Each year, millions of people are injured by dogs and other animals in the United States. Connecticut law requires that the owner or keeper of animals use reasonable and ordinary care to control the animal to prevent the animal from causing injury to others. If an animal owner fails to properly control his or her animal, and that animal causes injury to a person, that person is entitled to compensation for the resulting damages.
Bites are not the only type of injury for which an animal owner may be held liable. For example, if a dog charges at a person and causes that person to fall while fleeing, the dog’s owner can be held liable for injuries sustained in the fall.
The medical costs associated with animal injuries can be great, and the emotional cost can be even more burdensome. In certain circumstances, an owner of an animal might be required to pay double the amount of damages they would normally owe when that same animal injured another person in the past. Whether this applies is a fact-specific determination. This is intended to discourage irresponsible owners from acting in a reckless or negligent manner. In Connecticut, a dog bite victim may pursue compensation regardless of whether or not the attack was a dog’s first.
If you are injured by an animal, make sure to get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Additionally, make sure that you receive medical treatment if necessary. If you are able, take photographs of your injuries. Finally, do not provide a statement to an insurance company, or sign any documents, until you have spoken with an attorney.