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Three facts about Massachusetts dog bite incidents and the law

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | Injuries |

Massachusetts is a great place to have a pet dog. Malden residents can enjoy a number of parks and public places where their four-legged friends are permitted to visit and play. However, when a dog encounters a situation that upsets them, there is often a chance that they may react in a defensive and sometimes aggressive manner.

When this happens, individuals can suffer dog bite injuries and other harm from dog-related accidents. A victim may not know what legal options they have following such an attack, but there may be instances under the law when the facts of their attacks support legal claims for compensation. Understanding the rules and laws surrounding dog accidents and attacks can help them make informed decisions about their rights.

Fact #1: Massachusetts is a strict liability dog accident state.

Strict liability is a legal standard that does not require a victim to prove negligence in order to prevail on their claims. It applies to dog bites in Massachusetts. This means that if a dog attacks or causes injury to a victim, that victim does not have to build a case of negligence against the dog’s owner to prevail on their claim.

Fact #2: Losses related to dog attacks and accidents extend beyond bites.

Dog bites are a common injury sustained in dog-related incidents. However, dogs can cause harm to people and their property in different ways. Massachusetts allows victims of many different dog-caused harms to seek compensation through the courts for their losses related to their accidents.

Fact #3: Dog owners may have defenses to claims made against their pets.

It is important for victims to understand, however, that some circumstances surrounding dog bites and attacks may provide defenses for dog owners and preclude them from liability for injuries sustained by victims. For example, when a dog bit or attacked a victim while the victim was trespassing on the property of the dog’s owner, the victim may not have a claim against the pet owner. Similarly, when a victim provokes or incites a dog to attack and then sustains an injury, the victim’s actions may excuse the dog’s owner from liability on their claim.

Dogs are great pets but can also cause serious injuries to individuals who are unlucky enough to encounter them in hostile states. Victims of dog attacks have rights, and the facts of their claims can dictate how best to approach their personal injury cases. Legal professionals who work in personal injury law can help dog bite and attack victims better understand their options.