Many Connecticut residents believe that dog is man’s best friend, but what do you do when a dog turns on you and bites you? Despite the training the dog has been through, the reality is that there is no way to predict exactly how an animal will react. Even the best dogs may snap at one point and lash out at their owners or another person.

The state’s dog bite statute states that there is no need for the victim to prove the keeper or owner of the dog was negligent or expected the dog to be vicious. This is called a strict liability, which is imposed on the dog’s owner or keeper.

Unless you were injured as you trespassed, abused, tormented or teased the dog, the dog’s owner is liable for property damage or injury caused by the animal. If the person bit is under the age of seven, the law automatically assumes that the dog was unprovoked unless the owner has evidence that shows otherwise.

If a dog has bitten someone, a law enforcement officer can quarantine the animal for 14 days. This allows for determination if the dog has rabies or if the dog’s demeanor is particularly aggressive or threatening. During this time, all fees accumulated are the responsibility of the dog’s owner.

The state law includes a statute of limitations for dog bites. Victims are only allowed to file a suit within three years of the bite. If this is not done, you may miss out on any potential recovery money you would have received. Another exception with the state’s law is that if a dog is threatening to you and causes injuries or a fall, you can pursue a case under what is called dog fright.

This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice.