Anyone who owns a dog has a responsibility to keep it under control. When a dog bites someone, the owner will bear full financial responsibility for the consequences, including medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, treatment, and more. Statistically, New Jersey leads the nation in the average cost per dog bite claim. This makes it crucial that you get the help of a skilled dog bite lawyer to protect your right to fair compensation. If you have suffered injuries from a dog bite, our experienced New Jersey dog bite lawyers at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. can help. With over 120 years of collective experience, our attorneys have handled many dog bite cases throughout New Jersey. 

New Jersey’s leash laws should help dog owners keep their animals under control and avoid personal injury lawsuits. For dog owners, keeping dogs on a leash is a must.  Unfortunately, many animal owners fail to abide by the rules, putting others at risk of serious injury.

If you have suffered a serious dog bite injury, contact us to set up a free consultation. If we take your case, our lawyers will work on contingency.  That means we charge you no attorneys’ fees until you receive a settlement or verdict.  We serve clients in Hackensack, Lodi, Wayne, Paterson, Newark, Elizabeth, Morristown, Bergen County, and other parts of New Jersey.

New Jersey Strict Liability Dog Bite Law

In New Jersey, dog bites are governed by a legal theory called “strict liability”.  This means that dog owners are responsible for damages regardless of where the bite took place and regardless of whether the dog had ever displayed viciousness in the past. If they own a dog, and the dog bites someone and causes serious injury, they must pay. This is true even if:

  • The owner did nothing to encourage the dog’s viciousness
  • The owner tried to prevent the dog bite by restraining the dog
  • The owner warned the person about the potential risk of a dog bite
  • The dog bite occurred on private property and the victim was an invited guest

The strict liability dog bite law means that you do not have to prove that the owner was negligent (or careless) to recover compensation for your injuries.  The dog owner is generally liable regardless of the circumstances.  Only a few potential defenses exist.  Strict liability law will not apply if:

  • The victim provoked the dog
  • The dog inflicted the injury in some other way, such as by jumping on the victim, rather than by a bite, or
  • The victim was trespassing or not invited onto the dog owner’s private property 

However, the above defenses do not necessarily mean the end of a case. In cases where strict liability does not apply, negligence can be used as the burden of proof, as this is not placed on the plaintiff to prove that the damages were a result of the defendant’s negligence, only that damages occurred and the defendant is responsible.

At The Epstein Law Firm, P.A., we believe in doing what is best for our clients.  Your lawyer will always personally handle your case—and we make ourselves available to answer any questions you have about the legal process.

New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyers Discuss Dog Bite Dangers

Dog bites can cause injuries that are much more serious than most people might initially think.  The potential for serious injury becomes even more extreme if the victim is a child, which is unfortunately often the case.  Dog bites can lead to:

  • Severe scarring
  • Broken bones
  • Rabies
  • Damage to the muscles and nerves
  • Emotional injuries

Treating a dog bite can also be significantly more expensive than most victims anticipate.  In fact, estimates show that the average settlement award in New Jersey dog bite cases in 2018 was $55,522—and the total compensation paid to dog bite victims was more than $32 million.

Top-Rated Dog Bite Injury Attorneys in Rochelle Park, NJ Fight to Get Full Compensation for Our Dog Bite Victims

Statistically, accident victims who are represented by an experienced lawyer recover far more compensation than those who choose to go it alone.  At The Epstein Law Firm, P.A., we work tirelessly to identify every available source of compensation and help you get the highest award possible.

If you or a loved one were hurt by a dog bite, you may be entitled 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

Although many dog owners do not have the funds on hand to pay out large settlement awards, dog bite injuries are covered by homeowners’ and renters’ insurance. Most insurance policies cover up to at least $100,000 per dog bite injury.  Although it is understandable that many accident victims are reluctant to pursue legal action, in some cases it is the only way to get the compensation you need. To learn more about your legal rights after a dog bite, contact our team of New Jersey dog bite lawyers at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. today.

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our Team Of New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyers to Discuss Strategies for Your Dog Bite Claim Today

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your incident, contact our Bergen County dog bite lawyers at The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. today.   We will sit down with you in a free consultation and listen to your situation.  We then use our years of experience to plan a course of action that is best for your unique case.

Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Dog Bite Injury Claims

Will my insurance cover my dog bite injury?

How long do I have to decide if I want to sue a friend or neighbor over a dog bite?

Two years from the date the dog bite happened. It is always a good idea to speak with a lawyer soon after the injury even though two years seems like a long time. An experienced lawyer needs time to conduct an investigation, gather evidence and even consult with experts to build a strong case on your behalf.

Can the owner defend a dog bite claim by saying that this was the first time the dog had ever shown any vicious tendencies?

Not in New Jersey. Several other states have modified their dog bite law to include a “one bite rule” as a defense. In New Jersey, you can pursue action for compensation even if the dog has never shown any signs of viciousness—because the owner was the person responsible for making sure the dog was properly restrained at all times.

What other resources do you offer for dog bite accidents in New Jersey?

At The Epstein Law Firm, P.A. we offer. a number of resources for dog bite victims, including the following pages:
– Pit Bull Bites
– New Jersey Dog Bite Laws

Will my insurance cover my dog bite injury?

Some challenges that we do face often with a dog bite case is limitations in coverage. When there’s a loose dog running astray, whose dog is it? And sometimes people who own dogs don’t have coverage for that dog. So for instance, if it’s a homeowner and the homeowner has homeowners insurance, that person who is injured by the dog could potentially go through the person’s homeowners insurance. Sometimes, if a person doesn’t have homeowners insurance or renters insurance, we might look to a commercial entity. For instance, if the person who owns a dog is a tenant in a building and does not have renters insurance that might cover the injuries or losses suffered as a result of the dog bite, we might look to that commercial entity or landlord to determine whether or not the landlord had notice of the vicious or propensities of the dog to attack and then potentially go through the landowners’ coverage.


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.

No words are adequate to describe our gratitude for how hard you worked for us in this difficult case! You will always be a shining example for us as a person with integrity, perseverance, and especially someone who gives of themselves for the benefit of others!

A. A.

Thank you so much for everything. Thank you for always responding so promptly and for really going to bat for me. I believe that your heart is big for your clients on many levels.

G. C.