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Does New Jersey follow the one-bite rule?

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2022 | Animal Bites & Attacks

The aftermath of animal violence can range from mild to devastating. A little nip from a friend’s pup may not send someone running to a lawyer. But when an aggressive hound causes severe wounds, many sufferers need financial help. Dog bites can cause infections and disfigurement. When damages result in severe injury, victims may be out of work or emotionally scarred.

Many assume owners are liable for harm caused by their four-legged companions. But some states employ the “one-bite law,” giving some irresponsible people a free pass.

What is the one-bite rule?

One-bite laws protect dog owners when their precious pooch attacks for the first time. If the canine showed no former signs of aggression, this law might erase the owner’s liability. These situations often leave victims without compensation. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Witnesses can attest to former aggressiveness to show the owner could have prevented this first-time offense. Examples of hostility may include excessive barking or teeth-baring.

Does New Jersey follow the one-bite rule?

New Jersey does not give a slap on the wrist for animal attacks. Instead, they follow a strict liability standard. Citizens of the state are fully responsible for their pets, both in civil and criminal cases. Criminal cases arise when keepers are negligent. Vicious dogs must have proper enclosures and restraints at all times. If an animal repeatedly breaks free or attacks, owners could face criminal charges.

Pet ownership is a big responsibility. Everyone must understand the laws in their state and keep their pets under control.