Helping People in Boston, Quincy, Brockton, Plymouth, and All of Massachusetts
Did you know that dogs bite more than 4.7 million people each year? About 800,000 Americans receive medical treatment for their bites and approximately 386,000 Americans require emergency medical attention every year. This medical treatment can burden you with hefty medical bills, pain, and psychological trauma, especially if a child is involved. Fortunately, you may be able to file a personal injury claim against the dog owner. Massachusetts has strict laws regarding dog bites and owner liability so it’s best to speak with a trusted attorney to learn about the options you have in your specific case.
What to Do After a Dog Bite
The aftermath of a dog bite can be frightening and overwhelming, but in order to get the medical attention you need and make sure you’ll be able to receive the compensation you deserve, you should stick to the following steps:
- Know which animal has bitten you. It’s important for you to be able to identify the dog that has attacked you. This means knowing whether the animal is a stray or if it has an owner. If you aren’t able to identify the dog, you may need to be tested for rabies, and it may be harder to locate the responsible party in your dog bite case.
- Seek immediate medical attention. Go to the hospital as soon as possible. Since dog bites can come with a risk of infection, it’s important that the wound is treated right away. Plastic surgeons may need to become involved if you have a facial wound.
- Get witness information. Get the names and contact information of anyone who witnessed the attack.
- Take photos as evidence. Any evidence, such as photographs of lacerations, bloody clothing, the dog who attacked you, and the location, will help greatly in your personal injury compensation case.
Important note: Do not give an insurance company any information about your dog bite accident and do not sign any document until you’ve gone over your claim with an experienced lawyer.
Injuries Caused by Dog Bites
Dog bites are a very serious matter. They can lead to permanent scarring, infection, and psychological trauma. The most common injuries caused by dog attacks include:
- Broken bones
- Head/back/neck injuries
- Tissue loss
Massachusetts's Dog Bite Laws
Massachusetts is a “strict liability” state when it comes to dog bites. This means that the owner of the dog who has attacked you is liable even if they were not aware their dog would bite you. This means that you do not have to prove that the owner was at fault to be eligible for personal injury compensation. This applies to both dog bites and injuries caused by dogs, meaning that if a dog simply knocks you down and causes you injury, the owner would still be liable.
In order to file a claim against the owner of the dog, you must show that:
- Their dog caused you personal injury, and
- You were not trespassing, committing a crime, or provoking the dog.
Important note: The court assumes that children under seven years of age were not trespassing or teasing the dog. The dog owner must prove otherwise in this case.
Contact a Massachusetts Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites can be a traumatic experience. Don’t let your personal injury claim also be traumatic. The legal intricacies of these types of cases can be tricky, especially if the dog owner is fighting back with lawyers of their own. There are also limits on how much time you have to file a claim. At Powers & Caccavale, we are determined to get you the most compensation possible and help you with anything you may need.