Dogs serve essential purposes in the lives of many Americans. Unfortunately, they have also been a danger to many as well.
Dog owners and handlers must take every precaution to keep their pets from injuring other people they encounter. If they do not, a Medford dog bite lawyer could work to hold them liable in civil court for their actions. If you were hurt by a dog attacking you, you might want to consider talking to a compassionate personal injury attorney about holding that dog’s owner or handler responsible for damages.
Specific legalities apply to dog bite cases in civil court, as per Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140 §155. This statute is only applicable only if the dog caused personal injury or property damage and the victim was not trespassing, committing a crime, or aggravating the dog at the time of the bite.
Although some states have a “one bite” rule, Massachusetts does not. Even if an animal in Medford has never acted aggressively in the past, the dog’s owner can be found liable for the damages they caused if injury or property damage occurred. It is important to note that these laws do not only apply when a dog bites someone but to other injuries that occur in contact with the dog.
Dog owners and handlers have strict liability under the law. Even if they took reasonable care to prevent a dog from biting someone or otherwise causing injury or property damage, such as by securing them on a leash or keeping them indoors, the owner could still be held liable for the dog’s actions if it gets loose.
A Medford dog bite lawyer could file a case on an injured party’s behalf specifically under the dog bite statute or as a general negligence claim. The circumstances of the case would dictate which portion of the law could apply, and each comes with different legal strategies.
If a lawsuit claims negligence on the part of the dog owner, the plaintiff must prove that the owner did not exercise reasonable care, therefore breaching a duty of care towards them. The breach of duty must have directly caused injury to the plaintiff, through which they suffered damages like scarring, disfigurement, medical bills, or lost wages.
A seasoned dog bite lawyer in Medford could ensure that a dog bite case is filed within the statute of limitations. Mass. Gen. Laws 260 §2A provides a three-year time window from the date of an incident for the potential plaintiff to file a claim against the dog’s owner.
If the plaintiff or their attorney do not file within this set time, they can expect that the defense will move to have the case removed from court. This would likely preclude the plaintiff from receiving compensation for damages related to the case permanently.
Dog bites and other injuries can cause severe pain and permanent disfigurement, both of which may necessitate extensive medical treatment. You may have high medical bills that need to be paid and may be out of work for quite some time as well. Someone will need to pay for these injuries, and as a victim, that someone should not be you.
An experienced Medford dog bite lawyer could determine who is liable for your injuries and help you seek the compensation that you need and deserve. Call a dedicated attorney today to find out what your next steps should be.