If you have been attacked or bitten by a dog, you should contact a dog bite attorney to help you determine if you could be entitled to a settlement
Dogs make great pets, which is probably why the number of dogs owned as pets has steadily risen over the past twenty years.
Unfortunately, while dogs may be great with their owners and families, they don’t always get along with strangers or people they don’t know as well.
Dog attacks happen for a number of reasons and their owners can’t always predict how they will react when they meet new people or are out in public.
Often times the dog bite victim knows the dog that was involved, such as when the dog belongs to a neighbor. I have represented many individuals who have been bitten by a neighbor’s dog, sometimes when standing on their own property.
When that happens, you need to make sure your neighbor is aware of the incident. Letting them know what happens as soon as possible will give them time to notify their homeowner’s insurance if necessary. The dog owner can also inform you if their dog’s vaccinations are up to date. The hospital may require this information to know if you need a tetanus shot or other medication for your dog bite.
Based on the severity of the dog bite injury, you may want to contact your local police department or animal control officer. Not only will this document the dog attack, but the police or dog officer may be able to assist you in getting the dog’s treatment history if the owner is not cooperating. They will also be able to check and make sure if the dog was properly licensed at the time.
You should seek medical attention. Even a superficial dog bite wound may lead to a bacterial infection if it is not properly cleaned and disinfected.
You should take photos of your dog bite wound. Depending on the injury, you may want to document the healing process especially if the bite mark leaves a scar.
Finally, you should consider consulting an experienced dog bite attorney. They will be able to work with the dog owner and his or her homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure your medical bills are paid.
Common Questions Asked After Dog Attack Injuries
- Is there a Dog Bite Law In Massachusetts?
There is a law in Massachusetts that directly address dog bites. Under MGL c. 140 s. 155 the owner or keeper of a dog is strictly liable for any damages caused by a dog. By strictly liable we mean that a victim does not need to prove any negligence on the part of the dog owner. Just as long as they can prove that the person did own the dog and that the dog did bite you is enough. There are, of course, certain exceptions such as if the person bit by the dog was teasing or tormenting the dog.
2. Is there a Massachusetts Leash Law?
Massachusetts does have a statewide leash law that prohibits having dogs off-leash in public places. Additionally, cities and towns have the right to create local laws regarding the control of animals and many cities do have their own leash laws that are enforced within city limits.
Salem also has a city ordinance that also functions as a leash law, requiring that a dog be leashed within the city of Salem unless it is on private property.
3. How Much is My Dog Bite Claim Worth?
This question is actually asked in almost every type of case. Often times I’m asked for the dog bite settlement average or the average settlement for a dog bite to the face.
Unfortunately, there is no single answer to that question. The value of your dog bite claim will depend on a number of factors including the ability of the responsible party to pay, the amount of liability insurance coverage, amount of medical bills, location of injury, recovery, and whether the dog bite left a scar. The age and gender of the dog bite victim can also play a role in determining the value.
As such, the best way to determine what your case is worth is to contact an experienced dog bite attorney.
Contact us for a free consultation.