Ask a Lawyer and Get Answers to Your Legal Questions
Thank you for using our forum. My name is ***** ***** I hope to assist you today.
Regarding any civil liability you may have towards this other person, you can be held liable for the actual cost of any injuries or medical care she may receive. It would be possible that the court could find that you are liable for additional damages (called punitive or exemplary damages) if the plaintiff were to show that you were reckless in walking a dog that you knew had a tendency to be aggressive towards others, but courts are usually reluctant to award such damages.
For a good summary on New Jersey dog bite claims (the civil side) see: http://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/personal-injury/dog-bite-laws-liability-new-jersey.html (it is written primarily for individuals hoping to bring a claim, but it gives you a good idea of what the scope of potential damages would be).
If the woman does go and get treatment, the physician is supposed to report the bite to local animal control. Animal control should order quarantine for your dog (this may be either placing the dog in the kennel, or having you keep the dog in your unit and ensuring he does not go outside). See: http://www.nj.gov/health/animalwelfare/law.shtml
Regarding whether or not your dog will be deemed an aggressive dog or not is another issue altogether (and NJ is particularly difficult to deal with as its regulatory process is not very well identified). You can help ensure that your dog is less likely to be deemed dangerous if you can show you are taking steps to reduce his aggressive tendencies (such as hiring a professional trainer (someone with some credentials and verifiable experience) to help train your dog to behave more appropriately in public).