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.
Dog bites can be scary, painful, and potentially debilitating, but if you’ve been attacked by a dog, you have rights. You may be able to hold the owner liable for your injuries as well as for your pain and suffering. To learn more about dog bites, personal injury law, dog owner liability, and related topics, check out the following resources.
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.
To protect yourself, you may want to learn a few facts and statistics about these attacks. For instance, the dog’s sex and breed can affect the risk of an attack, and if the dog is chained up or feels as if you’re encroaching his territory, that can also make an attack more likely.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 2% of Americans are bitten by dogs during their lifetimes. Dog bites can be critical, however, and the Journal of the American Medical Association views dog bites as a serious public health concern.
We answer your questions about dog owner responsibility, compensation after a bite, and special tips on what to do if you’re bitten by a stray dog.
There are a number of different laws designed to protect people from dog attacks and to protect their rights after an attack. If you are bitten or attacked, the dog owner may bear civil and potentially even criminal responsibility for their dog’s actions. If you’re a dog owner or someone who has been attacked by a dog, you need to know your rights and obligations in both situations.
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.
A statute of limitations details how long you have to bring a personal injury case to the courts. If you have been attacked or harmed by a dog, it’s important to act quickly. Once the statute of limitation passes, you may not be able to get the compensation you deserve.
Although people typically think of dogs as man’s best friends, they can be dangerous in many situations. Worldwide, dogs kill more people annually than assassin bugs, tsetse flies, roundworms, crocodiles, tapeworms, hippopotami, elephants, lions, wolves, and sharks combined. The majority of those deaths are related to rabies.
Dogs attack people in numerous ways. Sometimes, a dog may attempt to warn an individual by biting only their hand, and in other cases, the dog attacks viciously and victims may end up with serious injuries all over their body. Often, the type of injuries vary and can be based on a number of factors, including whether or not the dog was familiar with the victim or how well the victim was able to protect themselves from the attack.
After a dog attack, victims face primary injuries such as cuts and bruises, but they may also face complications from their injuries. That can include infections, rabies, and other physical issues, but it can also include emotional distress such as developing post-traumatic stress disorder after the attack.
Complications can cause a bad situation to turn worse, and often, fatalities are caused by these complications instead of the actual attack wounds themselves. It’s important to understand the complications related to dog bites and what to watch out for as you begin to heal after an attack.
If you have been bitten by a dog, make sure that you know who owns the animal. Ideally, after a dog attack, you should seek treatment immediately. Often, dog bites can appear less severe than they really are, especially in the case of puncture wounds. If rabies is a concern – and it typically is unless you are able to ascertain with 100% certainty that the dog is rabies-free – it’s even more critical to ensure that you receive medical care as soon as possible. If you do not know for certain that the dog is not carrying rabies, 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.
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.
Depending on your injuries, you may need stitches, pain relief, reconstructive surgery, occupational therapy, and even counseling. 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.
Get familiar with the different types of treatment available for dog bites and what treatments are used in various dog attack cases.
Dog Bites at Work
Dog Bite Treatment
Tragically, many dog bites affect children, and often, when children are involved, the injuries are much more extensive. This is due to the small stature of children and their inability to protect themselves during the attack.
It’s critical to teach children to avoid dog attacks whenever possible and what steps are necessary to take when a dog bites a child.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are about 18 deaths due to dog bites every year. Although many breeds are involved in these attacks, pit bulls are responsible for the highest number of deaths. Children and infants tend to be disproportionately affected.
If a dog attack has caused you to lose a loved one, you should understand what options are available to you not only to secure compensation for medical and funeral expenses but also to ensure that your loved one receives the justice he or she deserves after losing their life to a vicious dog.
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.
While no one can predict exactly how a situation with a dangerous dog will unfold, there are many steps you can take to prevent dog attacks, and there are specific strategies you should use depending on the type of dog and the situation.
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.
Always be aware of how to prevent dog bites and use this information whenever you are confronted with a dog that has the potential to attack. It’s also important to be aware of how to prevent your own dog from biting and how to report a dangerous dog before it has the chance to attack anyone.
If a dog attacks you or kills a family member, you may be entitled to compensation. You should never accept a first offer from the dog owner or their insurance company — these lowball offers are generally worth much less than the financial damages related to the injury. To get the compensation you deserve, you should explore the option of bringing forward a dog bite lawsuit.
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.
When you decide to bring forward a lawsuit for a dog attack, you need the right dog bite attorney. That means finding someone with extensive experience in personal injury law in general and dog attacks in particular. You also want someone who can give your case the attention it deserves.
To get help, contact Mazow | McCullough, PC today. We have extensive experience in dog bite cases and we can answer your questions and provide you with a case evaluation. We will thoroughly evaluate your case to determine the best strategy and will aggressively champion for your right to receive the full and fair compensation you deserve for your pain, suffering, and hardship.
Call us now for a consultation to discuss your case in detail and to learn what your next step should be at (855) 693-9084 or locally at (978) 744-8000.
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.