If you are bitten by a dog in Connecticut, there are two causes of action you may pursue. The first is under common law which requires proof that the owner of the dog had knowledge of the dog’s ferocity or propensity to bite someone. The second comes under Connecticut General Statutes § 22-357 which imposes strict liability upon the dog owner. While the latter does not require proof of the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s dangerous propensity, it is also an absolute bar to recovery if at the time the injury occurred the injured person was committing a trespass or other tort or was teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog. The only exception to this is if the injured person is under seven years of age because the burden of proving such a defense shifts to the defendant.
A dog bite can be catastrophic. In addition to severe lacerations, you could suffer nerve damage or broken bones. If the dog has not been properly vaccinated, the potential for rabies or infection exists as well. Injuries can range from temporary loss of function for a few hours or days to long term paralysis or permanent physical damage and scarring. The psychological trauma of being attacked by a dog can also have a serious effect, especially on children.
There are many factors to consider when deciding whether bringing a dog bit claim makes sense. Just because the law holds a dog owner strictly liable for your injuries if you are bitten, that does not guarantee you will be able to collect even if awarded with a judgment. If the dog owner does not own a home or have sufficient insurance coverage, or does not have liquid assets sufficient to cover your damages, or is transient, it will be extremely difficult to collect payment. Many insurers restrict certain breeds in their policies, leaving any damage caused by the dog strictly upon the owner. The last thing you want is to spend money pursuing a claim that has little to no chance of paying you back. It is always best to ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage too for situations in which the defendant may not.
Contact the Aggressive and Experienced Dog Bite Attorneys at The APEX Law Firm
If you have been bitten by a dog in Connecticut, it is always best to seek legal counsel to help you understand your rights. Call The APEX Law Firm to schedule a free no-obligation consultation with an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer at (860) 900-0900 in Hartford County or visit us.