Where liability may lay in dog bite cases

Dogs are common companions in many Stamford homes and the vast majority of these household pets live their lives without ever harming their owners or others. However, tragedies sometimes strike when dogs attack and inflict serious bodily injury on humans. In such cases there can be questions regarding the liability of the dogs’ owners with regard to compensating attack victims for their injuries.

In Connecticut dog owners are strictly liable for the injuries that their pets cause to others. That means that a dog owner does not need to know that their pet has dangerous propensities in order to be liable for bites or attacks. Even if a dog owner leashes their pet, contains them in the yard, and takes other precautions, they will still be held legally responsible for the harm their pet inflicts on victims.

There are exceptions to this general rule. For example, if a bite or attack victim trespasses onto the dog owner’s land and is bitten, the owner may not be liable for the victim’s injuries. Similarly, if the victim is committing a tort and the dog attacks, their owner may not be responsible for the inflicted harm. Abuse of an animal who attacks their aggressor may negate liability in the abused dog’s owner.

These rules may not apply to children under the age of 7. That is because young children may not understand the risks and dangers of trespassing and engaging in otherwise wrongful behavior and how those behaviors may put them in the paths of dogs.

This post is not comprehensive to all topics related to dog bite law in Connecticut. Readers should not use this post as legal advice and can work with personal injury attorneys to better understand their unique legal situations.