If you or a loved one has been attacked or bitten by a dog, contact a specialized dog bite attorney to help you determine whether you are eligible to recover damages from the dog owner.
Each year in America, there are more than 4.5 million incidents of dog bites and attacks. One in five who are bitten require medical attention for their injuries due to infection, with half of those seeking medical attention being children ages 5 to 9. Dog bites can transmit rabies, MRSA, tetanus, and pasteurella—a disease seen in over 50% of infected dog bite wounds.
Last year, more than 27,000 people were forced to undergo serious reconstructive surgery as a result of being bitten by a dog. In 2015, the average cost of dog-bite related medical treatment was $28,079, which represents a serious expense. A fair settlement with the potentially liable dog owners can help ease this financial burden.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a dog bite or attack, you have rights that will help you recover from these injuries. Don’t become just another statistic—consult with a dog bite attorney for Massachusetts and New Hampshire immediately to learn about your options.
In dog bite lawsuits the owner of the dog is often held liable. Massachusetts and New Hampshire both have more stringent dog bite laws: in MA and NH, the owner (or the parent or guardian of the owner if they are a minor) is subject to strict liability for the damages caused by their dog. This means that unless they were violating trespassing laws at the time or actively provoking the dog, the victim of a dog bite or attack can pursue legal action to recover damages. Under Massachusetts law, if a child under the age of seven is attacked, it is assumed they are not at fault for the dog bite. The burden of proof is on the defendant in such cases. This gives attorneys far more leverage in managing dog bite cases in these two states.
If you have been bitten by a dog, make sure that you know who owns the animal. If possible, find out whether the animal has been tested and treated for rabies. If you do not know, regardless of the severity of the bite, you must seek treatment for a potential rabies infection, as rabies is a life-threatening disease which is almost always fatal if symptoms develop.
Even if the dog is confirmed to be rabies free, it is still advisable to seek medical attention. Dog saliva can carry numerous serious and potentially life threatening illnesses. Further, dog bites are often deeper and more damaging than they might appear on the surface. If left untreated, dog bites can cause bone, muscle, and nerve damage and leave permanent scars. If you have suffered a dog bite wound, you should consider washing the wound and applying pressure to it to help prevent infection and reduce blood loss while waiting for emergency services.
Most cases of dog bites come not from wild or feral animals, but from dogs we know. They often come from our very own dogs. Even after millennia of domestication, dogs are animals and can still be unpredictable and dangerous. It is vital to watch for warning signs that your dog is becoming uncomfortable or agitated, and not to bother a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
If you believe that a dog you know or own is becoming aggressive, it is recommended to try calmly defusing the situation by giving the dog as much space as possible and time to calm down. You should never approach and unknown dog nor do anything that might provoke a dog, such as making sudden movements, yelling or screaming at the animal, or making eye contact with a wild or aggressive dog. It is recommended to teach dog safety to your children and to exercise good judgment when letting them interact with dogs.
Above all, remain calm. Panicking or reacting aggressively can easily provoke the dog to attack you. If you believe an attack is imminent, slowly raise your hands to your neck with your elbows in. Dogs will typically aim for major veins and arteries in the neck, and so protecting it from bites is vitally important.
Even if you act with caution, you could still be bitten by a dog. If you or child have suffered a dog bite injury, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact experienced Massachusetts and New Hampshire dog bite attorneys to learn more about your legal options.
Dog bite law can be a confusing, and complicated, subject. That’s why our experts have recorded a series of interviews to help answer your questions and provide you with the knowledge you need in order to take legal action.
The attorneys at Mazow | McCullough, PC, have represented hundreds of victims of dog bites in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. They have the knowledge and experience to help you or a loved one recover from the unexpected trauma of being bitten by a dog. We pursue all potentially liable parties for their responsibility, and we help ensure that you or your loved one is fully compensated for the injuries.
Please contact Mazow | McCullough, PC, today for a free consultation about your case. The right lawyer makes all the difference. See our recent settlements here.