Dog Bites/Attacks

The law governing dog bites in Massachusetts is contained in M.G.L. Chapter 140, Section 155.  That statute states:

"If any dog shall do any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper, or if the owner or keeper be a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor, shall be liable for such damage, unless such damage shall have been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog. If a minor, on whose behalf an action under this section is brought, is under seven years of age at the time the damage was done, it shall be presumed that such minor was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog, and the burden of proof thereof shall be upon the defendant in such action."

This statute is a strict liability statute which means you do not need to establish fault in order to recover for your injuries.  The act of the dog bite/and or attack is what creates the liability; fault need not be shown.

A dog bite and/or attack can cause serious injuries, such as scarring, as well as significant trauma.  In order to recover for such harm, the homeowner’s policy of the owner of the dog is the first place to start.  Approximately 1/3 of injury claims brought against homeowner liability policies arise from dog attacks and/or dog bites.

If you have any questions about dog bites or other personal injury matters, I invite you to contact me.