If you know a friend with a dog, you may have played with the animal many times. Even unknown dogs can be extremely friendly, walking up to you in a park, tails wagging.
But dogs are still animals, and animals can change their behavior instantly. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a dog attack, speak with an experienced Boston dog bite lawyer at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today. The law may entitle you to compensation from the dog’s owner to pay for your injuries—and if so, we can help you.
Putting Our Results to Work for You
Hiring a lawyer is an important decision that can play a part in your ability to recover every dollar you deserve after your dog bite injuries. You need to choose a lawyer you feel comfortable with but also a lawyer with proven experience helping dog bite victims like you recover from their injuries.
While other cases require victims to prove that the person who caused their injuries was at fault in some manner, dog bite cases in Massachusetts only require proof that the dog injured you. A skilled dog bite attorney in Boston can help you overcome challenges by the dog’s owner, who may argue that you provoked their dog or the dog was somehow justified in the attack.
The legal team at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is committed to helping you recover maximum compensation so you can avoid financial hardship by having to cover your medical expenses and financial losses. The dog’s owner should be the one paying for your recovery, not you and not your family.
We have recovered millions of dollars for accident victims. Our goal is to take on the legal stress so you can focus all of your effort and energy on your physical health and well-being. When you have an aggressive legal advocate at your side, you give yourself the best chance of making a full recovery from your injuries.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you collect every dollar you deserve so you do not pay a dime out of your own pocket for your medical expenses or financial losses.
Most Dangerous Dog Breeds
Just because a dog falls on this list of most dangerous breeds does not automatically mean it will attack you. All dogs are descended from wild animals and, even if they have been specially bred, may still be prone to attack under the right conditions.
The most dangerous dog breeds include:
- Pit Bull
- Siberian Huskies
- Great Danes
- Alaska Malamutes
- American Staffordshire Terriers
- German Shepherds
- Doberman Pinschers
Whenever you encounter a dog you do not know, you should proceed with caution, regardless of the breed. If you encounter one of the dog breeds above, you may want to avoid the interaction altogether, unless you know the dog or the owner. Even then, you want to be careful.
Dogs can react differently under stress. When a dog is approached by a stranger, especially a child, the dog may become defensive and worried that it is in danger. The person may not intend any harm to the dog, but that dog does not know that—it is simply acting on instinct.
Common Causes of Dog Bites in Boston
Most often, dogs bite because they are scared, stressed, or startled. When you approach a dog, you should never come up behind them or intentionally scare them, especially if you do not know the dog. This can be hard for children sometimes because they just see a furry animal that they want to play with and pet.
Dogs may also bite when they are playing. This is often unintentional and the dog realizes they have caused you pain instantly and will release their grip. Even so, you may suffer injuries as a dog’s teeth are very sharp and could break your skin easily.
No matter what caused your dog bite, you may have serious injuries to deal with after the attack. You may even have emotional scars that need attention. All of this medical care will take a financial burden on you and your family, a burden neither of you should bear. With the right Boston dog bite attorney at your side, you can work to hold the dog’s owner liable for your injuries and responsible for paying your medical bills.
Dog Laws in Boston
Under Massachusetts law, the owner of the dog is strictly liable for any injuries caused to another person by their dog. It does not matter if the dog owner was negligent or did not properly restrain the dog. Because they are the owner of the dog and the dog caused an injury to another person, they are liable for those injuries.
As with most laws, however, this is a major exception. If the victim attacked the dog or provoked the dog in any way, could release the dog’s owner from liability. For example, if you trespass on someone else’s property and their dog attacks you, the owner may be released from liability because you were trespassing.
Massachusetts law also requires dogs to be on a leash at all times in public places. Towns and cities may expand upon that law or allow for exceptions. Boston allows pets to be off their leash in clearly designated dog parks. But when a dog is not on private property or in one of these designated dog parks, all dogs must be sufficiently restrained on a leash throughout the city of Boston.
Dog Bite Injuries in Boston
Suffering an attack from a dog can be a scary situation, especially for a child.
The attack can leave you with:
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Head injuries
- Neck injuries
- Eye injuries
- Face injuries
- Nerve damage
- Emotional injuries
While these are the most common injuries suffered to a person after a dog attacks them, each incident is unique. You may have suffered multiple injuries or just one serious injury. Either way, you should not be on the hook for paying your medical expenses.
