Have you been bitten or attacked by a dog in Connecticut? If so, the person legally responsible for the animal – the owner or “keeper” – is liable for your injuries with only a couple of exceptions.
Those exceptions may apply if you were trespassing when the incident occurred, or if you provoked the dog through teasing, tormenting, or abusive behavior.
In some states, pet owners are exempt from liability the first time their dog bites or attacks someone, but that so-called one bite rule does not apply in Connecticut, which has a strict liability dog bite law.
Under state law, encoded in Connecticut General Statute §22-357, dog bite and attack victims are not responsible for showing that the person legally responsible for the dog knew, or should have known, the animal posted a threat.
And the dog’s disposition before the attack and generally – friendly or fierce – also doesn’t matter. The person legally responsible for the dog is liable for your injuries in the case of a bite or attack unless the trespassing or tormenting exceptions apply.
Connecticut courts have established parameters for the exceptions that tend to favor dog bite and attack victims. For example, the act of technical trespass by simply entering a property without being invited or authorized –with no intent to cause harm – has not been considered sufficient to trigger the exception.
When it comes to dog bite victims younger than 7 years old, the law assumes the exceptions do not apply unless the person responsible for the animal can prove otherwise.
However, an exception to Connecticut’s strict liability law does apply to a person who was bitten or attacked while engaged in a wrongful act subject to civil liability.
Parties other than a dog’s owner or the person legally responsible for the animal, considered the dog’s “keeper,” can sometimes be held liable for a bite or attack as part of a common law claim.
In such a claim, you do have to document negligence and the fact that the defendant did know, or should have known, the animal posted a danger. One example would be a landlord who knew a dog was dangerous but did not warn tenants before an attack took place.
It is also possible to bring legal action against more than one party for a dog bite or attack, as well as taking legal action for property damage caused by a dog.
Whatever the circumstances of a dog bite or attack that you or family members have experienced, it’s important to contact a highly experienced Personal Injury attorney as soon as possible, such as Rome Clifford Katz & Koerner Partners Alan Rome and Chris Sica. There is a time limit in Connecticut for filing dog bite claims.
Our experienced injury attorneys will diligently pursue the full compensation you deserve, as well as addressing other important factors such as compensation for the future impact of those injuries.
Call 860-232-3000 to schedule a free consultation with our Personal Injury attorneys, or contact one of our highly-experienced attorneys directly via the links below.
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