FindLaw KnowledgeBasePublished: 2012-04-18
There are approximately 800,000 dog-bite injuries requiring medical treatment each year in the U.S. Another one to two million bites annually do not get reported, according to the Turlock Journal. Many of these incidents can be prevented, but some aggressive dogs are simply uncontrollable. When dog attacks lead to injuries, Connecticut law can provide a way for victims to obtain the compensation they need to recover and get back on their feet.
Potentially Liable Parties
Victims of dog bites likely have legal claims if another person’s dog caused their injuries. In Connecticut, a dog's owner or keeper can be held liable for any damage caused by the dog to a person's body or property, unless the victim was injured by the dog while committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, abusing or tormenting the dog. Other potentially liable parties for a dog that harms someone include:
- Parents of a minor who owns the dog
- Property owners who allowed the dog onto their property
- Landlords whose tenant owns the dog
The law makes it easier for children under seven years old to recover damages in a civil lawsuit for their dog-related injuries by putting the burden on the defendant to prove that the child was committing a trespass, teasing, abusing or tormenting the dog. If two or more dogs caused the injuries, their owners or keepers can both be held liable for the entire amount of damages.
Tips for Avoiding Dog Bites
According to the Turlock Journal, the following tips can help both adults and children avoid dog attacks:
- Do not stare into dogs’ eyes
- Do not tease dogs
- Do not scream or run from dogs
- Do not approach or pet unfamiliar dogs without permission
- Slowly sidestep away whenever dogs show any sign of aggression
Be cautious when a dog shows signs of aggression, such as the following:
- Snarling with teeth shown
- Ears laid flat
- Hair standing up
After seeking medical attention, dog bite victims should obtain legal representation by a skilled personal injury attorney who can investigate the incident and seek compensation from potentially liable parties to cover medical bills and other costs.