Being bitten by a dog or having a loved one become the victim of a dog attack is a harrowing experience. It’s difficult to know what to do in a situation like that, when emotions are high and there is little time. Dog bites can happen to anyone, anywhere, and it’s important to be aware of several things before the unexpected happens. Here are answers to your most frequently asked questions about dog bites.
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, the first thing you must do is call 911 or visit your local emergency room as soon as possible. You also need to contact the police, Animal Control, and an experienced dog bite lawyer.
Whether insurance will cover medical bills related to the dog bite or not depends on a lot of factors. Surprisingly, the dog owner’s homeowners or renters insurance may cover your expenses in certain circumstances. An attorney can assist you in exploring every possible source of insurance coverage.
Current New Hampshire and Massachusetts laws hold dog owners responsible for the actions of their pet. Failure to follow leash laws or to keep a vicious dog from roaming at large can result in penalties for the owner, especially in cases where the dog attacks an adult or child.
If you bring a dog bite injury claim forward, you may be able to seek compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages, surgical costs, counseling, and emotional trauma.
Proving that the dog that bit you was known to be dangerous or vicious is a critical component of any dog bite case. It is important to gather as much information about the dog as possible, including witness statements of other individuals in the neighborhood or post office and other delivery company workers. You may also be able to obtain evidence from the police or Animal Control if the dog has been reported before.
Unfortunately, it is significantly more difficult to pursue a dog bite injury claim in the event an individual is bitten by a stray dog. Generally speaking, your local government is not responsible for dogs at large. However, in some cases, individuals can still pursue a claim if there is a clear entity or individual that can be held legally responsible. For example, if Animal Control allows a dangerous dog to escape and the dog injures you, it may be possible to bring a claim forward for negligence on the part of Animal Control.
At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we understand how devastating and financially challenging a dog attack can be. We have tried hundreds of dog bite cases in both Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and we are able to use our unique expertise and resources in your case. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your legal needs.