Tremont Sheldon Robinson Mahoney P.C.

Does a dog bite fall under premises liability?

A premises liability case is a type of personal injury lawsuit brought by a party that sustained an injury due to an unsafe condition on a property. An unsafe condition could be anything from deteriorating infrastructure to inadequate lighting. The property could be that of a business or an individual.

In general, it is important to keep in mind that a personal injury lawsuit is based on the legal theory of negligence. Thus, in premises liability cases it must be shown that a property owner had a duty to keep their property free of unsafe conditions, that the duty was breached and because of the breach harm resulted. Dog bites are a type of personal injury.

Generally, when it comes to dog bites, the owner of the dog has a duty to make sure that they exercise reasonable care to ensure that their dog does not bite someone. Connecticut has a statute in place to address damage by dogs to a person or property.

Under the current statute, the owner of the dog is liable for the damage the dog causes unless the person who suffered the dog bite was tormenting and abusing the dog or committing an act of trespass. Furthermore, Connecticut leash laws require a dog to be under the control of their owner. If the dog belongs to a minor, then the parent or guardian of the minor child will be liable for the damage that the dog causes another.

For more information on the legal options one has when it comes to dog bites and premises liability in general, it may be helpful to have an experienced personal injury attorney examine the facts of the case.

Source: Connecticut Statutes, "Chapter 435 - Damage by dogs to person or property," Accessed Sept. 14, 2015

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