Strict liability for dog bites goes in and out of favor. Some states have a history of enacting such laws, repealing them, and then enacting new ones. Currently, New Jersey has a dog bite law that spells out the liability of the owner in cases of dog bites.
In states that do not have strict liability animal bite laws, accusers need to prove that the owner knew or should have known about the vicious propensities of the dog in question. These same indicators can be useful evidence in any state and are worth noting.
Some indicators of the dog’s vicious propensities, thus evidence that a reasonable person would know the dog was dangerous, include the breed and size of the dog in question, the purpose for which it is kept, a history of biting, any prior known complaints and evidence of prior fights with other animals. It should also be noted if the dog had a history of confinement or if the owner often secured it with a muzzle. Additional hints include whether the owner has warning signs posted on the premises or has made prior statements concerning the vicious character of the animal.
Dog bite cases can be impacted by state and local laws. If someone or their loved one has been bitten and wishes to try to file a personal injury claim, they should look for a personal injury attorney familiar with the applicable laws of the jurisdiction in question. They should also show up prepared to discuss the details of what happened, and any other supporting information for the claim.