Massachusetts considers it very important to provide people, especially children, with legal protection if they are bitten by a dog. Every day, emergency rooms across the U.S. treat about 1,000 people for serious injuries caused by dog bites. Many of these dog attacks occur within the home.
Massachusetts Dog Bite Laws
- In Massachusetts, no dog gets “one free bite.”
- If someone is injured by a dog but not bitten, the dog bite law still applies. For example, if a dog jumped on a child or elderly person and caused them to fall, the dog owner or “keeper” would be liable for any injuries. A “keeper” is anyone who is responsible for the custody and care of the dog.
- It isn’t necessary to prove that the dog’s owner or keeper was negligent, only that the dog caused the injury.
- The only exceptions to the dog bite laws would be if the victim was abusing, teasing or tormenting the dog, or trespassing.
- Children under age seven are treated differently by the law. Usually, if a young child is injured, the owner will be held responsible.
Certain Breeds are Statistically More Dangerous
Anyone choosing to own a dog should ensure that their dog is well-trained and kept leashed when outdoors. While most dogs do make wonderful companions, the size and strength of all large dogs mean that any bite could be serious, especially for a child. Statistically, some breeds are more dangerous than others.
- As a group, the large molosser breeds, including pit bulls, mastiffs, boxers and rottweilers, account for far more than their share of dog attacks. While the molosser breeds make up less than 10% of the dog population, they commit 86% of the serious attacks and 76% of the fatal attacks.
- Between 2005 and 2014, pit bulls and rottweilers were the aggressors in 74% of the attacks that resulted in the victim’s death.
- During the same time period, 203 Americans were killed by pit bulls, approximately one death every 18 days.
The law firm of Daniel and Fontaine LLC provides experienced Legal Services in Northampton MA to victims of dog attacks throughout Massachusetts. The attorneys also help those injured in auto crashes, slip and fall accidents or as a result of medical malpractice to receive the compensation that they are entitled to. If you are seeking Legal Services in Northampton MA because of an injury, call today for a free consultation. You can also visit them on Twitter for more information.