How dog bite statutes work in Connecticut

Connecticut is a strict liability state in regard to dog bites. There is no responsibility of the victim to prove that the dog owner was neglectful or knew their dog was vicious. Rather, the dog owner is fully responsible for all injuries and damage to property that their dog creates.

Are there any exceptions to the law?

When it comes to dog bites, there are some exemptions to the law. First, if the victim was trespassing at the time that the dog bite occurred, the dog’s owner is not held liable for their injuries. Second, if the victim was tormenting, abusing or even teasing the dog, then the dog owner may not be held liable for the injuries that the dog caused. Connecticut sees children under the age of seven years old as unable to be capable of trespassing or teasing a dog.

Persons other than the dog’s owner can be held liable

As you’ve learned, the strict liability statute covers instances where the dog’s owner is responsible for injuries and property damage. Apart from this statute, an injured party may bring up a common-law suit against someone other than the dog’s owner or keeper. Under common law, the injured party must prove negligence on the part of the defendant.

For example, let’s say that a tenant has a vicious dog. The landlord is knowledgeable of the viciousness of the dog but doesn’t do anything to alleviate the danger. In the event that the dog harms an individual at the property that the landlord owns, the landlord could be held liable for injuries under common law negligence.

Dog bite statutes vary by the individual state that you’re in. Connecticut has a strict liability statute that makes the dog’s owner fully responsible for injuries and property damage that their dog commits.