New BritainDog Bite Lawyers
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Dog Bite Injuries
– L.Owen, Former Client
“Mr. Tehrani is a fantastic attorney. I had a complicated small claims case for which he provided very sound and timely legal advice. He took the time to understand all of the intricate details and was able to help me achieve an even better outcome than I thought was possible. He is incredibly responsive, a tireless advocate, and his representation is truly invaluable. He will always be my go-to attorney. I feel a little badly for folks on the other side — they don’t stand a chance with Mr. Tehrani on your team!”
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New Britain Dog Bite Lawyers
In the best situations, dogs offer loyal companionship, protection, and emotional support. Yet they are still animals. They can be unpredictable, get spooked, or feel threatened and react with a bite. These attacks leave victims physically injured, emotionally traumatized, and facing serious financial distress.
Owners must be held accountable when their dogs attack, and the best way for victims to demand that accountability is with the help of New Britain dog bite lawyers from The Tehrani Law Group. If you or someone you love has been injured by a dog bite, contact us today. You can trust us to work with you and fight for you so you can get the justice you deserve.
Connecticut Dog Bite Laws
Connecticut follows strict liability laws for dog-bite incidents. In some states, dog owners get “one free bite.” They are not held liable for dog-bite injuries the first time their dogs bite another person because they, apparently, did not know of the dog’s tendency to be aggressive.
Connecticut does not allow this free bite. Dog owners are held strictly liable for dog-bite injuries even if the dog has never shown previous signs of aggression. There are a couple of exceptions to the law, though. If the victim:
- Was bitten when trespassing or committing other unlawful acts on the dog owner’s property. Or,
- Was bitten after taunting, teasing or tormenting the dog,
Victims subject to the above noted exceptions may not have grounds to file a claim against the dog owner under the dog-bite statute. The trespassing exception does not apply to “trespassers” or “taunters” under the age of seven, as the law sees these parties as innocent unless the dog owner can prove otherwise.
There are special considerations when damage is done by two or more dogs or when the dog is part of law enforcement. Experienced dog bite attorneys in New Britain will navigate these laws as your situation demands.
Common Law Negligence Theory
If a victim cannot hold a dog owner liable under the strict liability statute, they may be able to pursue a claim through Connecticut’s Common Law Negligence Theory. This legal path requires victims to prove the at-fault party “knew or should have known that the dog was vicious.” For example, a landlord could be held liable if a tenant’s dog bites someone. If the victim can prove that the landlord knew of the dog’s aggressive tendencies and did not take the necessary measures to resolve that danger.
Connecticut has leash laws in place to protect residents, and local municipalities can also institute their own specific rules. New Britain’s Code of Ordinances, Section 6-18, specifies dogs must be leashed and under the control of a responsible person when out of doors and in an unenclosed area.
Possible Dog Bite Injuries
Some dog bites produce only minor injuries, such as scrapes and abrasions, bruising, or more surface-level lacerations. Others, however, leave victims seriously injured and in need of significant medical intervention and recovery time. In the worst cases, victims do not see a full recovery or can even die from the injuries.
When a dog’s bite breaks the skin, the victim is susceptible to infection. If the dog has not been vaccinated for rabies or is a stray whose condition is unknown, victims have to be especially careful and be sure to get fast treatment. Rabies quickly affects the central nervous system and is life-threatening.
Besides rabies, dog-bite victims can develop a tetanus infection. Difficulty swallowing, cramping in the jaw muscles, muscle spasms, fever, seizure, and headache are all symptoms. Tetanus also requires medical intervention–including hospitalization, so victims can be given intravenous medicine and have respiratory support.
Though not common, dog (or cat) bites can pass capnocytophaga germs to the victim. Those with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable and can become ill. Sepsis is a dangerous, life-threatening condition, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The pressure of a dog’s jaw and the sharpness of its teeth can puncture the skin and any soft tissue beneath it. Muscles, nerves, and tendons can be ripped or severed, leaving victims in pain and limited use of the affected area of the body–perhaps permanently. Puncture wounds can also cause permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Through punctures or lacerations, a dog’s teeth can cause nerve damage. Burning, numbness, or stinging sensations are signs of nerve damage, as are loss of motor function, paralysis, and sensory dysfunction. Surgery is often required to fix damaged nerves, and even then, victims may have permanent loss of feeling, strength, or mobility in the affected area.
Dog attacks can push victims to the ground or cause them to fall. The impact can cause bones in any part of the body, including the skull, to fracture. When larger dogs attack, the pressure of their bite may be strong enough to break smaller bones, such as those in the hands. Facial bones are also vulnerable to dog attacks.
An avulsion is a forcible separation or ripping away of something. Dog bites can produce avulsion injuries by tearing skin or tissue completely away from the body. For example, a dog bite can rip an ear from a victim’s head or rip the skin entirely off a finger. These injuries typically require reconstructive surgery and may leave permanent damage.
Scarring and Disfigurement
Dog bites are not “clean” injuries. Usually, a dog thrashes as it bites, and puncture wounds or lacerations produce jagged rips through skin and tissue. Even with reconstructive surgeries, victims can be permanently scarred, often in easy-to-see places like the face or neck.
