Dogs are loving companions and one of America’s most popular pets. But as wonderful as dogs are, they also have the potential to cause serious harm. In fact, there are nearly 4.5 million dog bites reported per year, some of which are severe. If you are bitten by a dog in Massachusetts, it’s important that you know what steps to take afterward and how to determine liability. Here’s what you need to know–
Massachusetts Dog Bite Law: Who’s Liable?
Liability for a dog bite is found in Massachusetts dog bite statute–Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140 Section 155. The law reads that if a dog should do damage to any person or the property of any person, the owner or keeper of the dog shall be liable for damages unless:
- The victim was trespassing at the time of the dog bite;
- The victim was committing a tort at the time of the dog bite; or
- The victim was teasing, tormenting, or otherwise abusing the dog at the time of the bite.
There is an exception to the above: if the person who was bitten is under age seven, there will be an automatic presumption that the child was not trespassing, committing a tort, or abusing the dog.
Based on the statute, then, a dog owner will be held strictly liable for the damages suffered by the victim of a dog bite or another form of harm caused by a dog. For example, if a dog jumps on someone and knocks them down, the dog owner can be held liable for injuries that result.
Actions to Take After a Dog Bite in Massachusetts
If you are attacked by a dog in Massachusetts, one of the first things that you should do is to seek medical care, especially if the bite has broken the skin. A dog bite can lead to infection if not treated immediately. Seeking medical care is also important for establishing a connection between the dog bite and your injuries.
As soon as you can do so, you should also report the bite to the animal inspector of the city or town where the dog bite occurred. If you live in Revere, you can contact the Revere Division of Animal Control to report the bite.
You’ll also need to get the name of the dog’s owner, as this will be essential for filing your claim.
How Our Massachusetts Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help
Our Massachusetts personal injury lawyer can help you recover compensation for the harm you’ve suffered as a result of a dog bite. Our lawyer will investigate your case, gather evidence, determine liability, initiate the claims process, calculate your damages, negotiate your settlement, and more.
To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our law firm, please call The Law Offices of Alan Hildreth King & Associates at (781) 284-2900 or send us a message telling us more about your case. We are here to serve you.