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Understanding Connecticut’s dog bite law

On Behalf of | Apr 15, 2024 | Dog Bites |

Being bitten by a dog can cause you serious physical and mental damage. The experience is often terrifying and can make former dog lovers fear the animals for the rest of their lives.

Connecticut law allows you to hold a dog owner liable for your injuries and recover compensation. The state has a strict liability law when it comes to dog bites.

What does strict liability mean?

This means that someone who owns or keeps a dog is strictly liable for any damage caused by their dog. It does not matter if the dog has never bitten anyone before, if you were familiar with the dog or if the dog was friendly or aggressive. The owner is liable.

The only exceptions to this law are if you were abusing the dog or committing a trespass at the time of the bite.

Two important steps after a dog bite

If you are bitten by a dog, you should seek immediate medical treatment and contact the police, who can file a report and open an investigation. You should also contact the local dog warden and check the dog’s rabies vaccination status. The dog could be required to be put in quarantine.

While you should obtain medical treatment if the bite tears your skin and results in any cuts, punctures or other physical wounds, seeing a doctor is a good idea no matter what.

Even if you do not experience any physical wounds, you may still have damage that is not immediately visible, such as nerve or tissue damage.

The importance of medical records

Additionally, seeing a doctor helps you develop a record of your medical treatment. Medical records are one of the most crucial pieces of evidence when it comes to proving your dog bite damages.

This includes records of any counseling or other treatment you receive for mental or emotional distress. Dog bite victims can develop post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychological issues after a dog bite.

What damages can I recover after a dog bite?

There are various types of damages you could be awarded in a dog bite case, depending on your circumstances.

Common forms of damages include compensation for past and future medical care, lost wages and pain and suffering. You could also potentially receive damages for any temporary or permanent disfigurement.

While it is generally more challenging to prove non-physical damage, you can increase your chance by keeping records of how you feel. Dog bite victims can feel stressed or embarrassed if the dog bite resulted in physical scarring or disfigurement.

These feelings can lead to anxiety or depression. Your relationships with family, friends or your spouse can deteriorate. Document your feelings and how the dog bite impacts your daily life.

Know your rights and how to build your case

The goal of compensation in a dog bite case is to restore you to the status you were in prior to the dog bite.

Although the strict liability standard can potentially make it easier to obtain relief in a dog bite case, you must know how to prove your damages and not do anything that could harm your case.