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Home > What Victims Need to Know About Dog Bite Laws in Connecticut

What Victims Need to Know About Dog Bite Laws in Connecticut

What Victims Need to Know About Dog Bite Laws in Connecticut

Being bitten by a dog can be extremely traumatic. Not only do victims suffer from serious physical injuries, but the psychological consequences can be almost unbearable.

According to statistics, nearly 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs annually. If a dog attacks you, it is important to understand your legal rights and what you need to do moving. Our dog bite injury attorney in Connecticut can help.

Steps to Take if a Dog Bites You

Being attacked by a dog can result in immediate physical consequences. In many cases, the injuries require immediate medical attention. If a dog attacks you, you must take the following steps.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

Above all, you must focus on your health and well-being. This means that you need to seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Not only will this ensure proper care, but it will also create a medical record that can be crucial when filing a claim.

Gather Information

Documenting the details of the incident is essential. This includes obtaining the dog owner’s contact information, identifying any witnesses, taking photographs of the scene and injuries, and noting any relevant details about the dog’s behavior.

Report the Incident

Victims should report the dog bite to local animal control authorities. This step may initiate an investigation and, in some cases, lead to a dangerous dog designation.

Preserve Evidence

Preserve any evidence related to the incident, such as clothing worn during the attack, medical records, and correspondence with the dog owner or their insurance company.

Consult a Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyer

Seeking legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial for navigating the complexities of dog bite claims. An attorney can assess the case, guide the victim through the legal process, and help maximize the potential compensation.

Strict Liability in Connecticut

Connecticut adheres to a strict liability standard regarding dog bites. This means that dog owners are held responsible for injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of the dog’s previous behavior or the owner’s knowledge of any aggressive tendencies. Unlike some states that operate on a “one-bite rule,” where a dog owner is only held liable if their dog has previously bitten someone or shown aggressive behavior, Connecticut imposes liability from the first bite. This ensures that dog bite victims can recover fair compensation for their damages.

Recoverable Damages for a Dog Bite Case

In Connecticut, if you are a dog bite victim, you may be entitled to recover various damages through legal action. Seeking the assistance of a qualified dog bite injury attorney in Connecticut can help you recover the maximum possible compensation for the following damages.

  • Medical Expenses: Medical expenses are one of the primary damages that can be recovered in a dog bite case. This includes costs associated with immediate treatment, hospitalization, surgery, medications, and any future medical care related to the injuries sustained from the dog bite.
  • Lost Wages: If the injuries result in the victim’s inability to work, they may be entitled to recover lost wages. This includes the income lost during the recovery period and any potential future loss of earning capacity if the injuries lead to long-term or permanent disability.
  • Pain and Suffering: Victims of dog bites may also be eligible for compensation for the physical pain and emotional suffering caused by the incident.
  • Property Damage: In some cases, a dog bite may damage personal property, such as clothing or belongings. Victims can seek compensation for the repair or replacement of these items.
  • Punitive Damages: The court may award punitive damages when the dog owner’s conduct is egregious. These are intended to punish the wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar behavior. However, punitive damages are not always awarded and depend on the case’s circumstances. Working with a dog bite injury attorney in Connecticut will give you the best chance of recovering these damages.
  • Wrongful Death Damages: In cases where a dog bite results in the death of the victim, surviving family members may pursue wrongful death damages. This can include funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and compensation for the emotional impact of losing a loved one.

Statute of Limitations

Victims must be aware of the statute of limitations for filing a dog bite claim in Connecticut. The statute of limitations sets the time limit within which a legal action must be initiated. In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for dog bite cases is generally two years from the date of the incident. Please file a claim within this timeframe to avoid forfeiting the right to seek compensation.

Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage

The homeowner’s dog owner’s insurance policies cover many dog bite claims. Connecticut law does not require dog owners to carry specific dog liability insurance, but homeowner’s insurance policies commonly include coverage for injuries caused by the insured’s pets. Victims should identify the dog owner’s insurance provider and file a claim to seek compensation for damages resulting from the dog bite.

Comparative Negligence

Connecticut follows the doctrine of comparative negligence in personal injury cases, including dog bite incidents. If the victim’s actions contributed to the incident, their compensation may be reduced proportionately. For example, if a victim ignored warning signs or provoked the dog, a court may consider their actions when determining the amount of compensation they are entitled to.

Negligence Claims Beyond Dog Bites

In addition to strict liability for dog bites, victims may pursue negligence claims against dog owners for injuries caused by other negligent actions, such as failing to restrain the dog or allowing it to roam freely. Negligence claims can be based on a broader range of circumstances and may provide victims with additional avenues for compensation. It is best to work with a skilled legal team to protect your rights.

Call Our Connecticut Personal Injury Lawyer Today

Our team at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers understands the severity and impact of dog bite injuries, both physically and emotionally. We are passionate about advocating for our clients’ rights and helping them get the justice and compensation they deserve. Contact our Connecticut personal injury lawyer for a free consultation if you or a loved one has suffered from a dog bite.

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When is the best time to call a Connecticut lawyer? Now! No matter how big or small a vehicular accident is, you are going to need to know your rights and protect yourself. Know what the Power of Perkins can do for you when you contact our personal injury attorneys in CT today for schedule a free consultation!