Frequently Asked Questions about Dog Bites
Experienced Answers from our Ridgefield Dog Bite Attorneys
Dog bites can cause serious damage, not to mention intense emotional or mental scarring. After a dog bite, it can be difficult to know where to turn. At Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP, our skilled Ridgefield dog bite lawyers can capably represent your rights in a dog bite case and ensure that you are being taken care of. Since 1988, we have served numerous clients throughout the state of Connecticut.
If you have further questions, call our firm at (888) 244-5480!
When should I seek medical attention for a dog bite?
You should seek medical attention from a doctor for a dog bite if the dog causes any disruption to the skin that results in a puncture, tear, laceration, or if you are experiencing any type of pain or discomfort as a result of the dog bite. Regardless of whether or not you seek immediate medical care you should go about determining the dog’s rabies immunization status. Infants, children, the elderly and infirm should be evaluated after any dog bite incident regardless of the injury.
What type of treatment is available for a dog bite injury?
There are a number of medical issues that need to be addressed in any dog bite injury. Depending upon the severity of the injury and the nature of the attack, they could include the following:
- Treatment related to damaged skin: This could range from stitching and treating the wound site, to cosmetic surgery, to amputation.
- Treating the problems apart from the damage to the skin: These problems could include tissue damage, nerve damage, broken bones, damage to organs or body parts and psychological and cosmetic injuries.
- Treating and/or preventing infections: Due to the nature of a dog bite injury, bacteria and other toxic substances can be placed in the victim’s body that could cause serious physical injury or even death.
What authorities should be contacted after a dog bite injury?
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite injury or animal attack you should call the police as soon as possible so that an investigation can be conducted and a report filed. You, or the police, should also contact the Dog Warden so that the dog can be quarantined and the appropriate vaccination records can be checked.
What important medical considerations should I be aware of?
Although the rule of thumb is to get immediate medical care in the event of a dog bite injury, sometimes when a person incurs a serious cosmetic injury requiring the suturing of skin, the on-call doctor at the emergency room may want to perform the task of stitching up the injured party. If it appears to be an injury that may leave a permanent, ugly and disfiguring scar in a noticeable or prominent place, it would be very prudent to insist that a plastic surgeon be called to evaluate the situation and perform any type of quasi-cosmetic procedure.
It is also imperative that you follow up with any and all health care professionals, after receiving emergency medical treatment, to check on the status and monitor your progress.
How is liability determined in a dog bite case?
Connecticut General Statutes Section 22-357, our dog bite statute, makes the owner or keeper of a dog strictly liable for any damages caused by a dog. The only exceptions to this strict liability are when the victim was committing a trespass or abusing the dog. These exceptions do not apply to children under 7. It is therefore important to consult with an experienced dog bite injury lawyer at the earliest possible moment so that you can be advised as to how to proceed.
What damages can be awarded in a dog bite injury case?
Depending upon the circumstances, some or all of the following may be awarded and/or recovered in a Connecticut dog bite injury case.
Possible damages in a dog bite case:
- Past and future medical care, rehabilitative care, and related expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Psychological damage
- Past and future income lost because of the accident, as well as employment retraining if necessary
- Permanent physical disability, disfigurement or scarring
- Loss of family, social and educational experiences
- Emotional damages such as stress, embarrassment, depression, or strains on family relationships, loss of consortium and emotional bystander distress
- Wrongful death
- Damaged property
You will be awarded “damages,” or compensation, which is money, intended to restore you to the position you were in before your injury. The money is not considered income (excluding monies paid for loss of income) and is not taxable as income by the Federal or State governments.
How do I know if I need a lawyer?
If you or someone you know have been injured in a dog attack or have received a dog bite, it is very important that an experienced attorney be contacted immediately to explain your rights to you to properly protect yourself and not do anything that could harm your case.
Do you offer a free consultation?
Yes, we offer an initial consultation for which we do not charge. The purpose of this initial consultation is to review the facts of your case, give you an indication is one that we might be interested in handling, and to discuss with you the financial arrangements for our representation.
Why should I hire an attorney to assist me in resolving my dog bite injury claim?
More money for you is the primary reason. An insurance industry research institution studied personal injury claims processed by the injured person alone versus those that were handled by attorneys. The study determined that those represented by attorneys had a higher net recovery for themselves (more money in their pocket after attorney’s fees and costs) than those without attorneys. An experienced dog bite injury attorney provides you the advantages of a skilled professional who will provide you the benefit of his experience and insight to equal the playing field when dealing with insurance companies and the major corporations of the world, to help maximize the amount of money you can recover.
Having a dog bite injury attorney allows you to focus on recovering from your injuries while your attorney focuses on holding the responsible party accountable for those injuries and damages.