Sign warning others about their dog, abiding dog bite laws.

Q: Can I sue the owner of the dog that bit me?

Hackensack dog bite attorneys know that not every pup is “man’s best friend”.

Being bitten or mauled by a dog is a traumatic experience that can leave victims with serious long-term physical and psychological injuries. In some cases–particularly with strong, aggressive dogs and young, small, or frail victims–dog attacks can be fatal. 

Within a span of fewer than two weeks, two separate fatal dog attacks made the national headlines. In one, a 19-year-old girl reportedly died after being attacked and dragged away by a pack of dogs at home she visited. In the other case, a 9-year-old girl riding bikes with her brother was reportedly attacked and killed by three pit bulls that “apparently broke out and pounced on the girl”. According to authorities, the dogs allegedly “killed a puppy” recently, so the owner should have known the dogs were dangerous and aggressive. At the time of the attack on the girl, the dogs were reportedly left alone in the backyard behind “a loose, damaged fence”.

New Jersey Dog Bite Laws

State laws differ, but New Jersey is a strict liability dog bite state–which is good news for dog bite victims. In New Jersey, dog owners are liable for a victim’s injuries even if the owner didn’t know the dog had a dangerous propensity and even if the dog never bit anyone before. In other states, dog owners might escape liability if they had no reason to believe their dogs were violent. The so-called “one bite rule” in those states favor dog owners over the unfortunate first victims of the dog’s bite.

Personal injury lawsuits arise when a person’s negligent, reckless, or intentional actions or inactions cause serious injury to someone else. In New Jersey dog bite cases, it’s considered negligent to fail to use reasonable care to restrain your dog or prevent it from injuring somebody. 

Compensatory damages may be awarded for economic and non-economic losses including:

  • lost wages, 
  • medical bills, 
  • pain and suffering, 
  • loss of enjoyment of life, 
  • permanent scarring, 
  • psychological trauma, and more.

Contact Levin & Malkin Today

If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog, the dog bite lawyers at Levin & Malkin can help you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. 

From our offices in Hackensack, we help dog bite victims and other accident victims throughout New Jersey, as well as New York, get the compensation and support they need and deserve.

Posted in: Personal Injury