Massachusetts Legal Blog

Why Are Dog Bites So Dangerous?

Each year, well over four million people are attacked by dogs in the United States. Many of these bites result in serious injuries. Even worse, nearly half of all those bitten are children. Here’s what you need to know about why dog bites are so dangerous.

Dog Bites Can Cause Permanent Injuries

While the vast majority of dog bites are non-fatal, they can still cause life-threatening, or life-altering and permanent damage. The majority of dog bites are located on the hands, arms, legs, feet, head and neck, and the most serious types of injuries caused by dog bites include:

  • Scarring
  • Rabies
  • Damage to the nerves, muscles, and tendons, which can seriously impede mobility
  • Infections
  • Emotional psychological trauma

Massachusetts Strict Liability Covers Dog Bite Injuries

In the State of Massachusetts, injuries caused by dog bites are covered by strict liability laws.  While many states have dog bite liability laws, Massachusetts liability laws may hold a dog owner liable even if the owner had no prior knowledge that the dog was a threat to others. This means that a person injured by a dog bite does not have to show proof that the dog’s owner was at fault for the injury sustained.  

Under Massachusetts General Laws, covered in Chapter 140, Section 155, a dog owner is held liable for any injuries caused by a bite from their dog if:

  • The dog caused injury or property damage.
  • The injured individual was not trespassing, committing any other tort, or provoking the dog.

This means that if an individual has been bitten by a dog after tormenting the animal, or unlawfully entering the property of another person, they may not be able to file a claim for their injuries.

The Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite Injury Claims in Massachusetts

As with other personal injury claims, Massachusetts law has a statute of limitations of three years from the date of the dog bite incident for you to file a claim.  Therefore, it is essential that you contact inexperienced personal injury lawyer right away. Cases filed after the three years have elapsed are often dismissed.

Expert Legal Advice for Your Dog Bite Claim

When you are bitten by a dog, you should seek expert legal advice right away. Massachusetts law is clear on dog bite liability, meaning you should seek compensation for all your associated medical costs – even those you may not foresee in the future – immediately.

If you are the victim of a dog bite, or animal attack and feel you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side.  After seeking the proper medical care, consulting a personal injury attorney at the Shapiro Law Group to help you sort through the plethora of factors that need review should be your first step. In addition to medical expenses, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income and the pain and suffering you have had to endure. Call today at (339) 309-1188 for a free consultation.