Depending on where you have suffered injuries and how severe they are, you may face a mountain of medical bills to help you recover from your dog attack. When you partner with a trusted dog bite lawyer in Boston, you give yourself the best chance of making a complete recovery.
What to Do After a Dog Bite in Boston
Dog bites injure many people each year. While some injuries can be dealt with at home, any dog bite can cause long-lasting effects, especially if the dog had rabies. Immediately following an attack from a dog, there are certain steps you can take to help ensure that you are healthy and to hold the dog’s owner liable for your medical expenses.
Call Animal Control
If you do not know the dog or the owner, call animal control right away. Dogs carry lots of bacteria in their mouths and, when they bite you, that bacteria can transfer into your body and be extremely harmful to you. Animal control will catch the dog and determine if the dog had rabies and, if so, you will need to undergo painful rabies vaccinations. Left untreated, rabies can cause lifelong problems for people.
Seek Medical Attention
If your dog bite is severe, call 911. If you remove yourself from the situation, go see your doctor. Whether you are seen by emergency medical personnel or your regular doctor, they can evaluate you completely to ensure that your injuries are treated. You may need to have stitches or require hospitalization, depending on the severity and type of your injuries.
A Word About Rabies
Rabies is a virus that is transmitted through a dog bite.
If a dog bites you, pay attention to common rabies symptoms:
- General discomfort
Once symptoms appear, however, that means the virus has taken hold in the dog bite victim’s body. When rabies reaches this point, it is nearly always fatal. That’s why it is vital to your health that you are seen by a doctor as soon as possible after your dog bite.
Locate the Dog’s Owner
If you know the dog or its owner, this might be an easy step. In many cases, however, you may not know who owns the dog. That’s why contacting animal control is so important. When they locate the dog, they can also locate the dog’s owner. You will want to get their contact and insurance information. Many dog owners carry insurance policies from their homeowner’s insurance company to cover any damage caused by dogs.
Do Not Give an Insurance Statement
Once you have located the dog’s owner, their homeowner’s insurance company may contact you to take your statement. They will want to record you and ask you questions about the dog attack, what you were doing beforehand, and what injuries you have. The insurance company is not looking out for your best interests here. They want to record your statement so they can use it against you later if your answers change. Before you speak with any insurance company, make sure you speak with a lawyer first.
Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
Your injuries might be severe. They might require you to miss work and undergo painful medical treatment and rehabilitation. Because of the extremely high costs you may face, you may need to file a claim against the dog’s owner. An experienced Boston dog bite lawyer can guide you through the complex legal process and work diligently to try to collect maximum compensation for you.
When your lawyer files a Boston dog bite claim on your behalf, they do so to collect compensation from the dog’s owner. The last thing you want is to be on the hook for your medical expenses after someone else’s dog attacked you. They should be held liable and have to pay your medical bills.
Your lawyer may try to collect compensation for you including:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost wages
- Lost earning potential
- Loss of companionship
- Present and future medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
Dogs can cause serious injuries that can take you a long time to recover from. While we most often think of minor cuts or scrapes on your hands as the injuries you could get from a dog, many injuries are much worse.
When you suffer extreme injuries from a dog attack, you may not know what comes next for you or how you begin to recover. That’s where the guidance and skill of a trusted dog bite attorney in Boston can help. Your legal representative can show you the way, helping you collect maximum compensation for your injuries.
Many victims of dog bites may have to be out of work while they recover. In the worst cases, the victim cannot return to work at all, or at least not in the same capacity as before their dog bite injury. When this happens, many family members feel the stress of needing to cover the financial loss the household faces when one member of the family is no longer working. That is not their burden to bear.
To avoid this situation and to keep your family from taking on extra jobs or working overtime, you can file a claim against the dog’s owner. Taking this route may allow you to recover enough compensation to help your family focus on what matters most.
Boston Dog Bite FAQs
Nearly everyone likes dogs. There’s even medical evidence to suggest that petting a dog or having a companion around can relieve and reduce stress.
While most dogs reciprocate the friendly nature, some dogs are not always so nice. Even dogs you may know or who may seem nice can turn on a moment’s notice.
