You may be able to secure financial compensation in these circumstances. The following overview will help you better understand when you have grounds to seek compensation for a dog bite in the Commonwealth.
Can I File a Claim or Lawsuit After Being Bitten by a Dog in Massachusetts?
If you’ve sustained a dog bite, you may be left facing medical bills and various other losses associated with your injuries. You can potentially seek compensation for said losses by filing a claim with the insurance of the dog’s owner or by filing a lawsuit to pursue damages in court. Under Massachusetts law, this is an option as long as:
You were not trespassing or committing a similar crime when a dog bit you
You were not “teasing, tormenting or abusing” the dog, which might have prompted it to attack
Additionally, when a child is under seven years of age and a dog bites them, according to Massachusetts law, “it shall be presumed that such minor was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog, and the burden of proof thereof shall be upon the defendant in such action.”
It’s worth noting the statute is worded in such a way to ensure a victim can seek compensation even if a dog didn’t necessarily bite them. As long as a dog harmed them or their property, they can take legal action.
For instance, maybe you’re walking by a neighbor’s property when their dog rushes off the lawn and jumps at you, causing you to fall backward and sustain a head injury or other such harm. In these circumstances, you could still seek compensation, even though you didn’t technically sustain a dog bite.