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What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury in Connecticut

February 26 2024 | Personal Injury

No one ever plans on getting bitten by a dog, but it is possible to prepare for this type of incident. Unfortunately, dog bite injuries occur more often than most people realize. If you get bitten by a dog in Connecticut, it is important to take certain steps to protect yourself physically and financially.

Get to a Safe Place

Try to remain calm and get to a safe place, away from the dog. If the owner of the dog is present, make sure he or she takes steps to control and contain the animal. If you were bitten by a dog running at large (off-leash) and cannot find the owner, go to a nearby home or business and call for help.

Obtain Immediate Medical Care

In an emergency, call 911. Otherwise, go to the closest hospital, emergency room or urgent care center for medical care. Professional treatment is crucial after a dog bite injury due to the risk of infection and disease.

You may need treatments such as wound debridement, sutures, antibacterial ointment and, in severe cases, surgery. Follow your doctor’s orders as you heal from your dog bite injuries. Watch for signs of infection, such as red streaking in the area, swelling, inflammation, fever or pus.

Collect Evidence

Do your best to start collecting evidence early on; ideally, while you are still at the scene of the accident. Speak to the owner of the dog and write down his or her name, address, insurance information and details about the dog.

Take photographs of your injuries, any property damage and the scene of the attack as a whole. If anyone witnessed the accident, write down their names and phone numbers. Obtain copies of any videos recorded by surveillance or security cameras.

After you have seen a doctor, obtain copies of your medical records and bills. If the police were notified about the attack, request a copy of the police report for your records, as well.

Report the Dog Bite Injury

In Connecticut, state law (CT Gen Stat § 22-358) requires victims to report dog bite incidents to an animal control officer who will immediately investigate the complaint. Reporting your dog bite injury documents it for the record, which can help you during an insurance claim. It also creates a record showing the dog’s past aggressive behaviors.

File an Insurance Claim

CT Gen Stat § 22-357 states that if a dog does any damage to the body or property of a person, the owner or keeper of the dog can be held strictly liable. This means a pet owner will be responsible for the victim’s damage without needing to prove negligence, such as an owner who knew or reasonably should have known about the dog’s vicious propensities.

You can seek compensation for your dog bite injury by contacting the pet owner’s property insurance company, since dogs are classified as property under Connecticut law. During conversations with an insurance company claims adjuster, do not admit fault for the dog attack, give your permission for a recorded statement or accept a fast insurance settlement.

Contact a Dog Bite Attorney

Consult with a New Haven dog bite lawyer as soon as possible about your legal rights and options if you get attacked by a dog. An attorney can help you gather evidence to support your claim and go up against a pet owner’s insurance company on your behalf. The dog bite lawyers at Jacobs & Jacobs have years of experience negotiating and litigating these cases in Connecticut. Contact us today to request a free consultation about your case.

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