This is the case because dogs are still animals. Some dog owners may train their dogs to be more aggressive, and some breeds are more aggressive by their very nature. No matter the reason why, when a dog attacks you, you may suffer serious physical and psychological injuries.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries from a dog attack, you deserve a trusted Boston dog bite lawyer guiding you through your next steps. With the right legal team at your side, you can give yourself the best chance of making a full recovery.
What is my Boston dog bite case worth?
This is the most frequently asked question we get. Ultimately, the answer is a resounding “It depends.”
The value of your case will vary depending on specific circumstances, including:
- The amount of time you spend in the hospital
- The number of surgeries or medical procedures you require
- The amount of time you spend out of work
- The time you spend in a rehabilitation facility
- Whether you require in-home care
- Your prescription medication costs
Each of these items will cause a financial burden. The more serious your injuries, the more medical attention you require, the more expensive your bills become.
Astronomical medical bills are the number one reason people file bankruptcy each year. You can avoid being placed in a situation where you could lose your livelihood by partnering with an aggressive Boston dog bite lawyer. Together, your lawyer can help you hold the dog’s owner liable and collect maximum compensation for your injuries.
What proof do I need in a Boston dog bite claim?
To prove that you have suffered a dog bite injury and that you can recover from the dog’s owner, you need to show:
- The other person owned or was in control of the dog when you were attacked
- You were not trespassing or committing a crime
- You were not provoking or tormenting the dog
- You suffered injuries
This may seem easy to prove since you were there. But it can be more challenging to prove these elements from a legal standpoint. That’s why you need to work with an experienced dog attack lawyer in Boston who can investigate your case and make sure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Who is responsible for my Boston dog bite injuries?
Across the country, there are over four million dog bites every year. Most of these attacks do not send victims to the hospital for a long time. But they do cause serious injuries. Understanding who is responsible sets you on the right course to collect compensation for your injuries.
In Massachusetts, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs. The dog owner is responsible and their homeowner’s insurance should cover your medical needs.
However, if the victim was engaging in illegal activity, that might release the dog owner from liability. Further, if someone else is in control of the dog, like a dog walker, when the attack happens, that person might hold liability.
This gets confusing. That’s why it is vital to the success of your claim and your ability to recover every dollar you deserve that you speak with a skilled Boston dog bite lawyer as soon as possible after your injury.
What damages can I collect after a Boston dog attack?
The point of filing a Boston dog bite claim is to collect compensation so you do not have to shoulder the financial burden of paying your medical expenses to get better.
Your lawyer may try to get you compensation for items like:
- Plastic surgery
- Emergency room care
- Ambulance transportation
- Other hospital bills
- Medical procedures
- Psychological counseling
- Lost wages
- Damaged property
The actual damages you collect will vary depending on the type of injuries you have suffered. But even minor injuries could require extensive medical care and ongoing prescription medication costs. Your individual scenario may require more or less medical care. Regardless of the level of care you need, you should not be paying the bills.
Do I have to file a Boston dog bite claim?
If you want to collect compensation, yes.
Some homeowner’s insurance companies have excluded dogs from their policies. This could mean the dog’s owner does not have insurance to cover your injuries. In other cases, the dog owner’s insurance may not cover all of your expenses, especially if you have serious injuries requiring extensive medical care.
In either situation, you may need to file a claim against the dog’s owner to collect maximum compensation for your injuries. Your legal representative can help you by investigating your dog bite injuries and filing the claim for damages against the negligent party. The only way you will know for sure if you need to file a lawsuit is by having a lawyer investigate your injuries. Without this guidance, you would not know your legal options.
How soon do I have to file a Boston dog bite claim?
In Massachusetts, you only have three years after your dog bite injury to file a claim against the dog’s owner. This might seem like a long time for you to consider your options. But if your injuries are severe and require extensive medical care and rehabilitation, that will be the focus of your energy and the time to file your claim may pass.
Missing this important deadline means your case is barred and you miss out on your chance to recover compensation against the dog’s owner. That could result in you or your family having to bear the financial burden of covering your medical bills and other financial losses.
