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Should I go to the hospital after a dog bite?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Injuries, Personal Injury |

In the United States, getting rabies from a dog bite is extremely rare. However, dogs can carry bacteria in their mouth and saliva that can multiply and infect the human body. Without medical treatment and intervention, animal bite infections can be life-threatening.

You should see a doctor if the dog bite breaks your skin, resulting in a puncture, cut or laceration. Even if you decide not to get immediate medical attention, you must confirm the dog’s vaccination status against rabies. Additionally, babies, children, older adults and anyone with a compromised immune system should receive a medical evaluation after a dog bite, no matter the severity of the injury.

Connecticut law holds dog owners fully accountable for bites

Connecticut law is quite clear when it comes to dog bite liability. Under the state’s “strict liability” statute, a dog owner or the keeper of a dog is responsible for any damage caused by their dog to a person’s body or property.

Therefore, as a victim, you do not have to prove that the dog owner’s negligence led to the bite. In fact, the dog owner is still legally accountable for the damages regardless of whether the dog has a history of aggression. The law presumes the owner’s liability, with a few exceptions. The dog owner may not be liable if the following apply to your case:

  • If you were trespassing on the dog owner’s property or committing another tort
  • If you provoked, teased, tormented or abused the dog

The exceptions do not apply to children under the age of seven. If a dog bit your child while they were trespassing on your neighbor’s property, you could still press charges against the owner.

Knowledge is crucial in pursuing a claim against the dog owner

Understanding the extent of your injuries and the compensation you could potentially receive is also a crucial part of your decision to pursue a claim. Compensation can cover various damages, including medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Canine attacks may leave lasting physical and psychological marks, requiring long-term medical care and rehabilitation. Fortunately, you do not have to suffer in silence or bear the financial burden alone.