Articles Posted in Dog Bites

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, there are about 77 million dogs in the United States. That is a lot of dogs! If you were to go for a five-to-ten minute walk in your neighborhood, the chances are that you would see at least a dog and very likely come into close contact with one. The majority of the time the interactions are enjoyable – for you and the dog! However, this is not always the case. As car accidents become a likelihood due to the volume of vehicles on the road, the quantity of dogs and interactions with them can also lead to accidents.

The most common of these accidents is in the form of a dog bite, which will be the focus of this article.

Under the Massachusetts Dog Bite Statute, a dog’s owner may be found civilly liable for any damages caused, to person or property, by their dog. The statute applies when a dog causes personal injury or property damage. Even though it is referred to as the Dog Bite Statute, all injuries resulting from a dog are included, not just bites. For example, the statute would apply if a person was knocked down by a large breed dog and suffered a broken wrist. Notably, the statute adds an exception: the injured person must not have been trespassing or committing

If you regularly follow social media, you have probably seen hundreds of posts about dogs and children. Not only are pooches and kids cute together, but dogs may improve the mental and physical health of the young ones in your family. If a dog bites your son or daughter, though, he or she may end up with more than physical injuries. 

From broken bones to life-threatening infections, dog bites can result in serious bodily harm. Therefore, if a dog attacks your child, it is vital to seek emergency medical treatment. Your son or daughter may also need mental health therapy. That is, psychological scars may plague your child after a dog bite. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder 

Many, including us at Marcotte Law Firm, consider dogs to be man’s best friend. But, that doesn’t change the fact that dogs sometimes bite. What happens when a dog bite causes injury?

First, someone who was bitten does not need to show that the dog’s owner did anything wrong. Instead, this is governed by the rule of “strict liability.” In Massachusetts, when a dog bites a person, the dog’s owner or keeper are responsible for any injuries the person sustained. This is true in almost all situations, unless the bitten person was teasing or tormenting the dog.

In terms of injuries, they can range from a nip that requires a tetanus shot to large lacerations that require surgery. Regardless of the extent of the damage, the owner or keeper of the dog must pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. Amongst others, the owner or keeper must also compensate you if the dog bite leaves a scar. This can be especially important when the victim is a child.

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