Dogs are a common addition to thousands of households throughout Connecticut. In Stamford, these dogs play a variety of roles, including a pet or a service dog. However, dogs still pose the risk of an attack. Dog bites could have severe consequences, even when the dog involved is small. These injuries could result in nerve damage, disfigurement, or worse. In addition to the pain, these bites can also take a significant physical, emotional, and financial toll.
If you suffered an injury in Stamford due to a dog bite, you might benefit from discussing your case with a skilled injury attorney. In some circumstances, you could hold a dog owner financially responsible for the actions of their animal. For a thorough case evaluation, reach out to a Stamford dog bite lawyer right away.
Many states have adopted the so-called “one bite rule” that governs dog bite liability. Under this rule, a dog owner only faces liability for a dog attack if they had reason to know of the threat posed by the dog. Typically, a dog owner would only be aware of the risks of a dog bite if they had previously bitten someone before. Essentially, every dog would get one bite before their owner faces civil liability.
The standard in a Stamford dog bite case is different, however. Connecticut Statute Section 22-357 governs liability in a dog bite case. This statute follows a “strict liability” standard, meaning a Stamford dog bite attorney could recover compensation without having to establish that the dog owner was negligent. This strict liability standard makes it much easier for a Stamford dog bite attorney to recover compensation on behalf of victims.
To recover compensation under a strict liability standard, a plaintiff must only show they suffered an injury due to a dog bite, and that they were not trespassing at the time of the attack. It is important to note, however, that there are other defenses that could sink a claim.
In most cases, establishing that the defendant owned the dog involved in a bite is the central issue of a dog bite claim. However, there are two important defenses to consider. If a defendant establishes that either of these defenses are true, a plaintiff could end up recovering nothing. These defenses include the provocation defense, and the trespassing defense.
The provocation defense is common in a dog bite lawsuit. The dog bite statute explicitly rules out compensation for any plaintiff involved in “teasing, taunting, or abusing” a dog prior to the attack. Provocation could involve hitting or poking a dog, but it could also include non-physical harassment. Aggressive movements or verbal taunting also qualifies.
The trespassing defense also bar recovering if a plaintiff suffered a bite on property he was not authorized to be on. This defense prevents a trespasser from seeking compensation after sustaining a bite injury from a guard dog.
Dog bites happen every day. While minor bites heal on their own in a matter of days, serious bite injuries could have life-long consequences for you or your family.
If you are ready to bring a bite injury lawsuit, you do not have to take on this challenge by yourself. A Stamford dog bite lawyer could help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Call today to schedule your free dog bite lawsuit consultation.