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Massachusetts Dog Bite Injury

You or a loved one has just suffered an unexpected dog bite.  There are many things racing through your head… What should I do?  Was it the dog’s fault?  How are you going to pay for the medical treatment?  How will you or your loved one recover?  What will happen to the dog? Simply, what should you do NEXT? 

In Massachusetts, dog owners are strictly liable for dog bite injuries.  In plain English, this means that if a dog bites you, the owner must pay for your recovery.  The only circumstance that will mitigate an owner’s liability is if the dog was teased, taunted or the person who was bitten was trespassing at the time.    Under Massachusetts General Law c. 140 section 155, dog owners are held liable for the injuries their dogs cause. Massachusetts’s law is unlike most other states where a dog is allowed to bite once before liability attaches.

 What should you do if you are the victim of a dog bite?

Immediately seek medical treatment.  First and foremost, you want to stabilize the wound and begin the healing process.  Call 911 and take an ambulance from the scene of the incident to the hospital.  Do not worry about hospital bills; those details will get worked out later.  Get the medical treatment you need IMMEDIATELY.

Document the dog bite injury.

Take pictures of the injury.  If you can, take a picture of the injury right after it happens.  If stitches are needed, take pictures of the dog bite with stitches and after the stitches are removed.  Many dog bite injuries are valued at the resulting scarring.  Therefore, documenting the injury is extremely important.

In addition to visually documenting your injury, keep a journal of the pain you experience every day.  You don’t need to write extensively; a few sentences every day are all that is needed.  It’s important that you document the pain and suffering in order to be fully compensated for your dog bite injury.

Who is going to pay for your dog bite injury in Massachusetts? 

If the owner of the dog owns a house, many home insurance policies cover this type of injury.  It does not matter if the dog bite injury happened away from the dog owner’s house.  If the owner of the dog does not own a house but rents, renter’s insurance may cover your dog bite injury.

If you have suffered a dog bite in Massachusetts, please contact Doubleday LAW today.  We are experienced in handling dog bite injuries in Massachusetts and we understand the special stress one goes through in such an unfortunate incident.  Contact us today!



Arthur Hardy-Doubleday

Author Arthur Hardy-Doubleday

Arthur Hardy-Doubleday practices law in Cambridge and Martha's Vineyard Massachusetts. He works in the areas of Real Estate, Personal Injury, and Consumer Protection Law. When not practicing law, Arthur enjoys sailing, hanging out with friends on the beach, and waking his dog "Ridiculous."

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