Dog Bite Injury Attorneys
Dog bites are serious injuries; the impact can persist long after the initial incident. You may even be left with some permanent reminders of that terrifying encounter.
You could be entitled to compensation if an aggressive dog attacked you. Learn more about the dog bite laws in Connecticut to understand your situation better. Once you determine that you were the victim, you can partner with a dog bite lawyer to seek compensation.
How Common Are Dog Bite Accidents?
The risk of being attacked by a dog could be higher than you expected. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs bite over 4.5 million people each year in the United States. Dog attacks are not common, but the numbers indicate that they are not rare either.
Furthermore, many of those incidents turn out to be quite serious. More than 800,000 people each year require treatment following a dog bite. Even more troubling is the fact that these attacks disproportionately affect children.
People must take dog bites seriously, and the owners held accountable for any tragic events. Partner with a dog bite law firm and pursue legal action against an owner who failed to prevent an attack from happening.
What Are Connecticut’s Dog Bite Laws?
The most important thing for you to remember about Connecticut’s dog bite laws is the fact that the state follows the strict liability statute and this plays a huge role in determining who is at fault for dog bite cases. If you are the victim in a dog bite case, your burden of proof is not that heavy.
As the victim, you do not need to prove that the owner had prior knowledge of the dog’s vicious tendencies. Essentially, dog owners in Connecticut are supposed to know if their pet could attack someone unprovoked. Ignorance of that will not absolve any dog owner in the state from being liable. Victims also have no obligation to prove that the owner was negligent when the incident happened.
The onus is on the dog owner to keep others safe from their pet. If they cannot do that, they must take responsibility for what happens.
What Defenses Can Dog Owners Use?
Since Connecticut abides by the strict liability statute, you might think that dog owners are completely exposed to unfair lawsuits and penalties. After all, the victim does not even need to prove that the owner’s negligence led to the incident taking place. However, there are defenses that dog owners can use to avoid getting trapped in a tough spot.
For instance, the dog owner could claim you were trespassing or committing another offense when their pet attacked you. That is a valid defense they can use. If they can prove that claim, you will be the one in hot water instead of them.
Another commonly used defense by pet owners is saying that the victim teased their dog. You cannot escape blame for what happened if you provoked the dog before the attack. Once again, you will be the one in trouble if the dog owner can prove that claim.
Of course, the terms “trespassing” and “teasing a dog” can be open to interpretation. The defendant may put forth a biased interpretation of those terms to escape their responsibilities.
Partner with experienced lawyers so you can fight back against any false claims that the defendant could be making. Do not let them dictate the narrative and paint you as the person in the wrong if that is truly not the case.
Is There a “One Bite” Rule in Connecticut?
If you are a Glastonbury, Hartford, or Simsbury, CT resident, you may be wondering what the law has to say about dog bite cases. To be more specific, you may be wondering if the state of Connecticut also follows the “one bite” rule when it comes to those incidents.
For those who may be unfamiliar with the one bite rule, it essentially means that a pet owner can claim not to know anything about their dog’s dangerous tendencies because it had not attacked anyone before. They can avoid responsibility until one bite has occurred. Connecticut does not abide by that rule. Instead, Connecticut follows the strict liability statute.
Under the strict liability statute, the victim in a dog bite case does not need to prove that an owner knew about their pet’s vicious tendencies. The victim is also not required to show that the pet owner was negligent in a different way. The state places full responsibility on the owners, who must accept it if they want to care for their dogs.
How Much Is My Dog Bite Claim Worth?
The compensation awards handed down in dog bite cases depend on the losses sustained by the victims. If you were a victim of a vicious dog attack, you would be curious about the compensation you could receive. Often, the compensation awards given to victims in these cases have economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages in personal injury cases cover medical expenses, damage to your property, lost wages, and other similar items. Meanwhile, non-economic damages compensate victims for losses they cannot quantify. Disfigurement and mental anguish are specific types of unquantifiable losses that non-economic damages are supposed to cover.
You can put yourself in a position to recover those economic and non-economic damages if you partner with an experienced personal injury lawyers. The dog bite lawyer you hire can give you an estimate of the non-economic damages you should receive before the case goes to court.
