Waterbury Dog Bite Attorney
Representing Clients Statewide
People should not have to fear being bitten by a dog during their regular walks around the neighborhood or at any point in their day-to-day lives. At the Law Offices of James A. Welcome, we are passionate about protecting victim’s rights, especially when those victims are the children or the elderly as they are more susceptible to serious injury following an animal attack. Contact us today by calling (203) 753-7300.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a dog attack in Waterbury, please contact us for a free initial consultation. Our attorneys have more than 17 years of experience representing injured clients throughout Connecticut. We can help you seek justice and fair financial compensation for your injuries.
The Importance of Hiring a Waterbury Dog Bite Attorney
Dog bite injuries can be serious. They can cause permanent debilitation and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical care, including surgeries and physical therapy. Unfortunately, insurance companies are notorious for underestimating clients’ losses and convincing them to settle for less than their dog bite injuries are worth.
The best way to fight for the compensation you and your family need to pay for past and future medical bills related to a dog attack is by hiring an attorney. A Waterbury dog bite lawyer will have the resources, knowledge and experience to go up against any defendant on your behalf, including a powerful homeowners insurance company. Your lawyer can handle evidence evaluation, attack investigation, eyewitness interviews and many other tasks to build a strong claim to damages—all while you focus on healing.
The Proper Steps to Take After a Dog Attack
You need to protect yourself physically, emotionally and financially after an animal attack. You will need to go up against a dog owner’s homeowners insurance company in pursuit of financial compensation. Taking the proper steps can help you avoid infection, optimize your recovery and bring a stronger claim to damages.
If you get injured in a dog attack in Connecticut, take the following steps:
- Call the police or the Animal Control Division to report the attack. They can help get control of the dog if it is running at large. Write down your accident report number.
- Get the owner’s information. If you know who the owner of the dog is, write down the pet owner’s name, phone number and insurance information.
- Assess your injuries. If you have serious injuries, go to a hospital right away for professional medical care. If the skin is broken, you need treatment to prevent an infection.
- Take photos. If you have a smartphone, take photos of the dog, the scene of the incident and your injuries to help build an injury claim.
- Contact a dog bite injury lawyer. Consult with a personal injury attorney in Waterbury who specializes in dog and animal attacks. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand and protect your legal rights.
A Waterbury dog bite attorney can help you with the next steps forward, such as collecting evidence and filing an insurance claim with the pet owner’s provider. If you cannot complete all of these steps, a lawyer can help you with them while you receive medical care.
Common Injuries From a Dog Attack
Dog and animal attacks can lead to serious and even permanent injuries. A dog’s teeth and claws can break the skin, coming with the risk of infections. The strength of a dog’s jaws can also lead to soft-tissue and crush injuries. In the most serious cases, a dog attack can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement, or even death.
Injuries associated with dog attacks in Connecticut include:
- Puncture wounds
- Crush injuries
- Arm and leg injuries
- Bone fractures
- Facial and eye injuries
- Nerve damage
- Infections and diseases
- Emotional injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder
If you suffered any type of injury in a dog attack, you will need medical care and may have to take time away from work. An injury can cause significant physical pain and emotional distress. You might have also suffered property damage in the attack. According to state law, the owner of the dog may be financially responsible for all of these losses and more.
Connecticut’s Leash Laws
While dogs are not required to be on leashes at all times, Connecticut does mandate that roaming laws be upheld.
A dog’s owner must not let their dog roam on the following:
- Another individual’s property
- State parks
- Public highways
If a dog is in these areas, it must be under the control of the owner. If a pet owner fails to meet these requirements and allows a dog to run at large, the owner could be guilty of negligence. It is not necessary to prove negligence, however, to be eligible for financial compensation for a dog bite injury in Connecticut.
Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite?
Connecticut is a strict liability state, meaning that the victim does not have to prove that the owner knew that the dog was vicious or that the owner was negligent. The owner is liable for any injuries or damages caused by the dog, unless the dog was being abused or tormented by the individual.
Many other states use a law called a one-bite rule. In these states, a dog must have a history of being aggressive or vicious for a current victim to have grounds for a claim. The dog must have bitten someone in the past or the owner must have had reason to suspect the dog’s propensity for viciousness but failed to prevent an attack for the victim to be eligible for compensation.
In a strict liability state such as Connecticut, however, you do not have to prove that the dog had a history of viciousness. As long as you were lawfully on private property or on public property at the time of your attack and you did not provoke the dog, the pet owner is financially responsible for your injury.
How Does Insurance Work During a Dog Bite Claim?
In the vast majority of cases, the payout does not come out of the pet owner’s pocket but from his or her insurance company. In Connecticut, dogs are classified as property for insurance purposes. This means the pet owner’s homeowners or renters insurance provider pays for dog bite injury claims.
As an injured victim, it is up to you to file a claim with the pet owner’s insurance company. If you’re not sure whether the owner has insurance, a Waterbury dog bite lawyer can obtain this information. A lawyer can also help you fill out confusing claims paperwork and submit your claim. Then, your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance claims adjuster for the best possible financial outcome for your past and future losses.
What Compensation Is Available?
Although nothing can make up for a serious dog attack that leaves you or your loved one with long-term losses, an insurance settlement or judgment award for your dog bite injury claim can allow your family to pay for related medical expenses and move forward. You may be eligible for two main types of financial compensation as a dog attack victim in Connecticut:
- Economic damages. The financial losses associated with the attack, such as medical bills, lost wages and property damage repair costs.
- Noneconomic damages. The intangible losses you suffered, including physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and psychological trauma.
The value of your dog bite injury claim will depend on the seriousness of your injury and how much the attack impacted your life. A lawyer in Waterbury can evaluate your claim and fight for maximum financial compensation on your behalf.
Discuss Your Options With a Waterbury Dog Bite Lawyer
If you have been injured, it is worth discussing your options with a trusted dog bite lawyer from the Law Offices of James A. Welcome. We pride ourselves on open communication and personal service. Each of our Waterbury lawyers is passionate about helping our clients receive the justice they deserve and about maintaining our commitment to excellence. Backed by years of experience and recognized by Super Lawyers®, Founding Attorney James Welcome and the team can help you and your loved ones pursue just compensation.
Contact us for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney in Connecticut. Se habla español.