Dog Bite Lawyer
Dog bites and dog attacks can cause serious injuries. The victim may be left with permanent scarring, facial disfigurement, broken bones, and lasting emotional trauma.
If you suffered a dog bite or attack, the law in Massachusetts is clear – and in your favor. You can win compensation for your injuries from the dog’s owner or the “keeper” of the dog, even if the owner was not negligent.
What you need to prove is that the defendant is the dog’s owner, that you weren’t trespassing, and that you weren’t tormenting the dog. Dog bite cases in Massachusetts tend to be fairly straightforward. You can win compensation regardless of whether the dog attacked anyone before – there’s no such thing as a “free bite.” You can win compensation regardless of the dog’s breed – whether the dog’s a pit bull or a poodle, a Doberman or a Golden Retriever.
Does Insurance Cover Dog Bites in Massachusetts?
Yes. Homeowners insurance, or renters insurance, generally covers the insured’s dogs and any harm they cause, including when they bite others. This is why it is important to immediately find the owner and/or the “keeper” of the dog. The police, or local animal control will help if it is not immediately apparent.
Once we know the proper owner, or keeper, we put them on notice. They contact their insurance company and we file a claim with that insurance company. Because the law is so clear, the vast majority of dog bite cases settle well before trial.
What Does the Dog Bite Case Involve?
Your dog bite case will probably focus on the extent of your injuries. Your injuries are evaluated based on your medical treatment, photographs of scars, and a review of the emotional distress the attack has caused.
We generally secure medical records and photographs for the insurance company. Some clients seek professional mental health providers and we would get a report regarding how the trauma has affected our client. Even without a mental health report, we would review with the client, or the client’s parent if the client is a child who was injured by the dog, how the trauma has impacted the client.
What Are Typical Defenses by Insurance Defense Lawyers In Dog Bite Cases?
Insurance defense trial lawyers tend to have three main approaches to defending the owners or keepers of dogs. They often use the affirmative defense that you were aggravating or tormenting the dog. First, they will present evidence, often from the owner, where the owner says that you were not petting the dog, but aggressive toward the animal. It sometimes comes down to which party has more credibility. Having a competent and experienced attorney, and a witness, will help bring out the truth.
Second, the insurance company or it’s attorney will often argue that their insured is not the owner or keeper of the dog. They will say that the dog belongs to the son of the policyholder, or it’s the neighbor’s dog. Again, an aggressive attorney will work to uncover facts to put your case in the best light here. Early intervention by an attorney will help as well.
Finally, insurance attorneys will point out that you did not get as much treatment as you could have. Sometimes, after a dog bite there is a scar and not much treatment needed. They point out that you have a scar, but you have been able to work or go to school, and have not been to a doctor “recently”. This is where a caring and experienced attorney will have excellent reports from your medical providers to show how the dog bite has had a permanent effect on your life.
If you’re the victim of a dog bite or dog attack, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Burns & Jain. Since 1985, our attorneys have handled many dog bite cases, for adults and children and are proud of our history of winning monetary compensation for our clients.
Experienced Dog Bite Attorney
The attorneys at Burns & Jain are highly experienced at skillfully documenting your dog bite injuries and presenting your case forcefully. We’ve had outstanding success at winning large settlements for our dog attack clients. We think you’ll feel comfortable and confident having us in your corner.
If you’ve been injured by a dog in Boston or elsewhere in Massachusetts, contact us. We’d be glad to talk to you – and as always, your consultation with us is free. Chances are, we have handled a case much like yours. To read about some of the ways we’ve helped our clients settle and win dog attack cases, see our case results. We may be able to help you too.