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Bitten by a Dog? Know Your Rights and Legal Options

Our Blog March 27th, 2023
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No one ever expects to suffer an injury from a dog bite. After all, dogs are known as "man's best friend."

But unfortunately, dog bites are all too common, and can be quite serious. To ensure you get the support you need in such a situation, it's important to be familiar with your rights and legal options.

Are you, or someone close to you, dealing with the aftermath of a dog bite?

This article provides insight and understanding into what a dog bite situation entails from a legal standpoint. Knowing your options and steps to take is crucial - don't put your safety, or that of someone you care about, at risk.

Dog bites are a common personal injury case

Each year, more than 4.7 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). According to the Center for Disease Control, (CDC), nearly one in five people bitten by a dog require medical attention. And if you have young children, be aware that children aged 5-9 years old have the highest rate of dog bite injuries.

Common dog bite Injuries

Common dog bite Injuries in CT

There is a wide range of potential injuries that can result from a dog bite. They can cause severe and even life-threatening damage. Common physical injuries include lacerations, punctures, scratches, and bruising. In more serious cases, deep penetrating wounds can cause lasting damage.

Some of the most common injuries from a dog bite are:

  • Puncture wounds: Dogs have sharp teeth that can puncture the skin, causing wounds that can be difficult to clean, and may become infected.
  • Lacerations: A dog's teeth can also cause cuts and lacerations that may require stitches to close.
  • Fractures: If a dog bites with enough force, it can break bones in the victim's hands, arms, legs, or face, particularly common in young children.
  • Nerve damage: A dog bite can damage nerves in the victim's arms, hands, legs, or feet, causing numbness or even paralysis.
  • Infections: Dog bites can easily become infected, which can cause serious health problems if left untreated.
  • Rabies: Although rare in the United States, some dogs may be infected with rabies, a viral disease that can be fatal if left untreated.
  • Psychological trauma: Being attacked by a dog can be a traumatic experience, and some victims may develop anxiety or other psychological problems as a result.

It's important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you've been bitten by a dog, even if the injury seems minor. A healthcare provider can clean the wound, assess the risk of infection, and provide treatment for any resulting injuries or health problems.

Injuries from dog bites can be long-lasting

It's vital to understand that the effects of a dog bite can be long-lasting and costly. Most of us don’t like to think of dogs as dangerous, but unfortunately in some circumstances, they can be. Medical costs, lost wages due to missed work, and even physical therapy or counseling may all be necessary following an attack from a dog.

No matter the extent of a dog bite injury, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately, both for your health and safety, as well as for any future legal claims.

Dog owners are responsible for their pet

Dog owners and keepers have a responsibility to contain their animals or face possible legal consequences.

In Connecticut, pet owners are held to standards as defined by the state's dog bite statute (CGS § 22-357). This is a "strict liability" statute which means that the victim doesn't need to prove the owner was negligent or that the dog was known to be aggressive. The owner of a dog that causes injury to another person, regardless of the prior history or aggression level of the animal, may be held liable for damages.

You are legally entitled to seek compensation from an animal's owner if you were injured by their pet.

There can be exceptions

It’s possible an owner would not be held liable in some situations. For example, if the attack was the result of a trespass or tortuous activity by the injured person - such as teasing or abusing the animal - before being bitten, the owner might not be found to be at fault.

The law isn't always clear-cut, and every case is different. That is why expert legal help is so vital.

Dressler Law: Expert Dog Bite Injury Lawyers

If you or someone close to you has been injured due to a dog bite, take action right away. At Dressler Law, our experienced personal injury lawyers can provide the knowledgeable legal guidance and support you need to get the compensation you deserve. We understand the intricate laws surrounding dog bites and will fight for you every step of the way.

Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights and options. Don't wait - we can get started on your case right away.

What to Do Immediately After a Dog Bite

If you or a loved one is the victim of a dog bite, it is important to take quick action to protect yourself and ensure that your legal rights are secure.

  • Seek medical attention -Following an attack, seek medical attention right away. Not only will medical professionals evaluate the severity of your wound, but they will also take measurements of the wound which can serve as proof in a legal battle. Your doctor can provide documentation of the size and severity of the wound, which can make a big difference in court. Seeking appropriate medical care is the first step after a dog bite.
  • Document the incident - Documenting the incident of a dog bite is important when it comes time for a personal injury lawyer to build and support a successful case. Make sure you take pictures of the physical damage, the location, and anything else that might be relevant, such as an open gate, broken leash, etc. If possible you should also gather witness testimonials. A report from a doctor can be an important part of the documentation process. More information is always better. The success of a case can often hinge on proper documentation, with details fully logged and presented accurately. 

Speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer - You should never attempt to tackle any personal injury legal battle alone. An experienced lawyer who has worked with dog bite cases in the past and is knowledgeable about the law is invaluable in helping you secure a successful outcome during this difficult time.

What to Do Immediately After a Dog Bite in CT

Your rights as the victim of a dog bite

If you have been the victim of a dog bite, you have rights and may be entitled to compensation. Compensation can help with medical expenses related to the injury as well as additional associated costs such as lost wages or psychological trauma.

Compensation for medical expenses

Dog bite injuries can result in medical expenses and can be a major financial burden. There are various forms of compensation available to offset the costs associated with treatment.

In most cases, the dog's owner will be liable for any medical bills resulting from their pet's actions.

Victims may also be able to seek compensation if a landlord or business allows an animal on their premises.

Depending on the circumstances, as well as your policy, your insurance company may be responsible for compensation as well.

It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can provide guidance and advice about recovering medical costs. With the right support and legal representation, you’ll get the compensation you deserve to ease any financial strain.

Legal action against the dog's owner

By and large, the law holds that owners of animals are financially responsible for any damage inflicted on people or property by their pets. In addition to medical bills, victims of dog bites may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Consulting with an experienced personal injury lawyer can help ensure that your rights as a victim are protected - ensuring justice is served and your recovery is maximized.

How an Attorney Can Help With Your Dog Bite Claim

Because dog bites can result in serious injuries and long-lasting effects, it’s important to have experienced representation like Dressler Law on your side.

We will investigate the incident to get all the facts and determine who may be responsible for your suffering. We will guide you through the process of filing a claim and ensure all evidence is properly gathered and presented. If necessary, we will negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf.

The bottom line is that we'll ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to, including medical costs, lost wages, emotional distress, and any other damages.

Don’t try to tackle this issue without expert help.

Enlisting the services of an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best way to make sure that your rights are protected, and that you get the compensation you deserve.

Questions to Ask When Meeting With a Personal Injury Lawyer

When meeting with a personal injury lawyer, there are critical questions that can help you find the right lawyer to represent you.

Ensure that the lawyer has adequate experience with this type of litigation, is knowledgeable about local and state laws about dog bites, and is fully prepared to represent you from start to finish. Other questions to consider include obtaining insight into the estimated timeline of your case, the related fees, and if any alternatives like mediation are available.

Having a thorough knowledge of your legal options will give you security in knowing exactly what lies ahead.

Tips for Preventing Dog Bites

Because dog bites can be so devastating, especially for small children, taking steps to prevent dog bites is vitally important. Here are a few precautions that you can take to reduce the risk:

  • Never approach a strange dog without asking the owner for permission. Approach a dog slowly and cautiously, allowing it to sniff you before petting it. Do not make sudden moves.
  • Monitor any interactions between children and dogs. Even if a child is familiar with an animal, they should still be supervised when playing together. Inadvertent actions by a child, such as pulling ears or tails, or making loud noises, may cause the dog to bite.
  • Avoid disturbing a dog while it is eating, sleeping, in a car, or caring for puppies.
  • Don’t run away from an approaching dog, as this can trigger the animal’s chasing instinct.
  • Be knowledgeable and aware of any signs of distress from the animal and move away from a situation before it gets out of hand. These signs can include growling or barking, an erect body posture, a lowered head, hair standing up, yawning, or lip-licking.
  • Keep extra noise or stimuli to a minimum to avoid overstimulating the dog, and observe any behavior changes that may be an indication of aggression.
  • Above all else, educate yourself and your children about how to interact safely with animals. Knowing the signs of aggression can help prevent the worst from happening.

While there are steps to take to decrease the chances of being bitten by a dog, injuries can still happen. If the worst happens, Dressler Law is here. Let us protect your rights as the victim of a dog bite. Our team will help review each of your options and assist in getting you any help that you need.

We are here for you

No one should have to face a dog bite without the representation of an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite, now is the time to take action to secure compensation.

Contact Dressler Law today for a free consultation.

We understand what it takes to successfully navigate the legal system, and understand what you are dealing with on both emotional and physical levels. We want to make sure that justice is served and that you receive everything you are due, without having to shoulder the financial burden alone.

No one should have to suffer due to the negligence of another. At Dressler Law, we are here to provide the support and expertise you need.

Don’t wait-- contact Dressler Law today.

Read 7050 times Last modified on March 29th, 2023
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Information obtained from this website and/or law firm literature is not intended to be legal advice.
Call Dressler Law for advice concerning your particular situation. Disclaimer