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Dog Bites

Massachusetts Dog Bite Attorney

Dog Bite Law

Massachusetts has one of the toughest laws in the nation aimed at protecting people from dog bites, especially young children.

A dog owner is strictly liable for injuries caused by the animal unless the victim was trespassing, abusing the dog or involved in the commission of a crime at the time of the attack.

Additionally, if a child under seven is the victim, it is presumed they were not trespassing, attacking or teasing the dog or involved in the commission of criminal activity at the time of the attack.

We are a nation of animal lovers. There are an estimated 75 million dogs residing in the nation’s 111 million households.

Yet more than 1.4 million people will be bitten by a dog this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – or one in every 50 people.

Boston personal injury lawyer Jeffrey R. Chapdelaine is a dog owner and a dog lover who knows there are many circumstances involved in dog bite cases. Sometimes it is a neighborhood dog known to bite and that everyone feared; sometimes it is a neighbor or friend’s pet; and sometimes it is even a family pet.

As a Boston dog bite attorney, Jeff Chapdelaine will work in consultation with you and your family to reach the best resolution possible in your case. Consulting a Massachusetts dog bite lawyer is advisable, even when the dog is a neighborhood or family pet.

Complications, including infection and scarring, can require lengthy and expensive treatment. Claims can be made against a homeowner’s insurance policy and can be done in as amicable a manner as possible in situations where friends or family members are involved.

But dog bites can be serious injuries and, with children often the victim, healing and scarring issues can be complicated by growth and other factors.

Dog bites are the fifth-most frequent reason for emergency room visits, and the average cost of a dog bite injury, according to insurance claims, has been reported at between $15,000 and $25,000.

In 2007, 33 people were killed by dog bites in 17 states – or twice the average number of deaths each year during the past two decades.

If you or a loved one has suffered an attack by a dog or another animal and need to speak with a Boston personal injury attorney, call The Law Offices of Jeffrey R. Chapdelaine at 617-404-1410 for a free appointment to discuss your case.

Before you bring a dog home:

  • Learn what breeds of dogs are the best fit for your family.
  • Dogs with histories of aggression are not suitable for homes with children.
  • Be sensitive when a child is fearful around a dog.
  • Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it.

If you decide to bring a dog home:

  • Spay/neuter your dog (this can help reduce aggressiveness).
  • Never leave young children alone with a dog.
  • Don’t play aggressively with your dog.
  • Properly train your dog.
  • Immediately seek professional advice if your dog exhibits aggressive or undesirable behavior.

Safety tips for children:

  • Do not approach strange dogs.
  • Do not scream or run from a dog.
  • Remain motionless when approached by a strange dog.
  • Curl into a ball, and be still if knocked down by a dog.
  • Don’t play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
  • Report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior.
  • Don’t look directly in a dog’s eyes.
  • Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating or caring for puppies.
  • Allow a dog to see or sniff you first before attempting to pet it.
  • Report bites immediately to adults.