August 31, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- When individuals retain home insurance, they rarely consider dog bites. However, did you know that dog bites
make up one-third of expenses paid by insurance companies for homeowner liability claims? The Courant reports that the average dog-bite claim was approximately $30,000 last year. Moreover, the costs are climbing.
Sources suggest that the increase in the cost of claims is probably related to higher medical costs for those harmed by domesticated animals. This is leading to larger jury awards, judgments and settlements.
In Connecticut, State Farm witnessed a spike in the number of claims, the approximate price of claims and the total cost of dog-related cases from the years 2008 to 2011. Moreover, these numbers increased from 14 claims at approximately $317,000 to 31 claims equating to a whopping $1.49 million from 2008 to 2011. This demonstrates the dramatic increase in financial liability associated with this type of personal injury claim.
Connecticut dog bite laws
In Connecticut, a dog owner is generally responsible for harm caused by a dog to someone else's person or property. The state follows a strict liability approach. This means that victims are not required to prove that a dog's owner was negligent or that he or she knew the dog was a threat.
However, it is important to recognize that a person could initiate a case under a negligence theory (common law). In this type of case, the victim would need to prove that "the defendant knew or should have known that the dog was vicious." If a person utilizes a common law approach, someone aside from the dog's owner or keeper could be found responsible for the harm. For example, if a landlord knew about a tenant's dangerous dog, which resided on the premises, the landlord could be liable for any harm or attacks if he or she did not adequately lessen the threat of harm.
Of course, there are exceptions to liability under the statute. If a dog bite occurred while the victim was trespassing, for example, he or she may not have a valid case against the dog owner. Also, if the victim was tormenting the animal, he or she may not have recourse under the statute.
As one can see, the law provides redress for those injured by dogs -- especially those with known vicious behaviors. If you have been bitten by a dog
, take the time to speak to a qualified personal injury law attorney. A lawyer can help you determine whether you have rights under the statute or common law.
Article provided by Brian J. Mongelluzzo
Visit us at www.bjmlaw.com