How Do You Win a Dog Bite Case?

Posted On June 15, 2022 Dog Bites
man showing the scar from a dog bite injury on his forearm

Dog bite injuries are serious. If you have been bitten by a dog, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your injuries and the damages you incur.

A Connecticut dog bite injury lawyer can help. Before you talk to an attorney, however, there are important steps you can take on your own to improve the likelihood of winning your dog bite case:

1. Seek Medical Attention

Whether you are taken to the emergency room immediately or seek treatment on your own, it is crucial to get medical care as soon as possible after a dog bite injury. Being evaluated by medical personnel after a dog attack is essential not only for your well-being but to ensure your injuries are thoroughly documented.

In order to protect your health and your legal rights after a dog bite, you need to seek medical attention promptly.

Some dog bite injuries require immediate attention, which might prevent you from taking the additional steps below to prove your case. If you are able to remain on the scene, however, you should do the following next:

2. Identify the Owner of the Dog

The most important fact you need to establish in a dog bite claim is the identity of the owner. You will need the following information to bring a claim after a dog bite injury:

  • The name of the dog’s owner (or keeper, if someone other than the owner was responsible for the dog at the time of the attack)
  • Address and contact information for the owner or keeper
  • Homeowners or renters insurance held by the owner or keeper of the dog

Under Connecticut’s strict liability rule, you do not need to prove that the negligence of the owner or keeper led to the dog attack. You do have to establish that the dog belonged to and/or was controlled by the owner or keeper when you were bitten.

If the dog that bit you belonged to a loved one, friend, or neighbor, this information will be readily available. However, if you are bitten by a strange dog and the owner or keeper is not in the vicinity, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible without enlisting the help of an attorney.

3. Gather Evidence

Although you do not have to prove that the dog’s owner or keeper was negligent, you do need to prove that your injuries were caused by the dog attack. Important evidence in a dog bite injury claim includes:

  • Photos of your injuries
  • Eyewitness statements
  • Notes on the date, location, and approximate time of the attack
  • Medical records

You should also keep records of any and all expenses related to the dog bite injury. This may include bills from medical providers, receipts for items and services you pay for out of pocket, etc. In addition, you should make notes concerning your recovery, including any persistent symptoms, loss of function, pain levels, psychological issues, etc.

The records you keep help support your claim for damages. A Connecticut dog bite injury lawyer can review the evidence you have collected and take additional steps to establish your right to compensation.

4. Call the Authorities

Connecticut General Statute § 22-358(b) states that a “person who is bitten, or who shows visible evidence of attack by a dog” is required to report the attack to an animal control officer. The animal control officer must investigate promptly and take appropriate action as it pertains to restraint, seizure, and/or disposal of the dog.

Filing a complaint with animal control creates an official record of the dog bite incident. This is important for establishing the circumstances of the attack, which in turn can support your personal injury claim.

Victims are not required by law to report dog bites to the police. However, if your injuries are serious and/or the dog was off leash, it may be in your best interest to file a police report. Reporting the attack to the police will create additional documentation of the incident that can support your claim.

Read More: What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury

5. Contact a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer

If you have been bitten by a dog, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. This is especially true if you were seriously injured, if your child was harmed, or if a member of your family died in a dog attack.

Hiring an attorney is key to winning your dog bite case. A dog bite injury lawyer can collect evidence on your behalf and establish the liability of the dog’s owner or keeper. Your attorney can also handle settlement negotiations with the insurance company. Typically, people who hire an attorney obtain higher settlements than they do on their own.

Finally, if the defendant disputes liability for the attack (e.g., by arguing that you provoked the dog) and/or the insurer refuses to compensate you fairly, a dog bite injury lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf. Your attorney can prepare your case for trial and fight to maximize your award.

Learn How The Flood Law Firm Can Help

You have rights if you or a loved one was bitten by a dog. However, asserting those rights can be difficult if you are trying to recover from physical injuries, tending to a loved one who was hurt, or grieving the wrongful death of a family member.

At The Flood Law Firm, we are dedicated to winning your case and obtaining the maximum compensation you deserve. Our results speak for themselves.

Please call The Flood Law Firm at (860) 346-2695 today for a FREE case review. Our dog bite injury lawyers serve clients throughout Connecticut from offices in Middletown, Danbury, Waterbury, and Bridgeport.

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