Posted On: October 2, 2011 by Jeremy Vishno

West Haven Connecticut Child Bitten & Killed by Dogs

When a dog bites, it hurts, even if it only leaves a scrape. When more than one dog bites an infant or a child, the consequences can include Serious Personal Injuries and can even be fatal.

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Tragically, fatal dog bites were the reason a 20 month old West Haven, Connecticut girl died Friday, September 30, 2011. Only a few details are currently available, but we do know some important facts: the toddler was left, according to reports, on the ground; the child was in a place where the dogs were not prevented from biting her, and; the dogs invovled were apparently pit bulls. This combination is frightening for its simplicity. If there were no history of attacks by these dogs, then the owner(s) may not have had a reason to worry. However, Connecticut Dog Bite law takes account of the fact that, while dogs are truly great pets, have been domesticated for hundreds or even thousands of years, they are still prone to sudden and unexpected bites and attacks. The only escape from liability for the owner/keeper is if the biting or attack victim was tormenting, teasing or otherwise provoking the dog, or if the victim was actually an illegal trespasser, or was otherwise doing something illegal, such as trying to attack the dog's owner. Once the owner/keeper is determined to be liable, the damages to be paid include: medical bills, out of pocket expenses, compensation for the injuries, scarring, future bills for surgery, such as reconstructive procedures and for trauma related psychiatric/psychological treatment, and of course for the pain and suffering of the person attacked. While this system of compensation does not actually heal the person, it is both a way to provide some relief to the victim, and to provide a strong incentive to dog and pet owners to take precautions in advance of a problem.

Know your rights. Consult an attorney experienced in handling Dog Bite Claims, such as Vishno Law Firm , and Attorney Jeremy Vishno.

NO FREE BITES! Connecticut's Dog Bite Statute leaves no doubt that dog's do NOT get "One Free Bite." In other words, a dog's owner,or the one responsible for keeping or sheltering it, is responsible for all damages caused by their dog, even if it's the first time that the dog has bitten anyone. This type of law is called "strict liability." The statute, and the "common law," (what court's have ruled), hold dog owners liable for damages caused by an attack, even if their dog had never caused a problem before. The reason for this high level of protection is our lawmakers' understanding that, at heart, dog's are still animals, and that owners have the ability to, first and foremost, take precautions to keep their dogs from doing harm, and to cheaply insure themselves against claims made as a result of their dog injuring someone, or causing property damage.

Here is a sample of the type of cases routinely leading to claims under the Dog Bite Statute, and Common Law, and in which an owner, or keeper can be held strictly liable for the damage caused by their dog:

**Your child is riding her bicycle down the sidewalk or along the side of the street. A dog chases her, and forces her into traffic where she is struck by a car. Liability is on the dog owner in this situation, or even where the dog forces a jogger off the sidewalk onto the street.

**Your child is running in the yard, and your neighbor's dog charges across and knocks her down. The dog's owner is responsible for the injuries and other damages, like medical bills, even if the child knew that this dog loved to chase, or even if this was the first time it chased her.

**You are walking your dog, and another dog-walker is coming in the opposite direction. Their dog suddenly attacks your dog, causing an injury that requires veterinary treatment. That dog's owner is responsible for the bills. If your dog were to die from the attack, the other owner is liable for the value of your dog. Sadly, there is no further element of damages available beyond the dog's value and some medical bills.

There are many other ways in which dog owners can be responsible for their dog's actions. If you are unsure of whether your situation calls for compensation from a dog/pet owner, contact Vishno Law Firm and Attorney Jeremy Vishno

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