dog bites


Dog Bite injuries fall under “strict liability” laws in Massachusetts. Simply, provided that the victim was not trespassing and did not provoke the dog, the homeowner is responsible for the injuries sustained. Negligence does not need to be demonstrated nor is it necessary to prove that the animal was vicious or had attacked others previously.

Scarring, nerve damage, and infection can result from a dog bite or attack. In addition, severe emotional trauma, nightmares and anxiety are frequently seen following an attack by a dog. Often times a dog bite occurs at the home of a friend or family member and pressure, not to report the incident, is exerted. Typically, coverage exists under an available homeowners insurance policy. It is important that you know your legal rights so that you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Important steps to take following a dog bite include:

  • Seek immediate medical attention for your injuries.
  • Identify the dog that bit you and its owner.
  • Obtain witness information.
  • Take photographs of your injuries and any bloody clothes you were wearing.
  • Report the incident to your local animal control officer

DO NOT give a statement to any insurance company or sign any document provided to you by an insurance company without first contacting John C. Dorn, Esq. Any information given prematurely to an insurance company may be used to defeat or minimize your claim.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite, contact Attorney Dorn immediately for a free initial consultation. If necessary he will travel to your home to discuss your case with you. As with all personal injury matters, dog bite cases are accepted on a contingent fee basis which means there is no fee to you until we successfully resolve your claim.