Dog Bites and Injuries Under Connecticut Law
In Connecticut, state law states that anyone that owns or keeps a dog is strictly liable for any damage caused by the dog, regardless of whether the owner or keeper of the dog was negligent in controlling the dog. Simply put, if a dog bites or caused other injury to a person then the owner or keeper of the dog is legally responsible for the harms and losses caused by that dog.
In additional to this strict liability, injuries caused by dogs can also be caused by the negligence, recklessness, or even in rare cases, intentional acts of the owner or keeper of the dog. However, these types of legal theories require different proof (evidence) to establish a successful claim.
The time limit to file a claim for injuries caused by a dog can range from two to three years depending on the legal claim asserted. However, I always ensure that these claims are either settled or a lawsuit is filed before two years in order to provide me the most latitude in presenting all the potential legal theories available.
When is a Dog Owner or Keeper Not Responsible?
If a dog bites or injuries someone, the owner or keeper may assert the defense that they are not responsible because the person injured was:
- Trespassing; and/or
- Committing a wrongful act; and or
- Teasing the dog; and or
- Tormenting the dog, and/or
- Abusing the dog.
Of important note, children under seven cannot be held responsible for teasing a dog or trespassing.
Steps to Take when Injured by a Dog
Call 911. Ask for an ambulance and an animal control officer in addition to the police. Animal control officers may need to impound the dog and there are different reports that they prepare that an experienced dog bite lawyer will need to obtain.
Of course, when safe to do so, it is important that you document the interaction as best you can. Obtain witness names, address, and contact information. Obtain the rabies vaccination records of the dog. Photograph the scene and injuries.
Dealing with injuries caused by a family, friend, or neighbors' dog can be particularly uncomfortable. To keep these people from becoming defensive, try to remain transparent about your concerns that you are gathering information for the doctors and the insurance company so as to not make it personal.
Do Not Handle the Claim Yourself – Call an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog in Connecticut, it is important that you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Jim Miron, Attorney at Law, offers free consultations to help people understand their legal rights and to determine if they have a proper legal claim. To schedule your appointment and see how Jim Miron, Attorney at Law, can help you get the compensation you deserve when injured by a dog, call Jim directly at 203.339.5991 or contact Jim online.