According to the NJ statue on dog bites, the owner of the pet is responsible for their pet’s actions no matter what, even if the owner warned the victim and made an attempt to control their pet.
Prior dog attack incidents also do not matter in civil court. All you need to do is prove that the incident, the dog has bitten you, had occurred. However, a civil suit seeking damages must be filed within 2 years of the incident.
What if you think you had been bitten by a pet that has rabies?
Symptoms of rabies include: a fever, headache, muscle aches, loss of appetite, nausea, and fatigue
What you need to do...
- Obtain the owner’s full information such as, name, phone, address, the dog that had bitten you, and its vaccinations records
- Request that the animal must be observed by the department of health for 10 days to make sure that the animal is free of rabies
- If you have signs of rabies, have the pet immediately euthanized and tested.
- If the animal dies during observation, it will be submitted for testing
On the other hand...
For those who are fighting a civil suit concerning a dog bite, you can be saved if: the bitten person was “unlawfully” on your private property, for example, a trespasser was trying to break into your home.
A person can file a suit against you if the dog bite had occurred in public or if the person was “lawfully” on the dog owner’s private property.
People who are carrying official duties, like someone who is delivering mail, are technically “lawfully” able to be on your private property because of the duty he or she was trying to accomplish.
Ryskamp, Dani A. "New Jersey Dog Bite Injury Laws & Owner Liability Rules - AllLaw.com." Alllaw.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 July 2014.