Waterbury Dog Bite Lawyers
Dog owners are legally liable for the actions of their pets
Did you or your loved one suffer severe injuries as the result of a dog bite in Connecticut? You could be entitled to compensation for multiple damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
In many cases, dog owners are friends, family members, our neighbors of victims. These types of relationships cause some reluctance to pursue injury claims because victims fear that the dog owners themselves will become personally responsible for paying damages.
In truth, many dog bite claims are covered by a dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy. In such cases, a victim usually needs to worry about insurers who either refuse to pay claims or offer settlements that are much less than what they are entitled to.
You should avoid speaking to any insurance company about your case until you have legal representation. You can have the experienced Waterbury dog bite attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (203) 437-6190 to receive a free consultation.
Do I Need A Dog Bite Lawyer?
Dog bite injuries are typically viewed as being injury claims that can be resolved without court appearances. Many people assume they simply have to negotiate a respectable settlement with an insurance company, and doing so without an attorney will allow the victim to keep more of the money for themselves.
Approaching a dog bite case without a lawyer is extremely risky because some insurers will try and accuse victims of having engaged in some behavior that antagonized or otherwise compelled a dog’s reaction. Even when an insurance company does extend a settlement offer, the proposed settlement is usually much less than what victims are entitled to.
Insurers usually make lowball offers to get people who are particularly desperate to quickly accept such settlements, possibly out of fear that they may not be offered anything greater. The problem is that when you accept an insurance company settlement, much of the money can immediately be allocated towards past medical bills and victims they must pay all future expenses out of their own pockets with no way to get additional compensation from the insurer.
Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers can handle all negotiations with insurance companies on your behalf. We will work tirelessly to help you recover a fair and full settlement, and our firm will file a lawsuit if the insurer does not make any satisfactory compensation offer.
Why Choose Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers To Handle My Case?
Jonathan Perkins has more than 30 years of legal experience and has been named to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100. Our firm’s record of success includes $275,000 recovered for a 34-year-old woman bitten by a dog.
Mr. Perkins is admitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut as well as state courts in Connecticut and New York. He is also a member of the Connecticut Bar Association, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and American Bar Association.
Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers also received the Trial Lawyers Board of Regents Litigator Award in 2015.
Our firm also represents clients on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing unless you obtain a monetary award. You can set up a no cost, no obligation consultation when you call (203) 437-6190.
Types of Dog Bite Cases We Handle
Connecticut General Statute § 22-357 establishes that a dog owner is liable for any damage to the body or property of another person. This is considered strict liability, which is a less forgiving standard for dog owners than the “one bite” or “dangerous dog” rules used by other states.
The statute does provide three exceptions for cases in which a dog bite victim:
- was committing a trespass;
- was committing another tort; or
- was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog.
Under Connecticut General Statute § 22-357, it is presumed that a dog bite victim under seven years of age was not committing trespass or another tort, or teasing, tormenting, or abusing a dog. The statute states that the burden of proof thereof is upon the defendant in such actions.
Most dog bite cases are subject to the same two-year statute of limitations as all other injury actions. Victims in these cases should act quickly to preserve their legal rights.
How Common Are Dog Bites?
Researchers with the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than 4.5 million people were bitten by dogs each year between 2001 and 2003. The CDC also reported that 756,701 dog bite victims required medical attention.
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) and State Farm, homeowners insurance companies paid more than $686 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2017. The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) stated in a November 2010 statistical brief that the average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200, or roughly 50 percent more than the cost of the average stay for other injuries.
The HCUP brief also found there were 316,200 emergency department (ED) visits and 9,500 hospital stays related to dog bites in 2008. This translates to an average of 866 ED visits and 26 hospitalizations a day.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported in its 2015 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report that 28,079 people underwent reconstructive procedures related to dog bite repair in 2015. In 1997, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimated that annual monetary losses for dog bite victims might be as much as $2 billion.
Contact a Waterbury Dog Bites Attorney Today
If you or your loved one sustained severe dog bite injuries in Connecticut, it is in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers helps individuals in Waterbury and many other surrounding areas of Connecticut.
Call (203) 437-6190, or contact us online to have our lawyers review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free consultation.