Dog Bite

Dog Bite Injury

Should You Hire a Dog Bite Accident Lawyer in Connecticut?

In a nutshell:

Connecticut law protects dog bite victims
Unlike most court cases where people fight tooth and nail (no pun intended) over who was at fault, in Connecticut, dog bite cases are very easy to prove.
Personal injury lawyers typically charge a fee equal to 33.33% of your settlement proceeds when the case is over. They are not "free."

The dog bite statute in Connecticut is called a "strict liability statute." An owner or keeper of a dog is liable for personal injuries caused by their dog regardless of if they were negligent or not. This law is codified in Connecticut General Statutes Section 22-357.

In looking for the right lawyer, make sure the law firm is experienced in dog bite injury cases and does a great job communicating with you.
Petting in a friendly manner is not

Petting in a friendly manner is not "teasing or tormenting."

Under Connecticut law, dog bite victims are not guilty of "teasing or tormenting" the dog if the victim is simply petting or playing with the dog in a friendly manner. Even if you startled the dog by petting it, that still does not constitute "teasing or tormenting." Therefore, if you walk up to a dog, pet the dog, and it bites you, you still have a valid claim and will probably win.

What you need to know about dog bite injuries.

The strict liability statute means that even if you have the sweetest puppy in the world who has never hurt a flea, you are liable if they bite a person even once. This isn't a three-strikes rule; it's "one bite and you're out."

The "Teasing, Tormenting, or Abusing" Exception
If the dog owner or their insurance company can prove that you were teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog, your dog bite claim will fail. Thus, if you were provoking, attacking, hurting, or otherwise abusing a dog and it bit you in self-defense, you will not have a valid dog bite case. When a minor under seven suffers dog bite injuries, the law presumes that the minor was not tormenting, teasing, or abusing the dog. Thus, when a dog bites a minor, there is no exception for dog owners.
Who pays for dog bite claims?
A crucial job of your Connecticut dog bite lawyer is to identify all insurance policies and other pots of money you can recover from.
Homeowner's insurance
The most common pot of money to recover from is the dog owner's homeowner's insurance. Most homeowner's policies have "liability insurance," which covers the homeowner for negligence claims brought by injured parties. This includes dog bite injuries. If you were hurt in a dog bite incident, and the dog owner also owns a home, there is a good chance they have liability insurance coverage for a dog bite lawsuit.
What if my dog bites someone?
If you own a dog, you might be nervous about your liability in case your dog bites someone. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to insulate yourself other than to train your dog to never attack someone. Remember, even if you are a responsible pet owner and always leash your dog, the law does not care if you were careful or not. The standard is strict liability.
Common injuries from dog attacks
Dog bites can cause injuries that range from small bruises and abrasions to skin grafts, surgeries, scarring, and disfigurement. If the dog knocks you to the ground, you may suffer broken bones.

What is your dog bite claim worth?

Your dog bite case's value depends on many factors. Like other personal injury cases, you will have a legal claim to medical expenses, lost income if you missed work, money for future medical bills, and pain and suffering emotional damages resulting from the attack. An experienced Connecticut dog bite attorney will help you identify and prove your damages to the insurance company or in court. If you suffered serious injuries, you have a right to seek out an experienced Connecticut bicycle accident lawyer who will negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.

“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 the amount of 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.

 If a minor, on whose behalf an action under this section is brought, was under seven years of age at the time such damage was done, it shall be presumed that such minor was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog, and the burden of proof thereof shall be upon the defendant in such action."

Connecticut dog bite attorneys typically charge a fee of 33.33% of your overall settlement proceeds. While the billboards and ads say "free consultation," you will need to pay a fee to your dog bite lawyer once the case settles.

Dog bite accident attorneys will tell you it's a "free consultation" or "no obligation consultation" to look into your dog bite accident case. This is technically true. Lawyers don't charge to meet with you and talk about your dog bite accident case.

But it's not necessarily the whole truth. Remember, a Connecticut dog bite accident attorney will take a percentage of your recovery, typically 33.33%. This is not "free." The money you receive in a dog bite accident settlement is your money - it represents fair compensation of what was taken away from you in terms of health, money, and enjoyment of life.

This does not mean dog bite accident lawyers are not worth it. Dog bite accident victims are usually better off hiring a lawyer than pursuing a case themselves. This is especially true when dog bite accident victims suffer life changing injuries. But the lawyer is certainly not "free."

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