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Dog Bite Injuries to Children in Massachusetts

Dogs can be the best friends we ever have in life, but unfortunately they can also cause serious damage if they turn aggressive and use their naturally powerful bite – especially on a child. Dog bites can be especially dangerous as they can easily cause infections that can be life threatening. If you or your child has been bitten by a dog in Massachusetts, contact the personal injury attorneys at the Cambridge-based firm of Altman & Altman LLP today to get started on a claim for damages.

Most of the time, dogs are trained and brought up to be gentle, and the natural disposition of many domesticated dogs is to be docile, friendly and submissive to humans. However sometimes, whether through genetics, a bad upbringing or a nasty combination of both, dogs can become dangerous and prone to attacking people, with or without any prompting or antagonizing necessary.

Who is at Fault for Injuries Caused by Dogs?

In Massachusetts and many other states, dog owners are not to be considered at fault if a person is bit by their dog while trespassing or committing some other civil crime while on their private property or if the person was in some way antagonizing the dog or provoking them to attack, perhaps by causing the dog physical harm or threatening the dog in an aggressive manner that triggers it to react in self-defense.

However, dog owners in Massachusetts have a dire responsibility to ensure that their dogs cannot bite people while out in public spaces. If a dog is walking alongside its owner without a leash and the dog runs off and attacks someone, the owner is guilty of being a negligent dog owner and the person who was attacked has every right to file a claim for damages against the owner.

In Massachusetts, even if a dog has never displayed any signs of aggressive behavior prior to a bite, the owner becomes liable if their bites somebody no matter what. This means that a victim does not need to prove that the dog owner was at fault if they have been bitten by their dog.

Law in Massachusetts also applies to other injuries caused by dogs unrelated to bites. For example, if a large breed of dog runs and jumps on an unsuspecting elderly person – excited to see them, not even necessarily out of any malice – and the elderly person breaks a bone or suffers another form of serious injury, the dog owner would be liable for these injuries as they did not maintain their dog in a responsible way preventing them from causing harm to members of the public.

Filing a Claim After a Dog Bite / Injury from a Dog

It is important to contact an attorney as quickly as possible after an injury to ensure a clear order of events and give you the best chance at emerging successful in your claim for damages. However, there is a three-year statute of limitations for dog bite injury claims in Massachusetts. So, even if your biting incident happened a while ago, you may still be able to file a claim to seek compensation for the injuries you sustained – even if they have since healed.

Filing a claim and receiving compensation can help you recoup money spent on hospital bills, medications to prevent infections, physical therapy needed to recover from the injuries and any other related costs associated with the injury. A successful claim can recovery some funds lost from being unable to work and collect a paycheck while you recovered from the bite.

Personal injury attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP have over 50 years of experience advocating for our clients who have been injured, including injuries from biting dogs. When children are involved, the matter becomes especially important to help parents receive compensation to pay for their child’s treatment and not worry about their own financial situation to do so.

Contact us online or call for a free consultation to go over the details of your case today at 617.492.3000 or toll-free at 800.481.6199. We are available 24/7.

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