A dog bite or attack can be a harrowing experience, even for the most dedicated animal lover. The injuries resulting from these incidents can be severe and victims often require intensive medical attention, including traumatic, emergent, or reconstructive/plastic surgery.
The severity of dog bite injuries depends on a handful of factors, including the breed of the animal, size of the victim, duration of the attack, and how quickly the victim received medical attention. Unfortunately, children tend to be the most common dog bite and attack victims. Types of injuries seen among dog bite victims include:
- Limb loss/amputation
- Permanent functional losses, scarring, and disfigurement
- Significant injuries to the head, hands, and/or legs
- Substantial tissue loss
- Punctures, lacerations, and/or abrasions
- Sprains, strains, and/or fractured bones
- Psychological trauma
- Infections, such as rabies
In the most severe cases, dog bites and attacks can result in the death of the victim.
When it comes to serious dog attacks, Massachusetts law is strict. The owner or keeper of a dog is liable for any injuries suffered from a dog attack. Scarring or other personal injury caused by a dog bite or dog attack is punishable by law. Under MGL Part I, Title XX, Chapter 140, Section 155, the law states:
If any dog shall do any damage to either the body or property of any person, the owner or keeper, or if the owner or keeper be a minor, the parent or guardian of such minor, shall be liable for such damage, unless such damage shall have been occasioned to the body or property of a person who, at the time such damage was sustained, was committing a trespass or other tort, or was teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog. If a minor, on whose behalf an action under this section is brought, is under seven years of age at the time the damage was done, it shall be presumed that such minor was not committing a trespass or other tort, or teasing, tormenting or abusing such dog, and the burden of proof thereof shall be upon the defendant in such action.