Getting bitten by a dog is terrifying for the person getting bit as well as their loved ones who see it happen—especially when it’s your child. This makes any civil lawsuits arising from a dog bite emotionally fraught, particularly when you know the owner of the dog. At D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC, we know how to navigate these difficult situations—with the dog owner, their insurance company, and, if necessary, in front of a judge and jury.

As Watertown dog bite lawyers, we are here to help you through this difficult time. We can find the dog owner, hold them accountable, and make them compensate you for your physical and emotional injuries. To find out how we can help you, contact us today to schedule a free remote or in-person consultation with one of our personal injury attorneys.

Understanding Connecticut’s Dog Bite Laws

We believe pet owners should be held responsible for the injuries their animals cause. The state of Connecticut agrees.

Connecticut is a “strict liability” state where dog bites are concerned. This means unless you provoked the dog or were trespassing when the dog bit you, the pet owner is liable for any injuries or property damage the dog caused. The law also assumes any child under seven years old who is attacked and injured by a dog was not trespassing or provoking the dog at the time of the incident—unless the dog owner can prove otherwise. Connecticut General Statutes § 22-357 also applies to injuries dogs cause through other behaviors, like jumping on someone unexpectedly and knocking them over.

It is not only the dog owner that can be held accountable but also the “keeper” of the dog if different from the owner. For example, a dog may be owned by one person, but another is taking care of and housing the dog. In this event both the dog owner and the person caring for the dog can be held accountable.

Whatever the circumstances, support from one of our skilled dog bite attorneys in Watertown can be crucial to navigating state law, holding the responsible dog owner accountable, and finding closure.

What Damages Could Be Recoverable?

Even relatively minor dog bite injuries can be extremely painful and cause long-lasting psychological and emotional distress to both children and adults. Severe injuries can cause permanent disfigurement and physical disability. Some dog bites are life-threatening and, sadly, may even result in your losing a loved one.

A civil lawsuit cannot undo the physical or emotional harm caused by a vicious dog bite; and it certainly cannot bring back a family member who may have been killed in a dog attack. We wish it could. What a civil lawsuit brought by one of our Watertown attorneys can do is recover financial compensation from the dog’s owner or keeper, who is ultimately responsible for its attack.

Dog bite settlements often include compensation for financial losses such as:

  • Lost short-term work income
  • Lost long-term earning ability
  • Immediate medical expenses such as emergency room visits and surgery
  • Long-term medical expenses such as physical therapy, prescription medications, and assistive equipment like crutches or wheelchairs

What’s more, dog bite settlements often include financial compensation for more difficult to measure injuries such as

  • Physical discomfort and pain
  • Psychological and emotional distress
  • Lost enjoyment or quality of life, including lost consortium

In an extreme situation, the courts can also make responsible dog owners pay additional punitive damages if they were egregiously negligent.

Statute of Limitations

Under Connecticut General Statutes 52-584, the filing period for dog bite lawsuits is typically two years after the date of the attack.

How Our Watertown Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help Move Your Claim Forward

When you come to us after a dog bite injury to you or a loved one, we’ll listen to you. We’ll seek to understand what happened and answer your questions about your legal options. Our goal is to pursue compensation for the full extent of the injury, including medical expenses as well as any mental or emotional trauma that may have resulted.

We will carefully investigate what happened and gather evidence to help prove your claim. In most instances, we’re able to resolve these cases through negotiation with the dog owner’s or keeper’s insurance company, keeping you informed every step of the way.

If a dog seriously injured you or a member of your family, please contact a Watertown dog bite lawyer at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC for a free remote or in-person consultation and case evaluation. There’s no cost and no obligation, just straightforward answers about your legal rights and options.