Many people treat their dogs like members of the family. Yet, even a well-trained and well-behaved dog may bite or attack, sometimes without reason or warning. A dog bite can leave a victim with serious injuries that can require extensive medical treatment. They also can carry a lifetime of emotional trauma.
If you were bitten or attacked by someone else’s dog, you should not have to bear the burden of your dog bite injuries on your own.
One of the Best Dog Bite Lawyers in Plainville
At Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, our dog bite attorneys have over 55 years of combined experience advocating for dog bite injury victims in Plainville and throughout Connecticut. Our legal team understands that you could be facing expensive medical bills and significant lost wages due to your dog bite injuries. We are prepared to work hard to seek the fair compensation you deserve.
Let our experienced dog-bite lawyers navigate the legal system on your behalf so you can focus on your health. Contact our office to speak with a dog bite attorney in Plainville, CT, during a free consultation.
Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite Injury in Connecticut?
Under Connecticut law, the owner or keeper of a dog that bites or attacks someone is liable for the victim’s injuries. This law applies the standard of strict liability, meaning that the victim is not required to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent, or knew the dog was vicious, to be entitled to compensation. However, the dog owner is not liable if the victim was trespassing at the time of the attack, or was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog when it attacked.
If you are injured by a dog whose owner is a family member, close friend, or neighbor, you may be hesitant to take legal action that puts your relationship at risk. However, compensation in a dog bite case is usually paid through the dog owner’s homeowners, renters, or liability insurance policy. Therefore, you can file a claim with the appropriate insurer, while not having to worry that your friend or relative will be on the hook for your expenses. Contact our dog bite lawyers today for help.
Understanding Complications from Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites often result in lacerations and puncture wounds, which sometimes lead to serious complications. These can include:
- Bacterial infections, such as staph infections, tetanus, Pasteurella, and Capnocytophaga
- Rabies, as well as other viral infections
- Permanent scarring, which can cause mobility and fine motor control issues if scar tissue forms over joints
- Broken bones, particularly in the hands and feet
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Ligament or tendon damage
Compensation for Injuries in Dog Bite Cases
Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation for a wide range of losses, including:
- Medical expenses, such as hospital stays, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, prescription medications, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and mental health counseling
- Costs of long-term care if your injuries result in permanent disability, or if you require mental health treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other related psychological conditions
- Lost wages if you cannot work while treating your dog bite injuries, or loss of future earning capacity if your injuries result in a partial or total disability that prevents you from working
- Physical pain and emotional suffering
- Loss of quality of life
Dog Bite Laws in Plainville, CT
Under Connecticut law, an animal control officer must quarantine a dog that bites or attacks someone off its owner’s property. An officer also has the discretion to quarantine a dog following a bite or attack that occurs on the owner’s property.
The quarantine is intended to ensure that the dog does not have any infectious diseases. It also allows the officer to evaluate the dog’s demeanor. From there, the officer can decide whether to order the dog to be constrained or destroyed.
The dog’s owner is responsible for paying any fees associated with the quarantine, including rabies testing.
On the 14th day of the quarantine, an animal control officer will examine the dog to determine whether further quarantine is necessary. The person who was attacked by the dog will be given notice of the quarantine within 24 hours.
What to Do If You’ve Been Bitten by a Dog
If you’ve been bitten or attacked by someone else’s dog, you can take the following steps to protect your medical prognosis as well as your ability to seek compensation:
- Seek medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible, especially if you are unsure about the dog’s vaccination status.
- Notify the dog’s owner about your injury and ask for copies of the dog’s vaccination records.
- Report the attack to the local animal control agency.
- Take photos of your injuries.
- Follow your doctor’s treatment plan and attend all related appointments.
- Keep bills related to medical expenses and pay stubs if you cannot work due to your injuries.
- Speak to a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your legal options and identify potential sources of compensation
How Long Do You Have to File a Dog Bite Claim?
Under Connecticut’s statute of limitations, typically you have only two years from the date you were bitten or attacked by a dog to file a personal injury lawsuit to pursue compensation. If you file suit after the two-year deadline, you could risk your dog bite claim being dismissed, thus losing your right to seek compensation in civil court.
This is why it is so important to speak to a Plainville attorney as soon as possible after a dog bite injury to ensure there is plenty of time to prepare a solid case. A dog bite lawyer can manage important deadlines and file necessary documentation on your behalf.
Dog Bite Statistics
Dog bites and dog attacks are quite common in the United States. As statistics show:
- More than 5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S.
- Over 800,000 people require medical treatment for dog bites annually.
- At least half of all dog bite victims are children, and children are more likely to suffer severe injuries from a dog bite.
- Most dog bite injuries involving young children occur while they are interacting with familiar dogs.
- Approximately 27,000 people underwent reconstructive surgery for dog bite injuries in one recent year in the U.S., according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
- Nearly 1 out of every 5 dog bites becomes infected, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Homeowners insurance policies paid out $882 million in liability claims related to dog bites in the U.S. in one recent year, with an average cost per claim of nearly $50,000, says the Insurance Information Institute.
How Our Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help
If you were bitten or attacked by a dog, you may be overwhelmed by medical bills and lost wages, and unsure about what to do next. At Jainchill & Becker, LLC, our experienced dog bite attorneys can help you by:
- Evaluating your case, explaining your legal options, and devising a strong strategy to help you seek the maximum compensation
- Conducting an independent investigation into the circumstances of the attack to gather helpful evidence and determine all potential sources of compensation
- Calculating your expenses and losses related to your injuries to determine fair and full compensation, including any anticipated future costs related to treating your injuries
- Preparing and filing insurance claims on your behalf and other important documentation to ensure you do not miss any important deadlines
- Communicating with insurance companies and other parties on your behalf
- Aggressively negotiating a settlement and representing you in court should it present the best opportunity to recover the money you deserve
If you are suffering physically and emotionally from a dog bite injury, the attorneys at Jainchill & Beckert, LLC, can help you pursue compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, emotional distress, and more. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Plainville, CT, dog bite lawyer.