Common Defenses for Animal Attacks
While laws are in place to protect New Jersey canine bite victims, it does not guarantee that a victim will successfully win their case. Silverberg Law Firm LLC is aware of these challenges and is cognizant of common defenses that may place limitations on a victim’s personal injury claim.
For instance, a defense lawyer will often try to use the following defenses to protect the owner of the animal:
If the victim did not have any right to be on private property (if it was private property), an owner may not be liable for a dog bite attack. If there is a warning sign, it may provide a defense for the owner to liability for the attack. However, people such as mail carriers and law enforcement officers have what is called “implied permission” which allows them to be on another person’s property.
If the victim instigated the dog into attacking, the owner may not be liable for personal injuries sustained in the attack. Very commonly, a defense lawyer will try to use that defense even if the victim did nothing to provoke the dog.
Partial Fault and Comparative Fault in New Jersey
Sometimes the victim is partially at fault due to their own acts or omissions. If the victim is partially (but less than fifty percent) at fault, the victim has to assume partial blame for their injuries. In New Jersey, even if a victim is partially at fault, they are still allowed to seek partial compensation for their injuries through the doctrine of “comparative fault.” (as long as they are not more than fifty percent at fault). NJSA 2A:15-5.1.