The first thing you should do following an animal bite is to seek medical attention. If your injury is simple, you may be able to administer first aid on your own. However, as our attorneys at Beebe and O’Neil know, many times, these events lead to severe injuries that necessitate professional help.
The next step is to know how to hold the owner of the animal liable for your damages. Hospital bills, rehabilitation and medications can get expensive, and these costs should not be yours to bear when the attack was not provoked.
Connecticut uses a strict liability statute to determine fault in animal bite lawsuits. Under this law, the owner of the animal is liable for damages regardless of whether or not he or she knew the animal was vicious or was in any other way negligent.
You should be aware, however, that your claim could be invalidated if the following occurred:
- You were trespassing on the property where the animal was.
- You teased the animal.
- You abused the animal.
Connecticut law does state that anyone younger than 7 is assumed to have not committed the above actions unless the defendant is able to prove otherwise.
You may also be able to pursue your claim under common law negligence, though this requires you to prove that the defendant either knew or should have known that the animal was vicious. Common law animal bite claims could be used to hold parties other than the animal’s owner, like a landlord, responsible for your injuries.
For more information on this topic, please visit our page regarding animal bite claims.