How Long Do I Have to Sue for a Dog Bite?

Most of the time, dogs are well-behaved, loyal companions. However, the loyalty to their owners can result in aggression in certain situations.

Dog owners have an obligation to warn others and take reasonable precautions to prevent their pets from attacking. When they fail in these duties, the victims of dog bites and other injuries have the right to seek fair compensation from the owner.

If you have been injured by a dog, it is important to contact a dog bite lawyer as soon as possible to exercise your legal rights. To get started on your claim, please call Ventura Law at (203) 800-8000 today for a free consultation. Our lawyers serve clients throughout Connecticut and New York.

What Is the Time Limit on My Dog Bite Claim?

Your dog bite lawsuit is subject to certain time limitations, just like other personal injury claims. These time limits are known as the statute of limitations, which vary by state and type of incident which led to the injury.

In Connecticut, the statute of limitations for claims involving dog bites is two years from the date of the attack.

The statute of limitations for dog bite injury claims in New York is three years.

As you can see, the state where the attack took place makes a significant difference in how long you have to sue the owner of the dog for your injuries. However, the deadline to file a claim is not the only consideration you should account for when you think about taking legal action.

Get Started on Your Dog Bite Case

Time is of the essence in any dog bite injury claim. Although two to three years might seem like plenty of time, it is important to take action sooner rather than later in order to protect your rights.

Our dog bite lawyers can help you with time-sensitive aspects of your case such as:

Determining Liability for the Dog Bite

In addition to the statute of limitations, dog bite laws in Connecticut and New York also vary when it comes to the liability of the owner.

Connecticut follows the doctrine of strict liability in dog bite cases. That means the owner is generally liable for injuries caused by their dog regardless of whether the dog has exhibited aggressiveness or attacked someone before.

New York, on the other hand, follows the “one-bite rule.” To be held liable for injuries caused by their dog, the owner must be aware of the dog’s aggressiveness or previous injuries it has caused and failed to take action to prevent further injury.

Our dog bite lawyers will investigate past claims and complaints against the owner and his or her dog to determine your legal options.

Insurance Company Negotiations

Whether a dog attack occurs on the owner’s property or out in public, your attorney will generally file a claim with the company providing homeowners or renters insurance to the dog’s owner. As a result, a dog bite claim is similar in some respects to a premises liability claim.

As with claims involving dangerous premises, homeowners and renters insurance companies will conduct their own investigation into the incident that caused your injuries. The insurance company will often look for opportunities to deny or underpay your claim.

Hiring a dog bite lawyer is the best way to protect your right to compensation. Our lawyers will take the following steps to build a claim on your behalf:

  • Gather evidence in a timely fashion: The name and contact information for the dog’s owner, witness recollections, and other evidence may change over time. Timely investigation is crucial for identifying the person responsible and presenting proof that supports your case.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf: If you try to handle a dog bite claim on your own, you may leave money on the table or make a mistake that could cost you your case. Our lawyers know how to handle negotiations with the insurance company and push for the maximum compensation you deserve.
  • Take your case to trial: Most dog bite claims are resolved out of court, but this isn’t always the case. If the insurance company won’t agree to a fair settlement or tries to delay a resolution, our lawyers will represent you in court.

Ventura Law earned a $680,000 judgment in a jury trial for a client who suffered a dog bite injury. View our results.

Calculating Damages

You should seek medical care immediately after being bitten by a dog. Depending on the location and severity of your injury, you may require surgery, multiple doctor appointments, and physical therapy to address issues such as infection and loss of function.

Costs associated with medical treatment add up, and they are not the only expenses you are likely to face. You may also be unable to work, resulting in a loss of income. You may experience physical pain and emotional suffering in the aftermath of the attack. You may also be left with significant scarring.

All of these constitute potential damages in your case. If you wait to contact a dog bite lawyer, you may overlook losses you could be compensated for as part of your claim. It is therefore important to get a lawyer involved as soon as possible.

Contact Our Dog Bite Lawyers Today

Dog bite injuries can be serious. To get the compensation you deserve, it is important to work with an experienced attorney who can investigate your claim promptly, negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, calculate damages, and file a lawsuit within the statute of limitations if necessary.

Ventura Law has been serving clients throughout Connecticut and New York since 1957. Please call (203) 800-8000 today for a free consultation with our dog bite lawyers.