Did you know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are nearly 5 million dog-bite incidents in the United States every year? While many such bites do not cause serious injury, some 20 percent of dog-bite victims will require medical attention, and an average of more than 1,000 victims per day will seek emergency treatment for injuries related to dog bites.
Very few dogs will attack without some type of warning. In most cases, there are a number of signs that the animal is getting agitated and may be about to attack. While such warning signs may seem subtle, they are fairly easy to recognize once you are aware of them. Be very careful if you are near a dog is:
- Growling and snapping: Aggressive behavior is one of the easiest-to-recognize indications that a dog may be about attack. Nipping, growling, and bared teeth are common when a dog feels threatened and the need to protect itself may become overwhelming;
- Moving its tail sharply: While tail-wagging is a common sign of excitement and playfulness in a dog, a tail that is held high and moving more quickly could be a warning. If the dog’s body has become more rigid, he or she may be getting very agitated;
- Raising its fur: As with other animals, a dog that feels threatened may raise the fur on its head and neck. In some breeds, the raised fur may extend down the back to the tail. Experts suggest that this is an evolutionary holdover that makes a dog appear larger and more intimidating when threatened; and
- Showing signs of discomfort: Sometimes, a dog will bite out of discomfort rather than anger. Signs that a dog is uncomfortable include yawning, lip-licking, averting its eyes, cowering, and tucking its tail. These indications do not necessarily mean that the dog is about it bite, but they suggest levels of anxiousness and stress which could have unpredictable results.
Recovering Damages for a Dog Bite Injury
If, despite the warning signs, you or a loved one is attacked and bitten by a dog, Connecticut law provides that you may be entitled to collect compensation for your injuries. The owner of the dog is statutorily liable for any damages his or her dog causes to you or your property—including your own dog—as long as:
- You were not trespassing or otherwise in a place that you did not have permission to be; and
- You were not “teasing, tormenting, or abusing” the dog.
In the event that the injured person is under the age of 7, the law presumes that he or she was neither trespassing nor provoking the animal, thought the presumption could be rebutted by proof from the dog owner.
Let Us Help
When you have been the victim of a dog attack, you need an attorney at your side ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Hartford to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at the Woolf Law Firm, LLC. Call [[phone1]] today.