It is widely known that in order for someone to win their court case, a person must meet their burden of proof. Although this is true in the majority of cases, the exception to this rule is where strict liability is applied. Strict liability is used when a person is determined to be responsible for something regardless of who’s fault it was. In terms of a dog attack case, there is no need to prove that the owners of the attacking dog were negligent or had the intent to injure the victim or where otherwise in breach of their duty, yet the victim must still prove that the attacking dog is truly owned by the defendants.
Strict Liability in Dog Attack Suits in New Jersey
Within the scenario of a dog bite case, the owners of the attacking dog are in fact liable for any injuries that dog may cause to other people. Because of this, the victim of a dog attack may choose to plead strict liability and therefore allege that the defendants do in fact own the dog in question and that it caused damage that must be reimbursed. The strict liability plea is memorialized in California Code section 3342 which states that, “The owner of any dog is liable for the damages suffered by any person who is bitten by the dog while in a public place or lawfully in a private place, including the property of the owner of the dog, regardless of the former viciousness of the dog or the owner’s knowledge of such viciousness.”
Negligence Per Se in NJ Courts
Alternatively to strict liability, “negligence per se” also means that if a law or statute was determined to have been broken, there is no need to prove that someone has breached their duty or has been negligent in any way. Many local governments have written these codes into law, determining that if owners violate any written requirement, it may leave them automatically liable to pay out possible damages. An example of this appears in the San Diego County Code of Regulatory Ordinance Nos. 62.699(a) and (b).
It is often the case where these codes require that dog owners must control their animals or be on a leash to avoid having an animal be “at large”. When using the “negligence per se” plea, similar to the “strict liability” plea, the victim must only prove that the defendant owned the animal in question and that they also failed to comply with the codes set in place locally, and therefore cause injury on the part of the plaintiff.
Contact a New Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer Today
There are multiple plea opportunities for dog bite and dog attack cases as discussed yet it is important that you get experienced legal help in order to understand the process by which these cases are won. New Jersey-based law firm, Lombardi and Lombardi can help your case today and help you fight for the justice you deserve.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.