Dog bite injury cases can be very traumatic and often leave the victim physically and emotionally scarred, sometimes with a permanent disfigurement. Fortunately in Massachusetts, dog bite victims are protected by a special statute that imposes “strict liability” against the owners or keepers of dogs for injuries that they cause, so long as the victim was not “committing a trespass, or teasing, tormenting or abusing” the dog at the time. For minors under seven years of age at the time of the incident, it is presumed that the child was not committing a trespass. The statute benefits dog bite victims because this law makes it unnecessary for the victim to prove that the dog was dangerous or had known dangerous propensities. It is also unnecessary for the victim to prove that the owner or keeper was negligent in failing to restrain the dog or otherwise prevent the injury. The dog bite victim need only identify the dog’s owner or keeper and prove that the dog caused an injury at a time when the victim was not committing a trespass, or teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog.
Most owners or keepers of dog will be covered under a homeowner’s general liability insurance policy.
Boston, Massachusetts and Rhode Island injury lawyer Jonathan D. Sweet, Esq. a seasoned trial attorney, has handled many dog bite cases on behalf of both adult and minor victims. For more information about your potential personal injury case, contact Attorney Sweet anytime, day or night, seven days a week. There is never a charge for an initial consultation.