Quincy Dog Bite Lawyers
Personalized, Caring Legal Guidance
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.
- Report the attack. Contact your local animal control agency and report the attack. Include information about the dog, the owner's name, and their address.
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
Diseases Transmitted by Dog Bites
In addition to physical injuries, dog bites have a high risk of transmitting diseases from dogs to humans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, dog mouths can carry up to 60 different types of bacteria and up to 18% of dog bites become infected. For this reason, it is imperative to always seek medical attention if you have been bitten by a dog regardless of the severity.
Dog bites can cause the following diseases:
- Capnocytophaga bacteria
Massachusetts' 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.
Tips for Preventing Dog Bites
Most dogs are lovable pets that provide immeasurable joy and companionship. With that being said, even the most gentle dogs are still animals and may act on instinct if they feel threatened or frightened. Children are especially vulnerable to being bitten due to their small size and lack of understanding of the dangers of approaching unfamiliar dogs.
To minimize your chances of being injured in a dog attack, be sure to follow these tips:
- Never approach an unfamiliar dog
- Allow a dog to sniff your hand before petting it
- Do not run away from a dog
- Stay still if approached by an unfamiliar animal
- Do not stare directly in the eye of an aggressive dog
- Don't disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies
- Always ask if it is okay to pet another person's dog before reaching out
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
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. Our Quincy dog bite lawyers have over 35 years of combined experience, and we are ready to help you seek the maximum compensation available in your case.
Over 35 Years of Experience
We use our combined experience to aggressively represent you and to fight for your rights and the benefits you deserve.
Insight to Insurance Company Tactics
One of our partners, Gerry, previously spent over a decade working for an insurance company, so we deeply understand how they work and what it takes to get you paid.
Small, Local Firm
We have deep roots within our community and strive to deliver exceptional service for our clients through their time of need.
Always Prepared for Trial
We advocate for our clients to ensure they get the compensation they deserve no matter how little or big the fight may be.
Direct Contact to an Attorney
When you hire us, you will be working directly with an attorney throughout the entire process.