Every dog owner has a duty to maintain control over their pet. Any financial costs associated with a dog bite, such as medical expenses, pain and suffering, missed earnings, treatment, and other expenses, fall solely on the owner. According to statistics, New Jersey has the highest average cost per dog bite claim in the country. This makes it essential that you seek the assistance of our knowledgeable Bergenfield dog bite lawyers to safeguard your right to fair recompense.

At The Epstein Law Firm, P.A., our skilled attorneys can assist if a dog bite has caused you harm. Our attorneys have amassed over 120 years of combined legal experience successfully handling dog bite and other personal injury cases throughout New Jersey.

Please get in touch with us to arrange a free consultation if you have sustained a severe dog bite injury. Our attorneys can take your case on a contingency basis. This means that unless you receive a settlement or verdict, we won’t charge you any legal expenses. In addition to other areas of New Jersey, we also assist clients in Bergenfield, Lodi, Wayne, Paterson, Newark, Elizabeth, Morristown, and Bergen County.

New Jersey Strict Liability Dog Bite Law

Dog bites are subject to the “strict liability” legal principle in New Jersey. This means that regardless of where the bite occurred or whether the dog had previously demonstrated aggression, dog owners are liable for any resulting harm. They must pay if they have a dog that bites someone and results in significant injury. Even in the event that:

  • The dog’s owner did nothing to facilitate its viciousness.
  • By restraining the dog, the owner attempted to stop the dog’s bite.
  • The owner forewarned the individual of the possibility of a dog bite.
  • The victim was an invited guest when the dog bite happened on private property.

Because of the strict liability dog bite rule, you do not need to demonstrate that the owner was careless or irresponsible in order to receive compensation for your injuries. Regardless of the situation, the dog owner is generally responsible. Only a few potential defenses exist. Strict liability law will not apply if:

  • The victim purposely made the dog angry.
  • Instead of biting the victim, the dog caused the injury in some other way, like by jumping on them.
  • The victim was either not invited to the dog owner’s private property or was trespassing there.

The aforementioned defenses, however, do not automatically mean that a case is over. In cases where strict liability does not apply, the plaintiff does not have to prove that the defendant was careless and caused the damage. Instead, they only have to show that the damage happened and that the defendant is to blame.

The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. is committed to acting in our clients’ best interests. Your case will always be personally handled by your lawyer, and we are always accessible to address any questions you may have about your legal claim.

Dog Bite Dangers

New Jersey’s leash laws should make it easier for dog owners to control their pets and prevent people from experiencing injuries. Unfortunately, many pet owners disobey the laws, endangering the lives of innocent bystanders.

Dog bites can result in considerably more damage than most people might believe. If the victim is a child, as is very frequently the case, the risk of serious harm increases even further. Dog bites may result in: 

  • Disabling scars
  • Bone fractures
  • Rabies
  • Symptoms of muscle and nerve damage
  • Emotional wounds

Additionally, the cost of treating a dog bite may be much higher than most victims anticipate. According to estimates, the average settlement amount in New Jersey dog bite cases in 2018 was $55,522, and more than $32 million in total compensation was given to dog bite victims.

Reputable Bergenfield Dog Bite Lawyers Fight for Victims of Dog Bite Injuries to Receive Full Compensation

According to statistics, accident victims who are represented by a skilled attorney receive far more compensation than those who try to represent themselves. At The Epstein Law Firm, P.A., our Bergenfield personal injury lawyers work tirelessly to secure fair compensation for our clients’ injuries.

If a dog bit you or a loved one, you may be eligible to compensation for:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical care
  • Rehabilitation and surgeries
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress, especially in cases involving children

Dog bite injuries are covered by homeowners’ and renters’ insurance, despite the fact that many dog owners lack the resources to pay out sizable settlement amounts. Most insurance policies provide up to $100,000 in coverage for each dog bite injury. Although it is natural that many accident victims are hesitant to file a lawsuit, in some circumstances, it may be the only means of obtaining the necessary compensation. Contact The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. right away to find out more about your legal rights and options after suffering injuries from a dog bite.

