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Steps to take after a dog bite or attack

According to The Humane Society of the United States, nearly 80 million U.S. households have at least one pet. Dogs are among one of the most popular pets and there are nearly 78 million dogs that are kept as pets throughout the U.S. While dogs are widely known for being loyal and trusted companions, every dog also has the capacity to be aggressive and bite.

Because of the often unpredictable nature of dogs, Connecticut law requires that dog owners keep control of their pets and take measures to prevent a dog from roaming onto personal property. If scared or threatened, even the most docile dog may lash out and bite. Therefore, while out walking or in public, dog owners are advised to ensure that they keep a dog on a leash. Additionally, dog owners would be wise to take steps to prevent a dog's escape from a home or yard.

In cases where a dog does bite someone, Connecticut's dog bite law imposes strict liability upon a dog owner for any expenses related to the damage of personal property or physical injuries that result from a dog bite or attack. The one caveat to the law is if an individual is bit by a dog while trespassing or somehow tormenting or abusing the animal.

In the event you or a loved one is bit by a dog, it's important to take action to immediately identify both the dog and the dog's owner. It's also important to seek medical care and treatment. Dog bite injuries can be serious and may require that a victim undergo a series of medical treatments including plastic or reconstructive surgery.

A dog bite should also be reported with the authorities who will take steps to quarantine a dog and test it for rabies. In cases where a dog has previously bit someone or has been identified as dangerous, a dog owner may face legal action and a dog may be impounded.

An attorney who handles premise liability cases and specifically dog bite lawsuits can assist an individual in pursuing the recovery of damages. The financial and personal costs associated with a dog bite injury are often significant and can easily total into the tens of thousands of dollars. It's important, therefore, to seek the advice, guidance and assistance of a seasoned legal professional.

Source: Dogsbite.org, "Steps to take after a dog bite," Feb. 1, 2016

Connecticut General Assembly, "CONNECTICUT LEASH AND DOG BITE LAW," Joseph Holstead, March 16, 2004

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