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Dog Bites

Our Boston Lawyers Advocate for Dog Bite Victims

Who is responsible for the injuries that 4.7 million Americans suffer because of a dog bite each year?

Americans love their dogs. In fact, we lead the world in dog ownership per capita. While keeping a canine — whether as a companion for protection or for hunting — can be a joy and a comfort, it is also a responsibility.

In Massachusetts, dog owners are responsible for the injuries their animals inflict even if the dog has never bitten anyone or shown aggressive behavior before. And, unlike most other accident-injury matters, in cases of dog bites there need not be any proof that the owner was negligent. This is known as strict liability. In Boston and throughout the Bay State, it means the dog owner is legally responsible for your injuries — unless you tormented or abused the dog or, in most situations of trespassing, were unlawfully on the owner’s property.  A bite inflicted by a K-9 (police dog) in the performance of law enforcement duties is also exempt.

At Swartz & Lynch LLP, our personal injury attorneys know just how traumatic a dog bite can be for the victim and the animal’s owner. However, while the owners may be worried about the fate of their animal, you are the one who bears the scars.

It’s been said that there are no bad dogs, only bad dog-owners. That may or may not be the case, but the owner is still liable for your injuries, and our lawyers pursue full and fair compensation on your behalf.

Children are often the victims

Children are naturally attracted to dogs. Unfortunately, this leaves them even more vulnerable to attacks. Moreover, kids are more likely to be bitten on the face or head, leaving them with facial disfigurement and emotional scars that may last a lifetime.

Young children who are not more than seven years old are assumed to be neither knowingly trespassing, committing a crime nor provoking an attack by maliciously teasing a dog. As such, a dog owner is liable for their injuries no matter what the circumstances. Your Swartz & Lynch attorney fights to recover all damages to help your children heal physically and psychologically from traumatic dog bite injuries, which may include:

  • Fractures or crush injuries
  • Puncture wounds
  • Tissue loss
  • Lacerations
  • Rabies, pasteurellosis, strep or staph, or rare but extremely dangerous Capnocytophaga canimorsus infections

As parents, we want our children to be safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers these dog-bite prevention safety tips for kids, but adults should also heed them:

  • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Do not run from a dog or scream.
  • Remain motionless (i.e., “be still like a tree”) when approached by an unfamiliar dog.
  • If knocked over by a dog, roll into a ball and lie still (i.e., “be still like a log”).
  • Do not play with a dog unless supervised by an adult.
  • Immediately report stray dogs or dogs displaying unusual behavior to an adult.
  • Avoid direct eye contact with a dog.
  • Do not disturb a dog that is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
  • Do not pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
  • If bitten, immediately report the bite to an adult.

Let us help you get the compensation you need for a dog bite injury

With nearly 75 years of combined experience, we at Swartz & Lynch LLP have helped hundreds of people recover damages for their injuries. To learn more about how we can help you or your child who has been harmed by a dog bite, contact a Boston injury attorney online or call our office at 857-250-0664 to schedule a free consultation. Home or hospital meetings can be arranged if you are unable to travel.

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