Let the lawyer know that you have no insurance. Do you have renter's or any liability insurance for your property? If the lawyer does proceed and gets a judgment against you, try to work out a payment plan, otherwise they can garnish you.
Generally, if the person who was hurt did not trespass, provoke the dog, or commit a tort (legal wrongdoing) then you are responsible for the person's injuries. If you do not have homeowner's insurance, rental insurance, or any other kind of insurance that could cover the actions of your dog then you may be personally responsible for paying for your neighbor's injuries. Now, it is important for you to understand Connecticut dog bite law so that you can decide how to proceed. I am attaching a link to the Connecticut Judicial Branch's page on this subject. There is lots of good information there that might help you.
This is why you should have homeowners insurance because you are personally liable. I would suggest you retain an attorney to explain to the other lawyer you have no insurance and hopefully it will go away.
As the dog owner you will be responsible for the injuries and damages that your dog caused. You should probably consult with an attorney in your area to get some guidance and be prepared to defend the claims of the person your dog bit if you can't otherwise settle the matter. Use the Find a Lawyer tab on Avvo to find a local attorney to discuss the situation with.
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If you are sued, you will need to retain your own lawyer.
In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully read the AVVO disclaimer regarding their rating system. There are certain factors that are given great weight which do not necessarily have any bearing on an attorney's experience, abilities, and results with certain types of cases. Accordingly, the rating numbers can be misleading. Also beware of basing your choice on the fee charged, as a low fee, depending on the skill, experience and determination of the specific attorney handling your case, could actually have an inverse relationship to the amount actually put in your pocket.
If you have homeowner or tenant's insurance, notify your carrier. If not, contact their atty apologize and plead poverty. You may need to prove that you have nothing worth suing for. You should contact an atty yourself to see what they could attach to pay a judgement.
Inform the lawyer that you did not have insurance. If you get sued, retain a local civil defense lawyer to defend.
Just because you are the dog's owner doesn't mean that you are responsible for the injury. That could depend on many circumstances such as whether the dog was antagonized. There is also a requirement in many states that the victim demonstrate that you had notice of a vicious propensity. The old adage "every dog gets one free bite." If you have no insurance, I wouldn't necessarily contact the plaintiff's attorney. He or she may try to elicit information from you to hurt potential defenses. If you do contact them, you should convey nothing more than the mere fact that you don't have insurance. You may want to go through the trouble of hiring an attorney. They may be able to explore whether there is insurance coverage that you are unaware of, or they can contact the other side to discourage litigation. However, I would not just cave in.
Premises liability for personal injuries Personal injury Personal injury lawsuits Types of personal injuries Personal injury and animal attacks Dog bites and injuries Residential property Property liability Homeowner's insurance for property liability Neighbor law Neighbor pet disputes Lawsuits and disputes Filing a lawsuit Civil rights Animal law
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