Many people have dogs as pets, providing families with a source of companionship and joy. Unfortunately, some dogs have the propensity to bite others, resulting in serious injuries that could lead to permanent pain and disfigurement.
If a dog recently attacked you or a family member, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you. Connecticut has a strong dog bite law that is favorable to the injured party, especially if it is a child. George W. Ganim, Jr., a Bridgeport dog bite lawyer, has the experience necessary to help you recover after a frightening dog attack.
Common Dog Bite Injuries in Bridgeport
Not all dog bites lead to serious injuries. Usually, several factors can affect the severity of a dog attack. Those factors may include:
- The size of the person being attacked, which could affect which part of the body the dog bites
- The size of the dog
- The location of the bite on the body
- How long the attack lasted
- Whether the injured party had quick access to quality medical care
An adult who is attacked by a dog usually suffers injuries to their lower body, with some defensive wounds on their arms. Because children are smaller, they often receive bites on their face and neck when a dog attacks them.
Some of the most frequent physical injuries you can suffer after being attacked by a dog are as follows:
- Lacerations, abrasions, cuts, punctures and bruises
- Tissue loss or damage
- Permanent scarring
- Facial disfigurement, fractures and nerve damage, particularly to young children
- Broken or crushed bones
- Nervous system and muscle damage
Immediately after a dog attack, you should seek medical attention to assess the severity of the wounds and prevent future infections. You should also report the attack to a Bridgeport animal control officer.
In addition to physical injuries, many people often face anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress after being attacked by a dog. Their physical and emotional injuries may render them unable to return to work, leading to serious financial difficulties. A local dog attack lawyer can help recover damages to compensate for all of your injuries and losses, including medical bills, lost wages, loss of future earnings, disability, disfigurement and mental anguish.
What is the Dog Bite Law in Bridgeport?
The state dog bite statute, Connecticut General Statutes § 22-357, is favorable to injured individuals. You do not need to prove that the dog’s owner acted negligently in order to recover damages. Connecticut law states that a dog owner is responsible for any injury caused by their dog unless the individual was trespassing, teasing, tormenting, or otherwise abusing the dog at the time of the attack. The law is even stricter with regard to children younger than seven years of age. Unless the dog owner can specifically prove that the child was tormenting the dog, the court assumes that the child held no blame in the attack.
Bridgeport dog bite attorney George W. Ganim, Jr. has experience handling these types of cases, including negotiating with defense attorneys and insurance companies. In many instances, people sustain injuries from a dog that belongs to family members or friends. Working with a lawyer could help preserve the relations with friends and families after a dog attack.
Are There Any Advantages to Settling a Dog Bite Case Rather than Filing Suit?
The primary benefits of dog bite settlements are that the process will generally proceed much more quickly, cheaply and with less stress. A significant amount of homeowners’ insurance payouts are related to dog attacks, so out of court settlements are very common.
Unfortunately, there are occasions where the homeowners insurance policy is insufficient and therefore unable to provide fair and reasonable compensation. Having an experienced dog bite attorney advising you is critical in directing the best way to proceed in order to maximize your recovery. Attorney George W. Ganim, Jr. has over 30 years of experience in representing victims of dog bites and dog attacks.
Is It Possible to Sue Someone Other than the Dog’s Owner for a Dog Bite?
Although most dog bite claims name the owner of the dog as the defendant, there are certain situations where it may be more appropriate to take action against another third party. For instance, a person who is not the owner of the dog but is still determined to be the “keeper” of the dog or in “control” of the dog, may be held responsible in the same manner as the dog owner.
In addition, Connecticut Supreme Court precedent holds that a landlord could potentially bear liability for dog bite injuries if they were aware of the violent tendencies of a tenant’s dog but failed to take proper measures to keep that dog out of public spaces. However, there are some disadvantages to this type of claim. Notably, the strict liability borne by dog owners does not apply. In order to recover compensation from a third party for a dog bite, the injured plaintiff would have to prove traditional negligence by the named defendant.
What Statutory Filing Deadlines Apply to Dog Bite Cases?
Since dog owners bear strict liability for dog bites, the typical statute of limitations for personal injury cases does not apply to this type of claim. Instead, most dog bite plaintiffs are bound by the statute of limitations for torts, which is governed by Connecticut General Statutes §52-577. That statute allows an injured party three years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit. However, this time period only applies to “strict liability” type cases and if it is not a strict liability type case, but rather a negligence case, then it would be governed by the two years statute of limitations.
Reach Out to a Bridgeport Dog Bite Attorney
A dog bite or attack is usually a more serious situation than most people may think. After a dog attack, you deserve dedicated legal assistance. It is crucial to work with a lawyer like George W. Ganim, Jr. who will work tirelessly to get you the financial relief that you deserve. Call the office and schedule a free consultation with a Bridgeport dog bite lawyer today.