Boston Dog Bite
Dog Bite Attorney in Boston
The Boston Public Health Commission receives over 300 reports of dog bite each year. That’s a lot, especially for a city in a state ranked last for dog ownership in the entire U.S.
At DiBella Law Offices, P.C., we understand a dog bite can be traumatic for victims - especially when the victim is a child, which most of them are. Parents may be concerned about the immediate injury, long-term implications, the possibility of disfigurement, and the emotional trauma. What rights do Boston attack victims have, and what about the responsibilities of dog owners?
Call the Boston dog bite attorneys at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., at (617) 870-0907 for a free consultation. At our office in Faneuil Hall, we’ll advise what you’re entitled to under Massachusetts’s strict liability law.
As a part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston follows the practice of strict liability. This means dog owners are assumed responsible if their dogs bite someone. The victim does not need to prove negligence on the part of the dog’s owner. The owner kept the dog on a leash or in a fenced yard? Doesn’t matter. If the dog escapes, the owner is still responsible for the damage the dog causes.
The only instances where the dog’s owner is not responsible are if the victim was teasing, provoking, or abusing the dog; if the victim was trespassing when bitten; or if the victim was committing a crime when bitten, such as assaulting the dog’s owner.
Most children are curious about animals and want to touch or play with dogs, especially if they have a dog at home. Children don’t understand that dogs come in a variety of temperaments - some are scared or become agitated easily, and lash out or bite as a protective instinct. Adults should remain vigilant when a child is around any dog, especially a large dog.
Due to the smaller size of young children, dog bites tend to be on the face, head, and neck, making them much more serious than a dog bite to an adult. Even a "minor" bite should be examined by a medical professional. If you witness a child being bitten by a dog, immediately move the child to a safe location and call 911 if the bite is of a serious nature. Apply a clean cloth or towel to control bleeding and remain with the child until help arrives. If possible, have someone follow the dog and try to get a picture of it in order to contact the dog’s owner. A minor dog bite can cause serious complications, so a medical evaluation is always important.
Even when a dog bite is cleaned, it has a greater chance of becoming infected than other types of wounds. Watch for swelling, tenderness, and oozing. Check for a fever or chills regularly. If any of these symptoms appear, seek immediate medical care. Children are also more likely than adults to suffer from emotional trauma after a dog bite. Seek the help of a trained counselor if your child has nightmares or fear of dogs after being bitten.
Medical care after any Boston dog bite can be expensive, especially if the victim is a child. Facial bites often require plastic surgery to avoid permanent scars and disfigurement. Bites to extremities such as hands or legs can cause lifelong nerve damage or loss of use. Once your loved one is safe and receiving medical care, it is important that you contact a Boston personal injury lawyer at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., at (617) 870-0907 to schedule a free consultation. Knowing your rights and how to seek compensation from the dog’s owner can help to relieve your concerns over this traumatic event.