rules for filing a complaint in New Jersey. The dog bite complaint should also include a strict liability portion that sets forth the liability of a dog owner under New Jersey law. The complaint should also include a general pleading about the dog bite injuries suffered.
In the state of New Jersey, an individual is strictly liable for a dog bite. This means that if an individual’s dog bites someone, they will be liable for the bite regardless of whether they knew or should have known that the dog was vicious or has a propensity to bite people. This is different than an ordinary negligence action. In a typical negligence action, the plaintiff, or the person filing the suit, has to prove that the defendant either knew or should have known about a dangerous condition and they thereafter failed to remedy or prevent the dangerous condition from occurring. However, if an individual is strictly liable, they are liable regardless of whether they knew or should have known about the dangerous condition. Therefore, as set forth above, an individual who owns a dog will be liable for the dog bite regardless of whether they knew or should have known that the dog was likely to bite someone.
In some dog bite complaints, the plaintiff may also include language in the pleading, that the dog owner knew or should have known about the dog’s vicious propensities and failed to take any action to prevent the dog from attacking another individual. This language would be more akin to a negligence pleading and not a strict liability type pleading. As with all pleadings and all legal matters, the allegations and evidence are fact specific and will depend on the facts and circumstances of the specific matter.
If you or someone you know has questions about a dog bite or would like to speak with one of our Monmouth County Dog Bite lawyers call our office or click on the contact us tab. One of our attorneys will be happy to speak with you. If you retain our firm, we will only receive a legal fee if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf.