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Who Is Liable in a Dog Attack?

Who Is Liable in a Dog Attack?

If you are attacked or bitten by a dog in Connecticut, you may have the right to collect damages. Understanding Connecticut’s laws regarding dog bites and attacks will help you know your rights if you find yourself in this situation. 

Victims of dog attacks should contact a CT dog bite lawyer from Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers to ensure their rights are protected and that they get the compensation they deserve. 

Learn more about the laws in the state and your rights if you are injured in a dog attack. 

Connecticut is a Strict Liability State for Dog Attacks and Dog Bites 

Connecticut follows a “strict liability” law when it comes to dog attacks and dog bites. This means that the owner is liable for any injuries the dog inflicts. This is the case even if the dog’s owner was unaware that the dog might cause an injury to someone. 

Connecticut dog owners are responsible for all injuries their pet causes, regardless of how friendly they think their dogs are. Strict liability is the law used in most states related to dog bites and dog attacks. 

States that do not operate under the strict liability law usually opt for the “one bite” rule. According to this law, an owner cannot be held liable for a dog attack or bite by their dog unless they are aware that the dog is aggressive. 

Some states use the negligence approach, too. This requires that the injured person prove that the dog owner’s failure to use reasonable care was the cause of their injuries. 

Understanding Owner Liability 

If a dog causes an injury to someone or if they damage someone else’s property, the keeper or owner of the dog is usually held liable based on Connecticut law. According to information on the Connecticut General Assembly website, the liability statutes are strict. This means that victims don’t have to provide proof that the keeper or owner of the dog was aware it was dangerous. They don’t have to prove that the keeper or owner of the dog was negligent, either. 

There are some exceptions to the liability statute in the state. 

One exception is if a person is bit or attacked by a dog while trespassing or committing another crime. In these situations, they will typically be barred from filing a claim against the dog’s owner. 

Courts in Connecticut have ruled that just being on someone else’s property is not enough to be considered a trespasser in dog bite liability cases. Also, if the victim tormented, abused, or teased the dog, the owner will usually not be considered liable for the attack. 

While this is the law, victims under seven years old are presumed (unless it is proven otherwise) to have not been trespassing or provoking a dog that bites or attacks them. 

Understanding Negligence in Dog Attack Cases

Unlike a statute case, a case filed under common law negligence requires that the plaintiff prove the defendant knew (or should have known) their dog was dangerous. Cases involving common law negligence can be beneficial when trying to hold a certain party liable for dog attacks, even in situations where they were not the owner or keepers of the dog. 

An example is with a landlord. They can be held negligent if they knew about a tenant’s dog’s vicious tendencies but failed to warn the others about the animal. Also, even if the landlord instructed the tenant to remove the potentially dangerous dog from the property but failed to ensure this was done, the landlord could be liable through a negligence case. 

Common Questions About Dog Attack and Bite Cases in Connecticut

If you are attacked or bitten by someone’s dog, you may wonder what rights you have. It’s smart to contact a CT personal injury lawyer for assistance. You can also find answers to some of the most common questions here. 

Do you need to seek medical care after a dog bite injury?

It’s smart to seek medical care from a doctor or at the emergency room after a dog bite. This is particularly the case if the bite causes disruption to the skin that causes a laceration, tear, or puncture or if you begin feeling pain or discomfort because of the bite. 

It doesn’t matter if you seek immediate medical care or not; you need to find out if the dog has received its rabies vaccine. The elderly, children, and infants who are attacked or bitten by a dog need to be evaluated after any incident, no matter how serious or minor the injury seems. 

What types of treatment are available for dog bite injuries?

After a dog bite, several types of medical issues must be addressed. It all depends on the injury’s severity and the attack’s nature. Some of the types of treatments that may be needed after a dog bite or dog attack include the following:

  • Treatment for damaged skin. This can range from stitches and wound treatment to amputation and cosmetic surgery. 
  • Treatment for issues besides damaged skin. These types of problems include broken bones, cosmetic injuries, tissue damage, nerve damage, psychological injuries, and damage to organs or other body parts. 
  • Treatment to prevent infections. Because of the nature of dog bite injuries, bacteria and other toxic substances can get into a person’s body and cause serious physical harm or death. 

Whom should you contact after experiencing a dog bite injury or attack?

If you or someone in your family is the victim of a dog bite injury or another type of animal attack, you must contact the police immediately. The police or you must also contact animal control or the Dog Warden so the dog can be properly quarantined and its vaccination records checked. 

Do you need to be aware of any specific medical considerations?

While it is best to seek immediate medical care if you are bit or attacked by a dog, the emergency room doctor may perform the procedure if you experience significant cosmetic injuries that require skin sutures. However, if the injury will likely leave a disfiguring and ugly scar in a prominent location on your body, it’s a good idea to request a plastic surgeon to evaluate the injury and perform the suturing. 

You should also make sure to follow up with all doctors you are treated by after receiving emergency medical treatment. They will be able to monitor your progress and determine if additional treatment is needed. 

How is liability determined in dog bite cases?

The dog bite statute in Connecticut states that a dog’s keeper or owner is strictly liable for the damages their dog causes. The exception to this situation is if the victim was trespassing or abusing the dog in some way when the bite or attack occurred. As mentioned above, these two exceptions don’t apply to a minor who is under the age of seven. 

Because of this, you must talk to an experienced dog bite injury attorney as soon as you can after the incident. They can provide advice and guidance regarding how to move forward with your case. 

What type of damages can you receive in a dog bite injury case?

Based on the situation and circumstances, some of the following damages will be awarded if you file a personal injury lawsuit after a dog bite injury: 

  • All accident-caused medical care, physical therapy, rehabilitative care, and any related costs
  • Psychological damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Past and future income loss due to the accident and vocational or career retraining, if necessary
  • Loss of educational, social, and family experiences
  • Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or physical disability
  • Emotional damages like strains on family relationships, stress, loss of consortium, depression, embarrassment, and emotional bystander distress
  • Damaged property
  • Wrongful death

You can receive compensation or “damages,” which is money used to restore you to your position before you were injured. The money isn’t considered income, except for the money you receive for lost income. However, this is not taxable income. 

How do you know if you need a personal injury lawyer after a dog bite or dog attack?

If you or someone in your family has been injured in a dog attack or been bitten by a dog, it is important to contact an experienced and reputable personal injury attorney. They can explain your rights and help you protect yourself from doing anything that may harm your ability to recover compensation. 

An attorney is your advocate in these situations. They will work to help you receive the maximum compensation possible for your damages and injuries. If you try to handle the legal process on your own, you may not get the full compensation you are entitled to. 

Contact a CT Dog Bite Lawyer from Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers for Help and Information

You have rights if you are bit or attacked by someone else’s dogs. It is important that you take the right steps after this incident to protect your rights. 

Hiring an experienced dog bite lawyer from Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers is recommended in these situations. Doing so will help ensure you get the desired outcome for your case. 

We offer all clients a free initial consultation to discuss their case and situation and to start developing a plan to ensure they receive the compensation you deserve. 


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