Legal Rights of Dog Bite Victims
The CDC estimates that there are around 4.7 million US citizens who are bitten by dogs each and every year. An even more alarming statistic is that of those 4.7 million, some 800,000 require urgent medical attention as a result. If you have been bitten by a dog and you needed medical attention, you could claim compensation against the owner of the dog, in order to cover your medical bills and any lost income. If you aren’t sure about whether or not you should be looking too contact a CT dog bite lawyer, the best course of action is to seek one out for an evaluation to see if you have a case.
This is treated under personal injury law and here is why you may or may not have a case.
In the case of a dog bite liability is not always easy to prove, although in most cases it is found that the owner of the dog has been negligent. The situations whereby the owner is not considered as being negligent is when the person who is bitten has provoked the dog or entered onto the property where the dog lives without permission.
The One-Bite Rule
In most states across the country they employ what is called the one-bite rule, which covers owners who have a dog which is not normally violent. This rule basically states that if a usually placid dog were to bite someone for the very first time, the owner cannot be considered as being liable for this injury. If however the dog had a history of violent behavior, and then it were to bite someone, the owner would most certainly be considered as liable, for not taking the correct precautions.
Knowledge of danger is classed as an owner of a dog who has previously bitten people, who is threatening and aggressive towards strangers and/or has a history of jumping on people or fighting with other dogs. This again is harder to prove because there is often no historical reference as to whether the dog has been previously dangerous. Often to prove this lawyers will rely on witness statements from neighbors and friends of the dog owner.
The best way for any law firm to prove liability here is to obtain evidence and build a strong case. The best case scenario here is CCTV footage which will show the level of provocation which the victim gave the dog and the situation prior to the incident. Additionally the statements which are given by witnesses and people who know the dog well, are going to be critical in helping to decipher whether or not it has a history of being dangerous or aggressive towards other people.
If you have been bitten by a dog and you believe that it was the fault of the owner, the best thing that you can do is to seek legal counsel and explain the exact situation to them. Following this they will be able to tell you whether or not it is worth proceeding with a personal injury case.