Dog Bites 101

A barking dog welcomes you to our guide to dog bites

Man’s best friend can also be his worst enemy. A dog bite is a frightening, painful experience that can require medical care, result in lost time from work and, in more serous instances, cause loss of bodily mobility and functionality.

The law in Massachusetts imposes “strict liability” on dog owners, meaning that an owner is responsible for his or her dog biting someone, without the need for the victim to prove that the dog’s owner was negligent. This allows the victim to move beyond the issue of causation and to focus on the damages caused by the dog’s bite.

However, there is an exception to strict liability in dog bite cases. If the dog’s owner can prove that the victim was trespassing on property or teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog, the owner may not be liable for injuries cased by their dog’s bite. Note that, if the dog bite victim is a child under the age of seven, the law presumes that the child was not trespassing and was not teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog.

Many homeowners’ insurance policies carry riders providing for dog bite coverage. Dog owners can also purchase individualized pet liability insurance policies. This type of insurance may be expensive and can vary based upon the breed of the dog. However, failing to have a policy in place exposes the owner to personal liability should their dog bite someone.

Damages in dog bite cases often include substantial bills for medical care along with missed time from work, not to mention the serious pain and lengthy recovery period. If you have been injured by a dog, let the attorneys at Cornetta Babine LLC work on compensation for your loss while you focus on getting better. Please give us a call at: 978-304-0646 or e-mail us at: