Questions to Ask the Dog Owner After a Bite

Dog Bites & Injuries On Thursday, May 23, 2024

A dog attack can happen in the blink of an eye, but its consequences can last forever. It is important to know what questions to ask a pet owner in the aftermath of a dog bite injury on Connecticut. You are responsible for gathering the correct information so that you can file an injury claim and protect your legal rights.

General Questions

Start by asking a few basic questions to collect the pet owner’s information at the scene. After you have gotten to a safe place, away from the dog, ask the owner for the following:

  • Pet owner’s name
  • Dog controller’s name, if not the pet owner
  • Owner’s contact information
  • Dog’s name
  • Dog breed
  • Age of the dog

The answers to these questions can help you collect more information later, such as looking up the pet or pet owner at your local animal control center database.

Does the Dog Have a History of Biting Other People?

Then, ask about the dog’s history, specifically if it has ever bitten, attacked, or injured someone in the past. While the pet owner may not admit a history of prior bite incidents to you, you should still ask just in case. Later, you can call your local animal control authority and inquire using the name of the pet and pet owner to obtain any records regarding previous attacks or incidents. You should also report your own dog bite injury.

Under Connecticut law, if a dog has bitten someone, it’s mandatory to place them in a 14 day quarantine.  There is also a chance that an animal control officer (ACO) or the Department of Agriculture (DoAg) commissioner may also order the dog restrained or euthanized.

Does the Pet Owner Have Homeowners or Renter’s Insurance?

Next, ask about insurance options the pet owner may have to help cover your medical bills, lost wages and other losses you may have suffered due to the dog bite injury. In many cases, a property insurance policy, such as homeowners insurance or renter’s insurance, offers coverage for damages caused by dogs since they are viewed as personal property in the eyes of the law.

If the pet owner has any type of property insurance, write down the name of the insurance company and the policy number. You can use this information to file your dog bite injury insurance claim. If the pet owner does not have insurance, don’t worry. You may still be able to recover compensation through other means.

Is the Dog Up-to-Date on Its Vaccinations?

Learn more about the dog by asking the pet owner if it is up-to-date on all of its vaccinations. This includes shots for diseases that could be transferable to humans through a bite injury, such as rabies and tetanus.

Up-to-date vaccinations can help give you peace of mind about contracting dog-borne diseases. When you receive medical care for your injury, give your doctor any vaccination history you obtained from the pet owner. If the dog has never been vaccinated or is behind on its shots, you may need additional treatments.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Once you have obtained all of the necessary information from the pet owner at the scene of the accident, ask yourself certain questions to better understand the incident and your legal rights, such as:

  • Do I need emergency medical care?
  • When and where did the bite occur?
  • Are there any witnesses?
  • Was the dog provoked or startled?
  • What are the laws regarding liability?

Always get prompt medical care for dog bite injuries. Then, when you are ready to seek justice, contact an attorney who specializes in dog bite injury cases to discuss your legal rights. You may be eligible for financial compensation from the pet owner or a third party, such as a landlord.

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