Dog Bite Injury
Massachusetts Dog Bite Attorneys
If You’ve Been Attacked by an Animal, Contact DiBella Law Offices, P.C.
Dog bites can leave their victims with lifelong physical and emotional scars, particularly on young children. If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, it’s important to know exactly what your legal rights and options are in Massachusetts. The legal team at DiBella Law Offices, P.C. has been successfully representing Bay State injury victims for 12 years and can answer any legal questions you may have. Call the DiBella Law Offices, P.C. today for a free consultation. We have offices in Burlington (781) 262-3338 and Methuen (978) 327-5140.
Massachusetts Dog Bite Law
When it comes to dog bites, Massachusetts practices what is called "Strict Liability." This means that a dog’s owner or keeper is automatically responsible for injuries that a dog causes, without having to prove negligence. For example, even if the dog’s owner or keeper showed reasonable care and took steps to restrain the dog and keep it from biting someone, they are still liable for the victim’s injuries.
While most legal action concerning dog bites involves civil law, there are certain occasions when a dog bite may result in criminal charges toward the dog’s owner or keeper. This could happen if the owner or keeper intentionally allowed or encouraged the dog to bite the victim. Depending on the type of dog, unleashing it on another party could be interpreted as assault with a deadly weapon.
When Is a Dog’s Owner Not Liable?
There are several instances when a dog’s owner is not liable for a dog bite. Those include instances where the victim was teasing, provoking, or abusing the dog; when the bite victim is trespassing; or when the victim is committing another crime, such as assaulting the dog’s owner.
Compensation for Damages
If you or a family member has been bitten by a dog, you may be facing extensive medical costs for plastic and reconstructive surgeries, physical therapy, permanent injury or handicap, psychiatric counseling, and more. You may also have to miss a significant amount of work which will cause you significant financial hardship. And, a severe bite to the hand may cause you to give up your vocation or hinder your ability to enjoy life (play the guitar, sew, play tennis, etc.). All of these potential damages deserve compensation from the dog’s owner and their insurance company.
Attorneys at the DiBella Law Offices, P.C. are no strangers to dog bite claims. In one case the firm handled, a client was babysitting when she was bitten in the face by the homeowner’s dog. The woman was sent to the hospital where she received over 200 stitches and a plastic surgeon was called in. DiBella attorneys settled the case for $150,000 plus payment for medical bills and other expenses.
The average dog’s bite weighs in at 325 pounds per square inch, but some dogs, like the mastiff, can bite as hard as 500 pounds per square inch. That’s enough power to do some serious damage. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite, please call the Massachusetts personal injury attorneys at the DiBella Law Offices, P.C. for a free case evaluation.
- Dog Bite Blogs
- When the Modern-Day Wolf Prowls at the Gate – Dog Attacks in Your Own Backyard
- Dog Bites – Who’s to Blame: the Dog, or the Owner?
- Protecting Your Children From Dog Bites
- Litigation in Massachusetts Following an Animal Attack
- Facing the Risk of Rabies After a Dog Bite in Massachusetts
- Massachusetts Law about Animals
- Preventing Dog Bites - CDC
- Dog Bite Info from WebMD
- Dog Bite Prevention - American Veterinary Medical Association