Broderick Law Firm, LLC

Lowell, MA Dog Bite Attorney

Lowell, Massachusetts Dog Attack Lawyer

Dog Bite Statistics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. More than 300,000 dog bite victims visit emergency rooms annually, and about 750,000 require some type of medical care. Often, these injuries are serious. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that in a single recent year, more than 28,000 reconstructive procedures were performed as a result of dog bites.

Dog Bite Fatalities

Although dog bites are relatively common and many of those bites are serious, dog bite fatalities are rare. From 2005-2017, the nation saw an average of about 33 dog attack fatalities annually. Nearly half of these deaths involved children under the age of 10, heavily weighted toward babies and toddlers. Very young children are more vulnerable to dog attacks for many reasons, such as:

  • They are unaware of the potential danger and may be more likely to provoke dogs;
  • They are smaller and more vulnerable to injury;
  • Their necks, heads and faces are closer to the ground, and thus more likely to be vulnerable to a dog;
  • They do not know how to take protective action if attacked by a dog

Liability for Dog Bite Injuries

Massachusetts law explicitly makes the owner of a dog (or the parents of a minor dog owner) responsible for most harm caused by the dog, whether that means injury to a person or to property. While some states require that the dog owner was negligent, or had prior knowledge of the dog’s vicious tendencies, Massachusetts places the burden on the dog owner unless:

  • The dog bite victim was trespassing or committing some other tort at the time of the attack; or
  • The dog bite victim was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog

If the victim is under the age of seven, the law creates a presumption that he or she does not fall within one of these exceptions, and the burden is on the defendant dog owner to prove otherwise.

Although the statute regarding dog bite liability is straightforward, personal injury litigation rarely is. Complex procedural requirements, the need to assemble and authenticate evidence, the obligation to provide discovery materials to the defense, and other technical requirements can be overwhelming to a person inexperienced in the law. That’s all the more true for an injury victim who may already be struggling with pain, ongoing medical care, mounting medical debt, and temporary or long-term limitations.

Damages in Massachusetts Dog Bite Cases

Some dog bite injuries are temporary, and may ultimately amount to little more than a painful inconvenience. Others can cause lifelong scarring, necessitate multiple surgical procedures, and otherwise derail the victim’s life. Thus, damages in a dog bite case can vary significantly. Some of the most common types of damages awarded in dog bite cases include:

  • Reimbursement for medical expenses
  • Compensation for future or ongoing medical expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Diminishment of future earning capacity

An experienced Massachusetts dog bite attorney can provide more specific information about the likely value of your dog bite claim.

Talk to a Massachusetts Dog Bite Lawyer as Soon as Possible

Gathering information about your rights and options is the first step toward making good decisions for you and your family. You can take that step right now, by scheduling a free consultation with attorney Kevin J. Broderick. Just call 978-459-3085 or fill out the contact form on this site.

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