Connecticut Dog Bite Lawyers
While dogs may be America’s most favorite pet, dogs can also be unpredictable and, in some cases, even vicious. At The Dodd Law Firm LLC, we love dogs, but we recognized that dog bites and other types of animal attacks can cause serious injuries and long-term harm. If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, we can provide legal representation throughout the claims process. To learn more about your legal rights and how to get started, reach out to our law firm today for a free consultation.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
The Canine Journal, citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year. Of those, about 80,000 require medical care. Based on the population of the U.S., dogs bite approximately one in every 73 people each year! While dogs are often lovable, friendly creatures, even the sweetest of dogs can bite when it feels threatened, scared, or upset.
What to Do If You’re Bitten By a Dog
If you are bitten by a dog, it’s important to take the following steps immediately to protect yourself and your right to damages:
- Get to a safe location immediately. If you are being attacked, roll into a fetal position to protect your vital organs and face, and put your hands behind your head to protect your neck.
- Assess for injuries—are you bleeding? Do you have bite marks or bruises? Were you injured in the attack, for example, falling and hitting your head? Do you have any potentially broken bones or soft tissue injuries?
- If in an emergency situation where you need immediate medical care, call the police. While you wait for the police and medical care to arrive, try to record as many details as you can about the attack, including what the dog looked like. If you are near the dog’s owner, ask for their contact information.
- Get medical care. Dogs can carry diseases, like rabies, which need to be treated immediately. If you are bleeding or experiencing any other injuries, getting medical care immediately is critical. Seeking medical care as soon as possible after your injuries will also be essential for your insurance claim.
- It is your responsibility to report the dog bite or attack to a local animal control officer as soon as possible after the dog bite/attack occurs. The animal control officer is responsible for immediately investigating the attack.
- Call your insurance company. It is important to provide your insurer with notice of the incident, even if you are only going to be filing a claim against the dog owner.
- Call an attorney. The sooner that you call a Connecticut dog bite attorney, the sooner you can start the claims process.
Connecticut’s Dog Bite Laws: Statute and Common Law
The state of Connecticut has two different ways of dealing with dog bite liability: common law and statutory law.
- Common law. Under common law in Connecticut, a victim of a dog bite or dog attack can bring a negligence-based claim against a dog owner when the dog owner’s negligence was the proximate cause of injury. For example, if the dog owner knew that the dog was aggressive and was in an area where the dog was supposed to be restrained yet allowed the dog to run at large, the dog owner breached their duty of care to the victim and could be held liable for damages as such.
- Statutory law. While bringing a common law claim is possible when negligence was the proximate cause of the injury, the state of Connecticut also maintains a dog bite statute that holds a dog owner strictly liable for damages in certain cases. According to the statute, found in Section 22-357, “If any dog does any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper, or if the owner or keeper is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor, shall be liable for such damage, except when such damage has been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog.”
In other words, the dog owner will be held strictly liable, with the only defenses to liability being that the victim was trespassing, committing a crime, or teasing the dog. Keep in mind that the statute applies to non-bite injuries involving a dog, such as a dog jumping on a person and knocking them over, causing harm.
Damages Recoverable in a Dog Bite Claim
A dog bite injury could result in medical bills, lost wages while you recover from the incident, personal property damage expenses, and pain and suffering. A dog bite can cause a fear of dogs and even lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When you work with The Dodd Law Firm LLC, our top priority will be getting you the settlement that you deserve. We will advocate for your right to the full value of your economic and noneconomic losses.
How Our Lawyers Can Help
Understanding how to recover compensation after a dog bite can be complex. Our lawyers will guide you through your options, explain the differences between strict liability and common law, and build your case. We will be responsible for gathering evidence, proving causation and damages, and negotiating your settlement. While dog bite litigation is rare, if your case doesn’t settle in mediation, you can count on our lawyers. We have trial experience and will be ready to advocate for you.
Call Our Connecticut Dog Bite Attorneys Directly
If you or a loved one has been bitten, attacked, or otherwise harmed by a dog, you may have a claim for damages. At The Dodd Law Firm LLC, our Connecticut dog bite lawyers can review your case for free and provide you with the legal guidance that you need and deserve. Call us today at 203-272-1883, visit our law firm in person, or send us a message online to request your free consultation and get started.
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1781 Highland Avenue, Suite 105
Cheshire, CT 06410
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