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When is a dog bite case serious enough for a lawsuit?

Suffering an animal attack can be physically and emotionally scarring, no matter how serious the injuries are. Under Connecticut law, the owner of the dog will be held liable for damage as long as the victim did not provoke the attack or trespass.

If you have been bitten, you might be considering filing a lawsuit against the dog’s owner. There are situations in which you may not need to file a claim. For example, if your injuries did not require medical care, you probably have not incurred enough damages to make a lawsuit worthwhile. However, you should still alert authorities to the incident, as Connecticut does have laws regarding how dogs that bite are handled.

Some people prefer to try to settle the case without legal measures. For example, you could try to work with the pet owner to ensure that all your bills are covered. Many homeowners’ insurance policies will cover the cost of some related expenses.

However, the only way to ensure that you will receive maximum compensation is through filing a lawsuit. This is a good idea in the following circumstances: 

  •        You suffered a serious injury that led to hospitalization.
  •        Your injuries will result in permanent scarring or disfigurement.
  •        You had to miss work due to your injuries.
  •        The owner’s insurance policy is not covering all your expenses.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average dog bite insurance claim alone totaled $29,396 in 2012. Keep in mind, however, that insurance policies will not cover any emotional damage you have suffered the way that a lawsuit might. Insurance providers also may try to shortchange you on the compensation you are owed.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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