What to Do After a Dog Bite Injury
It can be devastating to go through the unfortunate incident of being bitten by a dog. This can generate emotional trauma as well as physical injuries that can impact you for years to come. Some of the most common injuries associated with dog bites include nerve damage, scarring, disfigurement and even death. In addition to the physical implications associated with the dog bite, you may also sustain psychological injuries which are particularly common with children who are bitten by a dog. It can be difficult for children and even adults to feel comfortable around other animals after a serious dog bite.
Aggression and Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs who make an attempt to bite someone are frequently doing so as a result of aggression. Fear or defensive aggression happens when a dog is for some reason is scared and lashes out at either an unknown or a known individual who comes up to the dog to closely or too fast. This could be considered territorial or protective aggression when individuals approach a dog’s home or owner and the dog then attacks.
There are other situations, however, where a dog is not prompted for any rational reason to bite someone. A group of dogs or one dog can bite small children or other animals. This is known as predatory aggression. Individuals who bite other animals or strangers could also be demonstrating redirected aggression which happens when someone tries to go near a dog or to pet it when the animal is aggressive.
Regardless of the reason for the dog’s initial bite, these injuries fall under what is known as strict liability law. If you or someone you know has been injured by a dog bite, you have a claim against the dog’s owner and this is typically pursued through the homeowner’s insurance policy.
Massachusetts Dog Bite Injury Victim Rights
If you have recently been bitten by a dog in Massachusetts and have sustained serious injuries as a result, you may pursue a claim under Massachusetts’ strict liability laws. The owner done not necessarily have to be negligent in order to be held responsible for any damages caused by the dog. It is also not necessary for the victim to demonstrate that the dog has been associated with any injuries in the past or that the dog is vicious. It is important, however, to prove that the defendant owned the dog, that the victim did not provoke the animal in any way, and that there was no trespassing.
What Should I Do If I Have Been Injured?
You may need to get medical tests as soon as possible particularly for rabies. If you have any kind of a facial wound, you may also need to consult with a plastic surgeon to have the wound treated in the best possible manner in terms of healing and scarring. If you are contacted by the owner’s insurance representative or the owner himself or herself, you do not need to talk about anything else associated with money and also you do not need to agree to be tape recorded or photographed. You should never sign any agreements with the owner or the owner’s insurance company until you have consulted with your attorney.
It’s a good idea to get the address and name of the dog owner, license information for the animal if possible, and the contact details of any witnesses. Make sure you keep the clothing associated with the dog bite injury and that you photograph all of your injuries and get a copy of your medical records. If you have recently been injured as a result of a dog bite in Massachusetts, you need the assistance of an attorney who can help you pursue a strict liability claim. Consult attorney Jim Glaser for help when you want to discuss filing a dog bite injury claim in Massachusetts.