About Bergenfield, NJ

Bergenfield is a town in Bergen County, New Jersey. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, there were 26,764 people living in the borough. Bergen County Animal Control provides complete animal control services to 50 communities located throughout Bergen and Hudson counties. Their Animal Control team is comprised of 14 state-certified officers (ACOs), whose primary responsibilities include the enforcement of municipal, county, state, and federal laws regarding the care and treatment of animals, as well as the education of the general public regarding animal safety issues. The towns that have contracted with Bergen County Animal Control receive a variety of services, including those that are mandated by the state, such as rabies control, housing and care for stray animals, confinement services for stray and owned animals involved in bite cases, and emergency veterinary services for sick or injured domestic strays.

When there is a dog attack, animal control is quite active in the situation. Because of the law, those in charge of animal control have a great deal of control over the problem. Animal control officials, for instance, are the ones who are responsible for carrying out the evaluation that is mandated by the law and classifying the dog in question as either dangerous or vicious.

An annual estimate places the number of dog bites in the United States at roughly 4.5 million, with approximately 800,000 of those bites requiring medical attention. The study was conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In 2019, the population of the United States was roughly 328.2 million people, which equates to one person out of every seventy-three getting bitten by a dog.

The average amount paid out in compensation for dog bites in the Garden State is $49,582 dollars. In 2020, there were approximately 467 claims submitted for dog bites, which placed the state in the ninth position for being bitten by canines.

Make an Appointment for a Free Initial Consultation With Our Bergenfield Dog Bite Lawyers to Discuss Your Dog Bite Injury Claim Today

No matter what the circumstances of your accident were, get in touch with The Epstein Law Firm, P.A.’s Bergen County dog bite attorneys right away. During a free consultation, we will sit down and listen to all of the details about your case. Then, based on our years of experience, we will plan the best course of action for your situation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get started on your claim.

Dog Bite Legal Services in Areas Nearby

The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. has office locations nearby at:

Contact our Rochelle Park office today at (201) 231-7847 or our Englewood Cliffs office at 201-734-3763 for a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Dog Bite Injury Claims in Bergenfield and Throughout New Jersey

Will my insurance cover my dog bite injury?

How long do I have to decide whether to file a dog bite lawsuit against a friend or neighbor?

Two years after the dog bite occurred. Even if two years may seem like a long time after the injury, it is always a good idea to consult a lawyer right away. To create a compelling argument on your behalf, a skilled attorney takes time to conduct an investigation, acquire proof, and even meet with specialists.

Can the owner refute a dog bite accusation by claiming that the dog has never previously displayed any aggressive behavior?

In New Jersey, no. Several other states’ dog bite laws have been amended to include a “one bite rule” as a defense. In New Jersey, however, you can seek compensation even if the dog has never shown signs of viciousness, because the owner was the person responsible for ensuring the dog was properly restrained at all times.

Do you have any other resources about dog bite claims in New Jersey?

The following pages are just a few of the resources The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. provides for dog bite victims:

1. New Jersey Dog Bite Laws
2. Pit Bull Bite

Will my dog bite injury be covered by insurance?

One of the most common challenges we face in a dog bite case is coverage limitations. Whose dog is it when there’s a loose dog running around? And sometimes dog owners do not have coverage for their pets. So, if it’s a homeowner and the homeowner has homeowners insurance, the person who is injured by the dog could potentially seek compensation from the homeowner’s insurance. If a person does not have homeowners or renters insurance, we may turn to a commercial entity. For example, if the dog owner is a tenant in a building and does not have renters insurance that might cover the injuries or losses sustained as a result of the dog bite, we might look to that commercial entity or landlord to determine whether or not the landlord was aware of the vicious or propensities of the dog to attack and then potentially go through the landowners’ coverage.


We want to express our deepest gratitude for the exceptional work you did to insure that our father’s unfortunate accident did not go unrecognized; my dear dad would have appreciated your professionalism, unstoppable work ethic and most of all your compassion every step of the way. Please know we have the highest regard and the utmost respect for you.

Deb & Joe

Thank you again for all of your help, support and advice. You’ve made a trying and difficult time much easier to deal with for my family and myself. You will never have any idea how much your efforts were, and will forever be appreciated.

F. D.