Seeking Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

Mar 23, 2023

More than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, and more than 800,000 receive medical attention for dog bites, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Dog bite injuries can range from minor to serious and can be physical or emotional in nature. They can result from a dog’s aggressive behavior, such as biting or attacking, or from a fall caused by a dog. Understanding the nature and extent of these injuries is important to determine the necessary legal steps.

Understanding Your Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim

Any animal, even house-trained pets, can be unpredictable and being bitten by a dog is a traumatic experience, especially for a child. Dog bites and other animal attacks can result in pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfiguring injuries and on occasion, these injuries can be fatal. 

Understanding your dog bite personal injury claim is important because it can help you to navigate the legal process and secure the compensation you deserve. By understanding your rights and the legal process, you can protect yourself and your family and ensure that you receive the proper medical treatment and compensation. 

Filing a dog bite personal injury claim is essential because it can help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Additionally, it can serve as a deterrent to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.

The State of Connecticut imposes liability on the owners of dogs who attack and harm another person or that person’s property. To successfully pursue a dog bite claim, a victim must prove that he or she was either on public property or was lawfully on someone’s property.

Connecticut Dog Bite Laws

Connecticut law does not protect people who are trespassing, teasing, or tormenting a dog. However, the law does assume that children younger than 7 could not commit any of these actions, and a defendant would have to prove otherwise. 

It is not necessary for a victim to prove that the owner was negligent or knew that the dog was vicious. A victim will only have to prove the following: 

  • That he or she was attacked 
  • That the attack caused the injuries 
  • That he or she was either in a public space or legally allowed on the property where the attack occurred 
  • The victim may also have to prove that the defendant named in a suit is indeed the owner of the animal. 

Homeowners and renters’ insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits (typically $100,000 to $300,000). If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount. 

When homeowners’ policies fall short, meaning an owner may not have enough coverage to satisfy all the medical bills, or if a victim wants to ensure maximum compensation, filing a dog bite injury lawsuit may be necessary. 

Evidence and Damages in a Dog Bite Personal Injury Claim

Evidence is critical in a dog bite personal injury claim because it can help to establish liability and determine the compensation you are entitled to receive. Evidence that can be used in a dog bite personal injury claim include witness statements, medical records, and photographs of the injury and surrounding area. A personal injury lawyer can also assist in gathering evidence.

After gathering evidence that indicates liability, the plaintiff must prove the damages caused by the bite. Seeking medical attention is important after a dog bite incident because it can help to diagnose and treat any injuries and provide evidence of the harm caused by the bite. Dog bite injuries include physical injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations, and broken bones, as well as emotional injuries such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

Dog bites can also cause skin infections due to the bacteria in the dog’s mouth. To treat any such infections, you’ll need to take antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. Your injury lawyer can provide valuable assistance during this part of the process. They can often arrange appointments with medical professionals who specialize in dog bite care and therefore have experience documenting dog bite wounds and treatment.

Long-term Effects of Dog Bite Injuries

The long-term effects of dog bite injuries can include physical scarring, disfigurement, and chronic pain, as well as emotional distress and trauma. It is important to seek medical attention and consider these long-term effects when determining the compensation that you are entitled to receive.

Normally, a plaintiff that produces persuasive evidence is better able to negotiate a favorable settlement. Irrespective of the evidence, it may be wise to settle the matter rather than potentially risk an unfavorable outcome at trial. Before engaging in settlement negotiations, the plaintiff should establish liability and damages. As Connecticut law imposes strict liability on dog owners for the damages caused by their pet’s, proving liability is often a simple process.

The time frame for settling a dog bite personal injury claim can vary depending on the circumstances of the case. Some cases may be resolved within a few months, while others may take several years to settle. We will be discussing this with you further in your initial meeting with our personal injury attorneys.

Connecticut’s statute of limitations gives a victim two years from the date of an incident to file a claim. The two-year deadline typically starts on the date of the injury. Other factors can also affect how the statute of limitations runs, in turn affecting when the deadline falls. It’s important to seek advice on exactly how the deadline applies to your case. Cases that are filed after the deadline has passed are nearly always thrown out by the court without a hearing. 

Role of Personal Injury Lawyers

People who have questions regarding Connecticut’s dog bite laws should speak to an attorney. Dog bite personal injury claims can be complex and difficult to navigate, but with the right support and representation, it is possible to secure the compensation you deserve. The Law Offices of Brian J. Mongelluzzo understands just how devastating an animal attack can be. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite, our legal team can help you recover maximum compensation. Call (203) 663-3695 for a FREE case evaluation today. 

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