For more information on dog bite settlements, examples, and average amounts, see this excellent resource: How much is a dog bite settlement worth?
How Can a Dog Bite Attorney Help?
The assistance provided by a dog bite attorney will be crucial following a vicious attack. You will understand why their help is so important after learning more about their services.
- Prove That the Attack Was Unprovoked: To discredit your lawsuit; the dog owner may claim that you were provoking their pet moments before the attack. If they succeed, you may not receive any compensation. Your dog bite injury lawyer will work tirelessly to prove that the attack was unprovoked. They will speak to witnesses and gather any video evidence they can to prove that you were doing nothing wrong.
- Assess the Full Extent of Your Injuries: How much should you ask for in your personal injury lawsuit? Your lawyer can help you figure that out by having you examined by a doctor to evaluate all of your injuries. On top of that, your dog bite injury attorney will also consider the intangible losses you have accrued because of the attack. They will account for those losses while calculating the appropriate compensation amount for your case.
- Communicate with the Dog Owner’s Representatives: At some point following the attack, the dog owner or their representative may approach you with a settlement offer. Settling is not a bad idea, but you must be certain that you are receiving a good deal. You can expect your Connecticut dog attack lawyer to land you a favorable settlement offer.
- Provide Representation in Court: Heading to court is not the worst thing for your personal injury case. You can be confident even if the case goes there as long as you have a good lawyer on your side.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Connecticut?
When filing dog bite lawsuits in Connecticut, we recommend acting quickly. The state sets a firm deadline on these cases, and you cannot afford to miss it. The statute of limitations for dog bite cases in Connecticut is two years. It is worth noting that the clock starts ticking on the deadline as soon as the attack occurs.
If you received severe injuries during the attack, you could miss filing your lawsuit on time. That is another reason you should hire a dog attack attorney. Your lawyer can take over and ensure that you will not exceed the statute of limitations. They will submit your lawsuit on time, so you are guaranteed a fair shot at recouping compensation.
How Will Your Dog Bite Injuries Be Treated?
An aggressive dog may have attacked you while you were minding your business. So, what should you do after something like that happens?
In that situation, your priority should be to get your wounds examined. Head to the doctor and let them see your wounds. During this examination, the doctor can tell the extent of your injuries. The doctor will start cleaning your wounds following the examination and remove dirt and bacteria to prevent your wounds from infection.
From there, doctors can deploy different treatment methods depending on the severity of your injuries. According to WebMD your doctor may give you some antibiotics if they believe that your wounds have been infected. If you sustained deep wounds, your doctor may recommend plastic surgery.
The doctor may also need to give you the rabies vaccine if the status of the dog that bit you is unclear. Hopefully, you can avoid that situation by learning about the dog’s status directly from its owner.
What Are the Common Injuries Caused by Dog Bites?
Some of the serious injuries dogs can inflict upon their victims include:
- Puncture wounds
- Damaged nerves
- Broken bones
You also cannot overlook the kind of impact such a violent attack can have on a person’s psyche. A victim may be so traumatized by the incident that they become permanently fearful of all dogs or going outside.
The point is that the personal injuries you may sustain from a dog bite incident can be incredibly damaging and even life-altering. You will need proper compensation so you can deal with the aftermath of the incident. Hire a dog bite law firm to represent you in court so you can claim the compensation that is rightfully yours.
How Do You Report a Dog Bite Incident?
After visiting the doctor, you will need to report what happened to the proper authorities. For cases like this, you need to approach an animal control officer. To be more specific, you need to report the incident to the animal control officer in charge of the area where the dog is owned.
The animal control officer will investigate the incident right after you make your report. Your case will move forward from there.
Dog Bite Law Firm
Many victims sustain serious injuries where their losses become compounded by financial worries. Save yourself from those troubles by partnering with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Reach out to us at Hassett & George, P.C. if you need a legal expert working on your dog bite case. We can also offer our services to anyone attacked by other types of vicious pets, so feel free to give us a call.
Some of the locations in and around Hartford County our dog attack lawyers serve include: Hartford, Simsbury, Glastonbury, New Britain, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Danbury, Norwalk, Manchester, Windsor, Farmington, Windsor Locks, Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Avon, Bloomfield, Bristol, Enfield, Newington, South Windsor, Southington, Plainville and more.