A dog is the most popular domesticated pet in the United States. The Boston Business Journal reported in 2013 that 25 percent of the households in Massachusetts own a dog. So take a look around your neighborhood, there’s a good chance there’s a dog near your home.
Contrary to how most of their owners feel, dogs aren’t perfect. When dogs get sick, they can accrue hefty medical bills. Depending on the breed, dogs can be challenging to train. In some cases, dogs can be dangerous when they decide to bite — which opens the floodgates to a plethora of legal issues involving homeowners insurance and third-parties.
A dog bite can be and often is a traumatic injury — about 1 in 60 people receive a dog bite every year in the United States. These mounting injuries lead to millions of urgent care and emergency room visits with more than tens of thousands of reconstructive surgeries.
The Hyannis dog bite attorneys at Goldberg & Weigand have spent over 30 years litigating dog bite claims with numerous homeowners insurance companies across Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts. If a dog in Hyannis has bitten you or a loved one, take advantage of Massachusetts’ strict dog bite laws by hiring representation at Goldberg & Weigand LLP. There is never any fee or charge until we win your case!
Dog Bite Law in Massachusetts
MGL c. 140 § 155, states the owner of a dog is primarily responsible for injuries suffered by a dog bite victim. This is strict liability, unless the victim was 1. trespassing or committing a crime on your property, or 2. teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog.
A child seven years or younger will be presumed to have not provoked the dog in a dog bite case. If the dog owner feels that the child was teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog that bit them, the burden of proof would fall on the dog owner to prove this fact by a preponderance of the evidence.
Dogs who have a proven history of violence should be documented for the safety of the community. When filing a claim for a dog bite injury, you do not have to establish a dog had a history of violent behavior in Massachusetts. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has gone to great lengths to protect the nearly 7,000 dog bite injury victims who find themselves feeling helpless every year.
Are Dog Bite Injuries Severe?
Depending on the dog breed, the age of the victim, the length of the attack, and how quickly you administer first aid, a dog bite can be mild to traumatic.
The MDH (Massachusetts Department of Health) has gathered data indicating children under the age of four experience the worst dog bite injuries, most commonly in the head/face/neck area.
Massachusetts Department of Health says nearly three out of every four toddlers who have suffered a dog bite have experienced injuries in the neck, face, or head area. Elementary and Middle School-age children suffer dog bite injuries to the head/face/neck at a similar rate: 50 percent.
People who suffer dog bites have reported the following injuries as the most common:
- Sprains and Strains
- Tissue Loss
- Fractured Bones
If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, medical attention is the first thing that needs to happen. The injury may not seem severe at the moment of the bite, but despite the old adage that most dog’s mouths are cleaner than humans, infections can and often do still develop. You need to report any dog bite to your local animal control center as well.
Homeowner’s insurance will be primarily responsible for compensating dog bite victims. A Hyannis dog bite attorney can guide you through the filing process to make sure you receive the maximum compensation for your dog bite.
Can I prevent a Hyannis Dog Bite Injury?
Advocates can argue that Pit Bulls and Rottweilers have an unearned reputation for violence, but the numbers indicate this pair of breeds have contributed to the most dog bite deaths in the United States. If you choose to own one of these breeds, you must be extra diligent in training and discipline to prevent your dog from posing a threat to your community.
Most communities have leash laws which require owners of dogs to either keep them in a contained area or on a leash and under the owners control at all times.
A suggestion from the American Kennel Club notes how to adequately socialize a “dangerous” breed with other people before letting them roam in public. Making sure your dog knows a simple command like “sit,” “stay,” and “heel” can go a long way too.
The Hyannis Dog Bite Lawyers at Goldberg and Weigand can make sure you get paid for your injuries, including pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and scarring and disfigurement. Call us today at our Hyannis Office at 508-203-6600 for a free, confidential consultation regarding your dog bite claim. There is never a charge for dog bite claim until we win your case!