Laws for Dog Owners
Millions of people throughout the country own dogs, and the odds are good that you will encounter one or more dogs while going about your daily life. While most dogs are friendly, some dogs are uncontrolled and aggressive, and attack innocent people or animals, resulting in serious harm. Aggressive dogs are not the only source of potential harm, however, as even friendly dogs with no known propensity for violence can attack. If you or your child sustained injuries or property damage due to a dog attack, you may be able to recover compensation from the dog’s owner. At the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, our legal team has over 150 years of collective experience assisting residents of Cape Cod in pursuing damages for injuries caused by the negligence of others. If you suffered harm due in an animal attach, our knowledgeable Cape Cod dog bite lawyers can help you recover the damages you may be owed. Our skill in pursuing personal injury claims in the Massachusetts courts has allowed us to recover numerous settlements and verdicts in the millions of dollars for our clients.Massachusetts Dog Bite Statute
Massachusetts has several laws for dog owners, setting forth their responsibilities and obligations. First, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 140, § 155, commonly known as the “dog bite statute” states that a dog owner can be held liable if his or her dog injures another individual or causes property damage. For the dog owner to be held accountable, the person who sustained an injury or property damage must not have been trespassing at the time of the incident or engaging in any other tortious activity. The dog owner will also not be held liable if the person who sustained harm was provoking the dog at the time of the attack. The dog bite statute is a strict liability statute, which means if the factors set forth in the dog bite statute are met the dog owner will be held liable, regardless of whether they acted negligently or knew or should have known of the likelihood the dog could cause harm. It is important to note that even though the law is referred to as the dog bite statute, it does not only apply to injuries or damage caused by a bite, but to any harm caused by a dog.Dangerous Dog Laws
Massachusetts law prohibits any municipality from banning dogs based on breed. As such, even if a breed is thought to be dangerous, there cannot be any rules or regulations set forth by a town prohibiting residents from owning that breed. The law does provide for dogs to be classified as dangerous, however, following a written complaint and hearing on the matter. Dogs cannot be classified as dangerous or a nuisance solely due to barking or for reacting to an attack. If a dog is classified as dangerous, the owner may be required to provide increased restraints for the dog and obtain increased insurance for any damage or injury the dog may cause. If a dog classified as a dangerous dog subsequently causes an injury, the owner of the dangerous dog is liable to the injured party for three times the actual damages sustained.
If someone else’s dog harmed you and caused you injuries, scarring, or other harm, you should not have to bear the expenses incurred for medical treatment for your injuries or the costs of repairing damaged property. You have three years from the date of the attack to file a civil lawsuit under the laws for dog owners discussed above. To ensure you do not waive your right to recover if you suffered injuries or damages due to a dog attack, it is wise to consult a knowledgeable injury attorney as soon as possible to assist you in pursuing compensation.Meet With a Cape Cod Lawyer After a Serious Dog Bite
The seasoned injury attorneys of the Law Offices of John C. Manoog, III, have a record of successfully recovering damages for individuals harmed by dog attacks. We are well versed in the intricacies of Massachusetts laws for dog owners, and will work vigorously to set forth a strong case on your behalf. Our advocacy has enabled us to maintain a record of successful case outcomes, with many verdicts in excess of one million dollars. We represent clients in Cape Cod and offer consultations in Hyannis and Plymouth as well. We can be contacted at 888-262-6664 or via our online form to set up a meeting. Nós Falamos Português.