A dog is often a wonderful and cherished addition to a household. When the owners fail to take appropriate steps to ensure that the dog is monitored and trained appropriately, however, the consequences can be devastating for unsuspecting victims. Although many dogs have a friendly disposition, some of them may be prone to biting for various reasons. Studies indicate that roughly one in 60 Americans suffer a dog bite each year, with 1 million dog bite sufferers requiring medical attention and 30,000 needing some type of reconstructive surgery. Unfortunately, children are often victims of dog bites, especially when a dog and child are left unattended together. At Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., our Boston dog bite lawyer has handled numerous cases involving a wide variety of circumstances. In settlement negotiations or at trial, you deserve a knowledgeable attorney who will fight for the maximum amount of compensation that you deserve.Understanding Common Injuries and Circumstances Regarding Dog Bites
When you are bitten by a dog, there are many factors that affect how severe the injury will be, including the size of the dog, the breed, the size of the victim, the duration of the attack, and how quickly you were able to obtain medical attention. In addition to the physical injuries, you may have also suffered emotional trauma if the attack was particularly vicious or prolonged. Some common injuries that occur during a dog attack include abrasions, punctures, lacerations, tissue damage, crushing injuries, fractures, scarring, sprains, strains, and infections. If you attempted to run from the dog, you may have also suffered trip and fall injuries or injuries from being dragged by a particularly large dog.
It is critical to seek medical attention after a dog bite to ensure that your injuries are appropriately diagnosed and addressed. You may require antibiotics to prevent an infection, or surgery to prevent severe disfigurement or scarring. If the injuries occurred to your face, a plastic surgeon may be necessary to help ensure that the signs of the wound are mitigated. You should also report the bite as soon as possible to animal control so that it can ensure that the animal is located and corralled before another attack results.Massachusetts Laws on Dog Bite Injuries
As a dog bite attorney in the Boston area can explain, Massachusetts has a number of laws regarding dog owner responsibility and liability in the event of an attack. There is one key exception to these laws that involves situations in which the victim was trespassing at the time of the attack or committing some other crime, such as assault. In some states, the victim of an attack is required to show that the owner knew or should have known that the dog was vicious or had an aggressive nature. Massachusetts is not one of these states. Instead, the legislature has concluded that dog bites are a major problem and that owners should be strictly liable for the injuries that their pets cause.
To hold the owner of a dog liable for a bite injury, the victim must show that the dog caused injuries or damage to property and that the victim was not trespassing, engaged in a crime, or provoking the dog. The law covers bites as well as injuries that result from a dog knocking you over in an aggressive manner. There are a number of defenses to dog bite claims that an owner can assert, such as evidence that the victim was teasing, taunting, abusing, or tormenting the dog at the time of the attack. A diligent and experienced Boston dog bite attorney can help you assess your claim.Schedule a Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney
Dog bites are often terrifying, since they happen in a sudden and unexpected manner. At Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., we are ready to help you investigate all of the aspects of your claim and to work with insurance companies to make sure that you are treated fairly. With clients in cities such as Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, and Peabody, we offer a free consultation to help you learn more about our team and whether you have a viable legal claim. We also represent people in premises liability cases arising from accidents on someone else’s property. Call us now at 800.262.9200 or contact us online to set up your appointment with a dog bite lawyer in the Boston area.