There are around 85 million dogs in the U.S. Almost half of American households have at least one dog. These pets can provide their families joy, companionship and love, but they can also attack humans.
According to the Boston Public Health Commission, more than 300 dog bites occur in the city annually. If you are the unfortunate victim of a dog attack, Jason Stone Injury Lawyers can help.
Why Do Dogs Attack?
Although some breeds tend to attack more often than others, any dog can attack humans. Common reasons include:
- Fear or feeling threatened
- Sickness or feeling unwell
- Protecting something or someone
- Defending itself
Dogs sometimes bite or nip playfully, not realizing that they’re causing injuries. Dogs can attack people of any age, but more attacks happen to children.
If you or a loved one sustained injuries in a dog attack, you may wonder if the dog’s owner is responsible for paying compensation. Many victims can file a personal injury claim, and the experienced dog bite attorneys at Jason Stone Injury Law can help.
What Is the Massachusetts Dog Bite Law?
In Massachusetts, a dog’s owner is liable for any injuries caused by an attack under the state’s strict liability rule. Restraining or containing a dog doesn’t excuse its owner from responsibility in most cases.
You may not have grounds to seek compensation if you:
- Were trespassing
- Provoked the dog
- Were attacking the dog’s owner or committing another crime
If you think you have a valid claim, You Better Phone Stone.
What Are Common Dog Attack Injuries?
When dogs attack children, most injuries are to the neck, head and face due to a child’s size. The location of these injuries gives them the potential to be more serious.
Although dogs can harm you with their claws, they typically bite their victims. Dogs of any size can leave puncture wounds that have a high risk of becoming infected.
Larger dogs have powerful jaws. They might remove skin and muscle, leave significant bruising or break bones.
Dog attacks don’t only cause physical wounds. Victims often develop PTSD, anxiety and a fear of dogs. Whether physical or emotional, dog bites leave scars. Jason Stone and his team will seek maximum compensation for your damages.
What Compensation Is Available?
In Massachusetts, eligible dog bite victims may receive compensation for three categories of damages through a personal injury claim. Your attorney from Jason Stone Injury Lawyers will assess your case and tell you how much it’s worth.
Dog owners aren’t the only potentially liable parties. Dog sitters, walkers and kennel workers are examples.
Injured dog bite victims typically incur expenses as a result of the attack. Economic damages reimburse you for eligible expenses, including:
- Medical treatments, hospital stays, rehabilitation, mental health therapy, medications and medical equipment
- The income you lose due to time away from work
- Qualifying daily expenses
- Property damage
Because these things have specific dollar amounts, you’ll need to keep your receipts and all documentation to receive reimbursement. If your injuries are severe, you may be able to seek damages for future medical expenses and lost wages.
A dog attack is often a horrific experience, and victims can suffer from more than physical wounds. Non-economic damages compensate for things like:
- Permanent disfigurement or disability
- Pain and suffering
- Anxiety, depression and PTSD
- Losing the ability to enjoy life
- Damage to your personal and social relationships
Liable insurance companies likely won’t offer non-economic compensation unless you have legal representation, hoping you’re not aware that you deserve it. Amounts can vary greatly depending on how significantly these conditions affect you.
Because many of these wounds aren’t visible, insurance companies may claim that you don’t indeed suffer from them. Your legal team from Jason Stone Injury Lawyers has the resources and experience to prove your eligibility for non-economic damages and fight to ensure that you receive maximum compensation.
Few personal injury cases qualify for punitive damages. To receive punitive damages in a dog bite case, its owner must have deliberately caused the dog to attack you or exhibited gross negligence, for example. Ask your lawyer if your case is eligible.
What Should You Do After a Dog Attack?
You should do a few things once you’re away from the dog to protect your health and your personal injury claim.
If you’re able, take pictures or videos of the dog that attacked you. You should also record:
- Any people who are present
- Your wounds
- Witness statements
- The location of any video cameras that might have captured the attack
- Your specific location
Your dog bite attorney will use the evidence you gather to build your personal injury case.
Seek Medical Attention
Dog attacks can produce severe injuries. You need to seek immediate medical treatment to protect your health. You should also follow wound-care instructions carefully to avoid complications.
Your examining physician will document your medical condition, substantiating your claim that the dog attack caused your wounds. This report is often vital evidence in your personal injury case.
Get Contact Information
Dog attacks can happen anywhere, not just at the owner’s residence. You might be in a park or sidewalk when an attack occurs. It’s vital that you get identification and contact information for the dog’s owner or handler so you can seek compensation.
You should also ask witnesses for their contact information. Your dog bite attorney will contact these witnesses to ask for their statements which can be used as evidence in your personal injury claim.
Report the Attack to the Appropriate Authorities
You should report your attack to animal control. You may also need to call the police, depending on the circumstances.
Boston Animal Control or the Boston Public Health Commission will attempt to verify that the dog has received a current rabies vaccination.
Dog bite claims can be challenging. You may not obtain a favorable outcome without a lawyer on your side. Jason Stone Injury Lawyers has experience with dog bite cases and will fight to protect your rights.
When you hire us, you’ll benefit from the Stone Cold Guarantee. We want to build personal relationships and trust with our clients, so we make several promises to you, including:
- We will address your physical, emotional and financial issues.
- We will stay in contact with you, providing updates every two weeks.
- You only pay us after we win compensation for you.
- Someone can speak with you 24/7.
- We will respond to your requests or questions within 24 hours.
Although you don’t have to call us immediately, contacting us quickly can alleviate some of your stress and give you peace of mind.
Why Should You Choose Jason Stone Injury Lawyers?
We focus on personal injury law. That means we’re intimately familiar with dog bite laws and claims. Our track record of success speaks for itself: we have won over $60 million for our clients since 2004. You can trust us to fight for maximum compensation for you too.
We’ll start by offering you a free case review. There’s No Obligation, Just Information®. Use live chat, submit our contact form, or call us 24/7 at (800) 577-5188. We’ll evaluate your case and tell you how we can help.