All dog bite cases are handled by the state of Connecticut in accordance with CGS § 22-357. That state statute holds any animal’s keeper or owner liable for any injuries or damages that their pet inflicts or causes others.
The state adheres to a strict liability statute. What this means is that the victim doesn’t have to prove that the owner knew that their dog posed some type of risk of harm for you to be able to sue them for damages. You don’t have to prove that they were negligent, either, in order to do so.
If the victim is able to prove that the dog’s owner had reason to know that their pet was vicious, then they may proceed in filing suit against them and others under the common law negligence theory. For example, if a dog and its owner live in an apartment complex, then the victim may be able to sue both the owner and their landlord. They must be able to prove the landlord was aware that the animal posed some type of danger, yet did nothing about it.
Once a person is bitten, Connecticut state law requires the dog to be placed in a 14-day quarantine. After that, it’s left up to the discretion of either the Department of Agriculture commissioner or animal control officer handling the case to decide whether the dog should be further confined or killed.
As a side note, state law prohibits any victim from being held either criminally or financially, also known as civilly, liable for killing a dog that attacks them on a property other than that of the keeper or owner.
Compiling information that an owner or landlord knew that a dog was vicious isn’t easy. Key to being able to do this is to know where to look for records and who to talk to in order to get this information.
The 14-day quarantine period is perhaps the most critical time during which to compile this information. Once that time has elapsed and the dog has either been released to its owner or killed, it can be significantly more difficult for your Stamford premises liability attorney to help you get the answers that you need to build a case.