Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

Was the dog bite MY fault?

A dog attack can be a traumatic experience. If you or someone you love was bitten, you should seek medical attention to ensure that the wound does not become infected and to prevent acquiring any diseases from the dog. This medical attention will likely incur costs, so many people take action to gain compensation from the owner of the dog.

However, it is common for dog bite victims to hesitate before making a personal injury claim against the owner of the dog, especially if the owner is a neighbor or friend. Sometimes, people don't want to bring a claim because they wonder if the incident was their fault. Some victims even blame themselves for provoking the dog.

Did my actions cause the dog to bite me?

Canines can become aggressive without warning, and they can also interpret normal human behavior as an impending attack. Pet owners have the responsibility to assess the threat posed to the public, and they also have the duty to keep the dog under control at all times.

Even if your actions were interpreted by the dog as an attack, causing it to bite you, this does not mean the injury was your fault. For example, if you stood up suddenly and the dog reacted by biting you, this would not be considered a provocation on your part. The same is true if you were jogging in a park and a dog chased and bit you.

However, if you were intentionally and clearly provoking the dog -- for example, if you were roughly playing with the dog, teasing or hurting it -- it is likely that you will not be able to make a successful personal injury claim. This is because unreasonable, intentional behavior can cause a dog to act in an aggressive way.


It is important to consider the dog owner's role in the attack and assess whether you believe they should have done more to prevent the incident. If you think the dog bite could have been reasonably prevented by the owner, it is important that you consider taking action through Connecticut legal channels.

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