Many households consider their dog to be a member of the family. While the vast majority of family dogs are loving and friendly, we must keep in mind that unlike humans, animals rely purely on instinct when making decisions. The most docile dogs can and will attack and bite when they feel threatened. For this reason, the responsibility falls on all dog owners to keep their dogs out of those situations. Even a familiar, trusted pet can attack a person, often without warning, and cause serious injury. Some breeds of dogs are by nature and breeding more aggressive than others. Animal bites can cause infection, disfigurement, permanent disability, and can even be life-threatening.
Important Facts to Consider as a Dog Owner
- According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Roughly 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year
- Nearly 800,000 dog bite victims require medical care each year and medical professionals preformed over 28,000 surgeries for dog bites in 2015.
- Children are at a greater risk of injury from a dog attack, and almost half of children under the age of twelve have suffered a dog bite at least once.
- 65% of bites in children occur on the head or neck, and children make up 79% of fatal dog attacks.
- Nationwide, liable dog owners were responsible for over $686 million in dog bite and dog related injury costs during 2017.
- The average claim cost was a little over $37,000. Insurance companies pay over $1 billion for dog bite injuries annually.
The law in Massachusetts is clear about the responsibility of dog owners for injuries caused by their animals. Massachusetts State law requires that every dog owner get a license for their dog each year. Massachusetts State Law also requires that you have your dog on a leash when you are off your property.
Victims of dog attacks may recover damages from a person who owned or kept the dog, from a person who lets a dog run at large, or a person who keeps a dog while knowing that the animal has a history of injuring people. A little-known fact involving dogs is that even if you are not bitten, you may still recover damages if the dog “caused” your injuries. We have handled cases where our client was injured due to a dog jumping on her and knocking her to the ground. So, if a dog is in any way responsible for your injuries you should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
If you have been bitten or injured by an animal, its owner or caretaker you most likely have a valid claim for your damages.
With offices in Chelsea and Salem, MA, Spada Law Group provides Boston quality legal representation without the commute into the city with free on-premises or validated parking. We are here to answer any questions you may have. Call Spada Law Group today at 617-889-5000 to discuss your situation. The consultation is free and there is absolutely no obligation to hire us. We are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.
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