Man’s best friend just bit you leaving you wounded. While your first thought may be to have the Connecticut owner pay, you also need to have all the details ready to hand your attorney. The owner often launches their own defense by shifting the blame or partial blame your way.
According to NOLO, the dog owner may “argue that you were at least partly responsible” for the situation. The location of the occurrence and your actions all affect the outcome of the case. The owner may use this knowledge as a legal defense against you such as if you were trespassing.
Sharing the blame can greatly affect any awarded damages and in some locations can end in denial of damages. Most states have a ruling on modified comparative negligence that bases awarded damages on the percentage of fault up to the 50% mark. Other states have “pure” comparative negligence which works similarly but does not end at the 50% mark.
The awarded damages rule on comparative negligence still apply even if the dog bite injury case settles out of court. Settlement offers often reflect your contributions to the incident. Trespassing and animal provocation can cause many state’s dog-bite laws strict liability inapplicable but not all states follow that rule.
Each state handles liability questions differently. It is wise to seek legal counsel especially if you are uncertain about how much you contributed to the attack. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.