Dog attacks are terrifying. Victims can experience long-term emotional trauma from the attack and its consequences. They may never lose their fear of dogs and may even be afraid just to venture outside. When left with scars, victims are reminded of the attack every day and may feel self-conscious about their appearance.
According to CDC statistics from a recent 10-year study dog bites cause about 43 deaths per year, though the number of deaths has increased in recent years. On the National Security Council’s (NSC) list of “lifetime odds of death,” dog bites ranked low as a cause of death.
The NSC calculates the odds of dying by dog bite are 1 in 53,483. When compared to heart disease, which takes one in six lives, or cancer, which takes one in seven, dog bites do not seem to be too much of a threat.
Still, if your loved one of the 43 victims killed by a dog bite, a New Britain dog bite attorney from our firm can help you file a claim to pursue justice for your loved one and the financial settlement you deserve.
How a New Britain Animal Attack Attorney Can Help
There is a long aftermath to dog bites. The physical injuries are only the beginning. As you seek medical care, the medical costs roll in and pile up quickly. Recovery takes you away from work, meaning you lose income. Other responsibilities you used to do on your own may now require hired hands, costing you more money. On top of these financial losses is your emotional distress.
In this chaos, victims often only have enough energy to get through the day and focus on whatever needs are most urgent. They may not realize the extent of their losses or know how to recover them. An experienced dog-bite attorney from the Tehrani Law Group can help.
Connecticut’s dog-bite laws are strict. Still, those at fault will try to avoid blame however possible. Armed with a full understanding of these laws and how they work, your attorney will work to hold at-fault parties accountable and file a claim on your behalf.
You will not have to worry about completing and filing documents. Your attorney will handle all legalities for you and file your claim within Connecticut’s personal injury two-year statute of limitations.
It is important to partner with an attorney as soon as possible after your attack so your lawyer has time to investigate the accident and file your claim within that two-year legal deadline.
Though “what happened” may seem obvious to you, you still need to prove the at-fault party’s liability. Connecticut’s strict laws do support victims, but again, the at-fault party will probably have their own representatives on hand to deflect blame or even try to put fault on you.
The New Britain animal attack lawyers from our firm will investigate the dog attack carefully, gathering evidence to support your claim. For example, they may speak to witnesses, access footage from nearby security cameras, and consult with your medical team and other experts to get a clear picture of what happened.
Calculating Your Losses
The experienced attorneys at The Tehrani Law Group will assess the situation with great care, adding up your losses and making a settlement demand to cover your needs. Though every situation and settlement is different, you can expect your attorney to factor all of the following into the settlement demand:
- Medical treatment and future care costs
- Lost income during recovery time
- Lost future earnings and benefits if you cannot return to work
- The value of property damaged in the event, such as a phone, other device, or bicycle
- Other expenses incurred by your injuries. You may need to pay for childcare, transportation, or house maintenance, for example
- The value of your physical pain
- The value for any disfigurement or scarring sustained as a result of the dog bite, and any stitches received by medical providers at the hospital emergency room
- The value of your emotional distress
- Your reduced enjoyment of life
Your lawyer will not overlook any details or underestimate any of your needs in determining a fair settlement amount.
Negotiating a Settlement
Often, injury cases are settled out of court through negotiation. Your attorney will send a demand letter to the at-fault party’s representatives. They will most likely respond with a lower offer, and negotiations will begin. Your lawyer and the at-fault party’s representatives will go back and forth with amounts, arguments, and evidence until both sides come to an agreed-upon amount.
It is important to have an attorney handle these negotiations. If you negotiate on your own, you will be up against parties who know how to intimidate, twist your words, and even trick you into accepting less than you deserve. Your attorney knows how to handle these parties and will not allow their strategies to put your settlement at risk.
Representing You at Trial
Sometimes, at-fault parties refuse to play fair or offer reasonable settlements. If this happens in your case, your New Britain dog bite lawyer will review all your options with you and help you determine the best way forward. If you decide to take your case to court, the team at The Tehrani Law Group will be ready to fight hard for you at every court proceeding.
Protecting You from False Blame
While strict liability laws are on your side, the at-fault party’s representatives are not. They are out to protect their clients and their own interests. To do that, they may try to create loopholes in the law and wiggle through.
They may argue that you somehow provoked the dog when you did nothing of the sort. If you attempted to pet the dog, they may argue that you “actually” threatened to strike the dog. Trust your dog bite lawyer in New Britain to fight against these claims with carefully gathered evidence and knowledge of the law.
Put Our Experience to Work for You
The New Britain animal attack attorneys at The Tehrani Law Group are approachable and aggressive. When you partner with us, we want you to feel cared for and at ease, knowing we are on your side. We also want you to be confident in our ability to fight fiercely to uphold your rights and hold negligent dog owners accountable for your suffering and damages.
Connecting with us is easy. Simply call or send a message, and we will arrange a free consultation with a compassionate, knowledgeable lawyer. We know what it takes to get results and will put our legal skills, experiences, and extensive resources into your case. We look forward to hearing from you.
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