New Haven Dog Bite Lawyer
When a person is bitten by a dog, it is fair to assume that the dog owner is liable for the damage that their pet causes. However, this is not always the case. Whether a person bit by a dog can collect damages depends on why the person was interacting with the dog and how that interaction took place.
New Haven dog bite lawyers work with clients who have been bitten by dogs to understand their rights, evaluate the legal aspects of their claim, and to fight for fair compensation. Contact an experienced injury attorney today to begin your claim.
Dog Bite Laws in Connecticut
Some states have enacted what are known as “one bite rules.” These rules essentially give a pass to dog owners for the first instance that their dog is violent. In order for plaintiffs to collect damages in these states, they must demonstrate that the dog owner knew that their dog had violent tendencies. This is the “one bite” that the dog owner can get away with.
Connecticut has no such rule. CT Gen Stat 22-357 governs when dog owners are liable for damages caused by their pets. In short, a dog owner is liable for any personal or property damage caused by their pet.
This creates a duty to protect other people from your dog. This duty is the first of the elements required for a negligence claim based on dog bites.
There are two exceptions to this rule, however. The first exception has to do with where the encounter took place. If the bite happens in public, the dog owner is certainly liable. However, if the bite takes place on the dog owner’s property, New Haven dog bite attorneys must examine why the bitten party was there.
Just like in many other personal injury claims involving injury while on another’s property, trespassers have few protective rights.
For example, if a man cuts through a woman’s yard while walking through the neighborhood, he would be considered a trespasser. Therefore, the woman only has a duty to not intentionally harm him.
If a dog chases the man and bites his leg, he would have a difficult time claiming damages since he had no legal right to be on the property. However, if a mailman enters the yard to deliver a package, he absolutely has a legal right to be on the property and thus can sue for damages.
The second exception is if the bitten person was provoking the dog. This is open to interpretation, but verbal abuse or physically hitting the dog would certainly qualify. If the bitten person is under the age of seven, it is assumed that the dog was not being provoked.
One other thing to keep in mind is the statute of limitations. Simply put, this is a time limit for a person to file a case in court. Connecticut Statute 52-584 gives plaintiffs two years to file a claim for physical injury.
How a New Haven Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
If you, or a loved one, has been bitten by a dog while in public or as a guest in someone’s home, New Haven dog bite lawyers are available to help. Dog bites can be quite serious causing cuts, broken bones and infections.
Insurance companies can often deflect the issue claiming that you were on the property illegally or that the dog was provoked. Do not be taken advantage of. New Haven dog bite attorneys will work to protect your rights and fight for the compensation that you deserve. Time is of the essence, so contact today.