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When Are Dog Owners Liable For Injuries?

Under Massachusetts law, an owner of a dog who bites or attacks someone is strictly liable for the injuries caused, unless the victim was trespassing or was teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog. If the victim was under the age of 7, these exceptions do not apply. No matter the age of the victim though, the dog owner/keeper will be liable even if the dog has no past history of biting or attacking others.

The injuries do not have to be solely from dog bites in order for the owner/keeper to be liable for injuries caused by the dog. Massachusetts law merely states that the dog owner is liable for “any damage” done by the dog. Therefore, the owner would be liable to someone who is attacked by a dog and is injured due to being thrown down by the dog.

This law, along with other common law principles, could also find the dog owner responsible for injuries suffered by someone who falls down while running away from the dog or who is hit by a car while attempting to escape from the dog.

What To Do If You Were Attacked By A Dog

If you or a child of yours has been injured by a dog, take the following steps to protect yourself physically and legally:

  1. Contact the police so the attack can be documented and the owner can be identified.
  2. Immediately seek medical treatment for the injuries caused by the attack
  3. To ensure that you or your child is properly compensated for those injuries, consult a personal injury attorney.

The injuries that result from dog bites can be quite serious. They often include permanent scarring and disfigurement. The nature of the attack itself can also cause psychological trauma.

It is not uncommon that, long after the victim of a dog attack has recovered from the physical injuries, the psychological damage — such as nightmares, fear of all dogs and/or anxiety when returning to the location of the attack — still remains.

Contact A Dog Bite Attorney Right Away

Attorney Ira Yellin at the Law Offices of Ira C. Yellin, LLC, has the experience and dedication needed to properly handle your case. With an office conveniently located in Franklin, our firm is readily available to assist you after a traumatic experience.

To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer, please contact us online or call 508-528-8885.