The aftermath of a dog bite injury is often overwhelming. Dog bites can cause severe damage, and in some cases, they may even require reconstructive surgery. Furthermore, an attack from a dog can leave the victim with lasting trauma.
Thankfully, if you or a loved one has been injured by a dog, there’s help available to you. You may be eligible to receive compensation that can cover your medical expenses, loss of wages, and more.
If you’re interested in filing a dog bite claim, and you need the assistance of an experienced Brockton dog bite lawyer, Robert Shea can help. Shea has decades of experience with personal injury cases and will work with you to collect the money you are owed. Call 508-506-5681 to find out more about how our personal injury attorneys can help.
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What Should I Do If I Was Bitten By A Dog?
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, your first step should be to treat your wound or wounds and seek the appropriate medical care. Not only will this improve your chances of recovery, but it will help to document your injury. You may want to take photos of your injury at the time of the attack and throughout the healing process.
You’ll also want to exchange contact information with the owner of the dog that attacked you as well as anyone that may have witnessed the incident. This information can help to provide a more accurate picture of what happened at the time that your injury took place.
After taking these early steps, you’ll want to contact a dog bite attorney in Brockton, Massachusetts, as soon as possible. Robert Shea has extensive experience with personal injury cases, including cases involving dog bites, and he will be able to build a strong case on your behalf.
Who Do I Report A Dog Bite To In The State Of Massachusetts?
Your injury should be reported to the Animal Control Department of the City of Brockton. The goal of animal control is to protect both animals and Brockton residents. Filing a report can also strengthen your dog bite injury case.
The report that you file can serve as legal documentation for future insurance claims. It also gives Brockton authorities the opportunity to enforce dog bite laws. It’s possible that the dog that bit you has attacked other people in the past.
Why Should I Hire A Brockton Dog Bite Lawyer?
Dog bite claims can be difficult to deal with. While it’s likely that you’ll be offered a settlement by the insurance company, that settlement may not be sufficient to cover the cost of your injuries and your pain and suffering. An attorney can negotiate on your behalf and secure the settlement that you deserve.
It’s also important to work with someone that is familiar with dog bite laws in the state of Massachusetts. Robert Shea has extensive experience with dog bite claims and also has access to investigators that will be able to gather evidence that supports your case.
While you may have some concerns about hiring an attorney, such as the potential cost, it’s likely that working with a lawyer will lead to a better financial outcome for you. You can schedule a free consultation with The Law Office of Robert C. Shea, P.C. if you’d like to learn more about your options.
Who Is Responsible For Dog Bite Injuries?
According to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140, Section 155, the owner or keeper of a dog is liable for dog bite injuries in most cases. However, this statute provides exceptions in situations where the injured party was trespassing, provoking the dog, or was in the process of committing a crime.
Massachusetts follows strict liability dog bite laws, which means the owner of the dog is responsible for property damage or injuries caused by their dog even if they did not have prior knowledge that showed their dog was inclined to this type of behavior.
Dog owners in Massachusetts typically have two main defenses against dog bite claims. They can argue that the injured party was trespassing or committing another tort at the time of their injury, or they can argue that the person was injured because they provoked the dog. Examples of provoking behavior include abusing, tormenting, or teasing the dog.
A dog bite attorney will work to prove that you were not trespassing at the time of your injury and that you did not engage in behavior that provoked the dog. Because a dog owner’s defenses are limited in Massachusetts, there is an excellent chance that your case will have a favorable outcome.
What Type Of Compensation Can I Expect In A Dog Bite Case?
The compensation you are likely to receive for your dog bite claim will vary based on a number of factors, such as the severity of the injury and the damages that you suffered. In the United States, the average cost for a dog bite claim is $43,653.
Your compensation will be determined by calculating the damages you are owed because of your injury. Damages in a dog bite claim could include:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of wages
- Property damage related to the incident
- Pain and suffering
If the dog owner displayed severe negligence, you may also be able to claim punitive damages. This is likely to occur in cases where the dog already showed a tendency towards violent behavior or in incidents where a dog owner failed to take basic precautionary measures. For example, you could be awarded punitive damages if a dog’s owner allowed their pet to wander off leash.
What Does Massachusetts Law Say About Dog Bites?
As mentioned above, Massachusetts is a strict liability state, and the owner of a dog will be liable for injuries caused by their pet in most cases. Dog owners are also liable for injuries to pets or livestock.
It’s important to note that this statute does not just cover dog bites. It also covers other types of injuries caused by a dog. As an example, if a dog were to jump on you and knock you over, and you were injured in that fall, the dog owner could be held liable for that injury as well.
Massachusetts limits homeowner liability for injuries to trespassers, and because of that, the dog owner may not be liable for your injuries if you were trespassing at the time of the attack. Dog owners can also claim that you engaged in behavior that provoked your injury.
Dog Bite Injury Statistics In Massachusetts
In the United States, approximately 4.4 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Around 50% of those injured are children, and about 885,000 require medical attention. According to data from 2006, 31,000 people injured by dogs required some form of reconstructive surgery after a dog bite.
In Massachusetts alone, there are thousands of people injured by dogs each year. In the majority of cases, the dog was not provoked before the attack. According to dog bite reports from the Boston Public Health Commission, mixed breed dogs were most commonly found in bite reports, followed by pit bulls and chihuahuas.
Statistics show that one out of every 73 people is bitten by a dog each year, which means these kinds of attacks are unfortunately common. Thankfully, Robert Shea is here to help you if you or a loved one has been injured by a dog.
What Are The Time Limits To File A Dog Bite Lawsuit In Brockton?
The statute of limitations for dog bite injuries in the state of Massachusetts is three years. If a court case is not filed before this deadline, it’s likely that you will be blocked from filing a lawsuit. The clock begins running down on the date of the injury. This limit applies to both personal injury and property damage claims.
Because the window of time to file a lawsuit is limited, it’s best to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. It will be necessary to gather the evidence before your claim is filed. By taking action quickly, you can ensure that your lawyer has ample time to build a case for you.
The Massachusetts laws surrounding dog attacks are fairly strict, which means the owner of a dog will be liable for injuries in most cases. Furthermore, in many cases, these injuries will be covered by the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. Massachusetts requires homeowner’s insurance policies to provide coverage for bodily injuries.
These circumstances make it all the more important to contact an attorney if you or a loved one has been injured by a dog. It’s likely that you’re entitled to damages, and an experienced Brockton dog bite lawyer will be able to help you collect the compensation you are owed.
Review Your Dog Bite Claim With Our Attorneys
If you’d like to find out more about your options, or if you’d like to file a claim for a dog bite injury, contact our Brockton personal injury firm at 508-506-5681. Being attacked by a dog can be traumatic, but a skilled lawyer can help you during the recovery process.