If the dog owner’s insurance does not cover all of your medical needs or their homeowner’s insurance does not cover their dog, filing a claim is your best option. Speak with a skilled dog bite lawyer in Boston as soon as possible after your injury to ensure that you meet this, and all other, important deadlines.
Can I just settle my Boston dog bite claim?
Settling your case, whether through the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy or after filing a lawsuit, is a great way to wrap up the legal process. But the most important thing here is to make sure that you are getting enough money.
Many dog bite victims do not realize just how expensive their medical care may be and how much time it will take for them to recover. Many victims simply see the medical bills already sitting on their kitchen table and assume that’s the amount they need to settle for so they can pay those bills.
Insurance companies know this and they will take advantage of the situation, often preying on victims like you. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. If they pay out the full value of your claim and every other claim made, they would not make any profit. And that’s their goal – keep as much money in their pockets as possible.
Soon after your accident, the insurance company may call you to discuss a settlement. They may even say you need to decide right away and that getting a lawyer involved will just cost you money. In reality, working with a Boston dog bite lawyer can actually increase the amount of your recovery.
But think about why the insurance company is pressuring you to take this deal so quickly. It’s not in your best interest—it’s only in their best interest.
When you speak with a trusted Boston lawyer, they will tell you that you need to be careful with insurance companies. That’s why it’s a good practice to let your lawyer do the negotiating with the insurance company.
We know the games insurance companies play and we know how to combat them. We have proven experience helping dog bite victims like you maximize their recovery through settlement negotiations.
When will I get my money after a Boston dog attack?
This is another answer that depends on many factors. If your injuries are severe or even life-threatening, you may need ongoing medical care for the rest of your life. In these extreme cases, your settlement may be massive and you may not get it all at once.
In other cases where your settlement is paid out at once, depending on the amount, it may take several weeks after finalizing the settlement for you to receive the money. You should not worry during this time. This is a natural part of the legal process.
To speed up the time between now and when you collect settlement funds, you can speak with a lawyer today. The sooner you pick up the phone or chat online with a knowledgeable Boston dog attack lawyer, the sooner they can get working on your case, aggressively fighting to protect your rights and collect every dollar you deserve.
Will I have to go to court in my Boston dog bite claim?
Many victims do not want to set foot inside a courtroom. We understand. Many people do not want to engage in the legal process. But don’t worry, your legal team will take care of preparing you if you need to go to court.
The most common reason we would need to go to court is to collect compensation above and beyond what the dog owner’s insurance policy covers. If the insurance company refuses to settle your case for a fair and reasonable amount, going to court may be the best plan.
The last thing we want to see is you have to pay out of pocket for your medical expenses resulting from a dog bite injury. Your best chance to avoid that is by working with a skilled dog bite lawyer in Boston.
A friend’s dog bit me, but I don’t want to sue them. Do I have options?
We frequently see news about young children being attacked by dogs. This is the common scenario: a child sees a dog thinking all dogs are friendly and unfortunately, the dog attacks the child. Many times, these attacks happen when the child or other victim knows the dog or is at least familiar with the dog.
When you know the person who owns the dog that bit you or your child, you may not want to sue them. You may not want them to have to pay for your costly medical bills. But the alternative leaves you paying those bills.
Besides, that’s why your neighbor or friend carries homeowner’s insurance. Their insurance company will cover your expenses so you do not have to pay them.
Why do I need a Boston dog bite lawyer from Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA?
Medical care for a dog bite can be extremely expensive. While dog bites seem like a minor injury, they can cause serious medical complications and threaten the victim’s life in the worst cases. Seeking immediate medical care is paramount to your ability to recover from your physical and mental injuries.
Once you know that your body is properly cared for, you need to make sure your financial life is cared for, too. You do that by holding the dog owner liable for their dog attacking you and forcing them to pay your medical expenses.
The lawyer you choose can make a difference in your ability to hold the dog’s owner liable for your injuries and responsible for your medical bills and lost income. Working with a trusted and experienced Boston dog bite lawyer can give you the leg up you need to collect maximum compensation for your dog bite injuries.
Contact Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, or call us at (727) 351-6129 today to answer all of your dog bite questions, get clear direction and understanding on what comes next for you, and learn how to get compensation for your injuries.
Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
76 Canal Street, Suite 302
Boston, MA 02114