Depending on the situation, there are three main legal doctrines that dog bite attorneys in New Jersey will use in court. These are doctrines that are common in many other states; however, each state develops its own case law from court decisions that often times interpret statutes.
Regardless of supreme court decisions, this article will describe the basic tenets of New Jersey dog bite law and how it may affect your own case.
The first legal doctrine is known as strict liability. The strict liability doctrine automatically renders the dog owner liable, regardless of the dog’s history. In order to meet this threshold, the injured party must prove the dog was owned by that person and that they were injured. This may sound simple; however, the dog owner’s defense attorney may present evidence that challenges your position. Your attorney will have to do the job of gathering strong evidence and building a convincing case.
The negligence doctrine requires an injured party to show that the dog owner owed a duty of care to the injured person, that the dog owner breached that duty of care and the party was injured as a result. Proving negligence requires a bit more evidence than strict liability.
A wrongful death action can be brought by a decedent’s estate (aka the family members of the person who died) if the person died as a result of someone else’s negligence or intentional act. Additionally, this type of claim can only be brought if the decedent would otherwise have been able to bring a personal injury case against the defendant if they survived their injuries. A wrongful death suit takes place in civil court, alongside the negligence or strict liability claim.
Victims of dog bite injuries are able to pursue both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover issues such as loss of income and medical care, whereas non-economic damages cover issues such as PTSD and emotional trauma.
Contact the Offices of Peter Briskin, Esq.
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries stemming from a dog bite, contact the Offices of Peter Briskin, Esq., to get your free case evaluation. Our experienced attorneys will be able to effectively explain New Jersey laws surrounding dog bites, and how it may affect your case.