Dog Bites & Animal Attacks

Dog Bites & Animal Attacks

Massachusetts state law is very clear, and very stringent, regarding dog bites and attacks. Quite simply: pursuant to M.G.L., Chapter 140: Section 155, the dog owner is strictly liable for any injuries or wrongful death caused by a dog bite or dog attack. Once it is shown that the defendant is the owner of the dog, he is liable, regardless of whether the dog has shown violent tendencies in the past, has bitten before, or is considered to be a stereotypically vicious breed. The victim must simply show that he/she was not trespassing, teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog at the time the injuries were sustained. The statute offers even more protection for minors, as children under age 7 are presumed to have done none of these things.

The experienced Boston dog bite lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have successfully handled many dog bite and dog attack cases over the years. Our Boston personal injury lawyers know that dog bites can cause serious injuries and can leave victims with scarring, including facial scarring and disfigurement, which can stay with a victim for life. Contact our Boston, Cambridge, or Quincy office today at 617-225-2100 for a FREE consultation to discuss your rights and options.

Children Face A Heightened Risk, But Have More Statutory Protection

Dog bites affect people of all ages, including pedestrians and bicyclists, who are often knocked down, sustaining additional injuries due to the fall. Unfortunately, though, many dog bites involve children, because of their naïve attraction to unknown dogs and small stature. Further, because of their small size, dog bites often occur on their face, causing life-long scarring and disfigurement. Massachusetts state law affords children some additional protection, however, as children under age 7 are presumed to not be trespassing, teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog, which would negate liability of the dog owner.

Most Dog Bites Are Covered By Homeowners Insurance

Most dog bites and dog attacks fall under a homeowner's insurance policy. As such, liability is covered for bodily injuries to others caused by a policyholder's dog. Sometimes, medical payments coverage is also extended to the victim. Increasingly, some insurance companies are excluding coverage for dog bites in their policies. If no viable insurance exists, the victim may file a claim against the owner of the dog individually. It should be noted that a dog need not actually bite you to file a claim, but instead, the dog must be the root cause of the injury, such as causing you to fall to the ground, fall off a bike, or twist the wrong way.

Three Important Steps To Take Following A Dog Bite
  1. Immediately following a dog bite, it is imperative to seek appropriate medical attention and ensure that the offending dog's shots are current.
  2. Next, you should identify the owner of the dog and discover as much information as possible to use in filing a later claim.
  3. Finally, it is essential to call an experienced dog bite attorney at Bellotti Law Group, who knows what information to further investigate and how to successfully advance your claim against an insurance company or in court against an individual dog owner.

The Boston personal injury lawyers at Bellotti Law Group, P.C. have enjoyed decades of success in obtaining their clients rightful compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Call us today at 617-225-2100. We serve all of Massachusetts and Southern New England.

Client Reviews
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My experience with Attorney Karen Nadeau (a fantastic attorney) and her colleagues at the Bellotti Law Group was exceptional and greatly exceeded my expectations. After I was injured on an amusement park ride while on vacation with my husband and children, I felt overwhelmed… In the end, the final settlement was much larger than I anticipated. The peace of mind and security that Karen provided meant a lot to me. I highly recommend her firm for their professional, compassionate, and proactive standards.
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