With pet ownership on the rise across the nation, the chances of being bitten by a dog are greater than ever. Any dog can bite, regardless of breed. If you or your child is attacked by a neighbor’s dog, you may be entitled to seek compensation from the dog’s owner or other liable party.
The claims process can seem overwhelming. But you do not need to go through it alone. Connect with an experienced Boston dog bite attorney to request a free consultation and find out how to proceed.
How Do You Handle the Situation Interpersonally with Your Neighbor?
If your neighbor’s dog has bitten you or your child, your neighbor may be responsible. As you will continue to live near that neighbor, it is important to be mindful of the relationship. Your neighbor’s homeowners insurance may cover your damages.
Be considerate when dealing with your neighbor, but also obtain as much information as possible, particularly whether the dog is up to date on its vaccinations. Do not underestimate the importance of getting medical treatment for dog bites. If left untreated, they can lead to serious infections.
What Should You Do at the Scene if a Neighbor’s Dog Attacks?
The steps you take after a neighbor’s dog attacks could have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. If your injuries do not prevent you from doing so, there are certain things you can do to start building your case against the liable party from the start. These include:
- Get the full name and contact information of the dog’s owner.
- Request proof of rabies vaccination.
- Get the name of the dog’s veterinarian (so you can confirm that vaccinations are up-to-date).
- Clean the wound with soap and water as soon as possible.
- Call your doctor or go to the emergency room for treatment immediately.
- Speak with an experienced Massachusetts dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after the incident.
Once you get a personal injury attorney working on your case, you can rest easier. Our legal advocates will handle every detail of your insurance and civil claims so you can recuperate. We will do everything possible to gather the powerful evidence we need to ensure the at-fault party is held accountable.
What Is Your Neighbor’s Responsibility for a Dog Attack?
Massachusetts is a strict liability state for dog bites, so dog owners are responsible for injuries caused by their animals, even if they have no prior knowledge of the dog’s aggressive tendencies. If your neighbor’s dog bit you or your child, you are not required to prove negligence on the part of the dog’s owner to recover compensation for your injuries. Under the law, dog owners or keepers are strictly liable.
To establish the fault of your neighbor, you will only need to show that they were the owner or controller of the dog at the time of the attack. We must also show that the dog is responsible for causing your injuries. To prove the elements of negligence are present, we will also need to present evidence of the various ways your life has been affected by the injuries you sustained and the dog bite or attack itself.
When Can Your Neighbor Avoid Liability?
Massachusetts may be a strict liability state for dog bites but that does not mean dog owners, including your neighbor, are held accountable for victim’s injuries 100% of the time. In fact, there are several instances where dog owners can escape blame. For example, if you were trespassing on your neighbor’s property at the time of the attack, you may not have grounds for a claim or may share liability for your damages.
You might also share fault if you are found to have provoked the dog. If you taunted, abused, or in any other way provoked the dog to act aggressively, you may have trouble arguing your neighbor’s liability. This is also true if you were committing a crime on your neighbor’s property at the time of the attack.
We've offered crucial support and guidance to individuals who have suffered injuries, ensuring their financial and emotional well-being.
Is Legal Action Required in Your Dog Bite Claim?
In the best-case scenario, legal action may not be necessary to recover compensation for dog bites, particularly if your injuries are mild. It may be sufficient to file a claim for damages with your neighbor’s homeowners insurance provider if the amount does not exceed policy limits. Bear in mind that insurance companies are in business for profit and do not have your best interests at heart.
They may try to minimize your damages. This is particularly true in cases of severe dog bite injuries that may require multiple surgeries and ongoing care. It may be in your best interests to hire an experienced personal injury attorney with the knowledge, skills, and resources to handle your case. With DiBella Law, you can expect us to assess the full extent of your damages, negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, and pursue a claim for damages in civil court if necessary.
You will never have to worry about being tricked into accepting an unfair or insultingly low settlement offer. We can renegotiate settlement terms, challenge bad faith tactics, and work tirelessly to hold the liable parties accountable. While litigation can be intimidating, with DiBella Law handling your case, it does not have to be.
Get Help from Massachusetts’ Premier Dog Bite Law Firm Today
Do not wait. Contact DiBella Law as soon as possible if you or your child has been bit or attacked by a neighbor’s dog. Our firm offers a free initial consultation where we can explain your options under the law.
Whether your dog bite or attack occurred in Boston, Worcester, or anywhere across Central MA, DiBella Law may be able to help you demand juice. Complete our convenient contact form or call our office to schedule your free case review as soon as today. When you and your family can finally start to put this traumatic experience behind you, you will be glad you did.