About 4.5 million dog bites are reported every year. Several thousand mail carriers are bitten by dogs every year. The majority of dog bites to adults are to the legs, followed by the head, face and neck. Children are more frequently the victims of dog bites. The majority of dog bites to children occur to the face. Every year there are several deaths as the result of these attacks.
Typical cases include dogs that are unleashed and roaming, and also events while visiting with a friend or relative. Often the dog will bite your leg while you try to escape, and other times a dog may cut or lacerate your face with a surprise strike of its paw. Dogs also have caused injuries by jumping on individuals and knocking them down. Injuries include puncture wounds, scarring, keloid scarring, cuts that may require stitches, broken arms, legs, and other bones, and even fatalities.
The State of Connecticut has enacted legislation that renders dog owners strictly liable for the acts of dogs. Section 22-357 of the Connecticut General Statutes follows:
If any dog does any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper, or, if the owner or keeper is a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor, shall be liable for such damage, except when such damage has been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog. If a minor, on whose behalf an action under this section is brought, was under seven years of age at the time the damage was done, it shall be presumed that such minor was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog, and the burden of proof thereof shall be upon the defendant in such action.
This statute is the legal basis for dog bite cases. A variety of dogs bite, but the statute is not limited to any particular breed. While it is perceived that Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepards, Rottweilers and Akitas are dangerous, this statute also covers Collies, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, mixed and all other dogs.
A dog’s owner or keeper is responsible for its acts and any resulting injuries. If you are injured by a dog, it is important to report the event to the police as soon as possible and to seek appropriate medical care. If you would like to discuss your legal options following an incident with a dog or other animal, please feel free to contact us. We provide a free initial consultation for legal services. I have represented clients with dog bite claims against insurers in the past, and I continue to offer these services for a contingency fee today. A contingency fee means legal fee are not paid unless money is recovered as compensation for your injuries.
We accept dog bite cases from across Connecticut, including clients from Avon, Barkhamsted, Bristol, Burlington, Canton, Farmington, Hartford, Harwinton, Litchfield, New Britain, Plainville, Terryville, Torrington, Southington, Unionville, Waterbury, West Hartford, and Wolcott.