Ouch! Imagine you are walking down the street and see another pedestrian approaching on the sidewalk with a seemingly friendly dog on a leash. You reach out with your hand to give the dog a quick pet when suddenly the dog lunges at your arm, taking a chunk out of it! This could just as easily happen while visiting your grandmother and her dog lunges at you as soon as you walk in the door, biting your face, arm, or leg and causing permanent scarring, disfigurement, or nerve damage.
With either of these scenarios, you would have the right to bring an insurance claim against the owner or keeper of the dog. Massachusetts, as well as many other states, has a “strict liability” dog bite statute that makes an owner or keeper of a dog strictly (automatically) liable for any personal injury caused by the dog without any negligence by the owner – even if the dog is on a leash or otherwise tied up, or in its own yard/house – so long as the injured person is not trespassing or teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog. This includes an attack by a dog that might knock someone over causing personal injury, regardless of being bitten.
Many of us love dogs, as well as other pets, but if a dog causes any personal injury then the owner or keeper is responsible. However, so long as the dog’s owner/keeper owns a house, their homeowner’s insurance would cover your damages.
When you feel the bite, contact the legal experts at Campoli, Monteleone & Mozian, P.C., serving Berkshire County and beyond for almost three-quarters of a century, with offices in Pittsfield, North Adams, and Great Barrington, MA.