What To Do When Bit By A Dog

Every dog owner thinks that their dog is harmless. They could never imagine their dog hurting somebody. But dogs, even our favorites, are animals with instincts and often times their owners put the dog in bad situations thinking, “My dog would never hurt a fly.”

Some examples from my career- a dog owner bringing their German Shepard to a fireworks display with thousands of people in a crowded area. A dog owner letting his pit bull run free at a public park. A Rottweiler brought to a house party with loud music and drunk people.

Ultimately, a dog attack is just a reflection of the poor choices of the dog owner in most cases. That is why Mass. General Law c. 140 s. 155 states that if a dog bites you, the dog owner is automatically legally responsible (unless you were teasing/tormenting the dog or you were trespassing or committing another tort on the property). This is called “strict liability.”

The other thing to keep in mind is that the dog owner’s home owner’s insurance policy or renter’s insurance policy is responsible for the injuries caused by the dog. So, with all of that in mind, here is what you need to do:

  1. Use your phone to take a picture of the dog (note it’s name, breed and age);
  2. Take pictures of your injuries caused by the dog bites;
  3. Get the name, address and if possible, insurance info from the owner;
  4. Get the info about the dogs veterinary care/shots to avoid things like rabies, etc;
  5. Call 911 for medical attention and to have the animal officer address the dog’s history (if the dog has bit before, it may need to be muzzled). The police will usually have a dog dangerousness hearing to determine that, so no one else gets hurt;
  6. If you don’t call 911, seek medical attention immediately;
  7. Call Orlando & Associates for a free consultation!

By virtue of reading this blog post you are not represented by Orlando & Associates, P.C. as an attorney/client relationship is not created without agreement of both parties. Therefore, Orlando & Associates, P.C. is not responsible for any decisions you make in furthering any legal matter in which you may be involved. Each individual person’s case or legal issue is unique and you should not rely completely upon the basic information contained within this blog post to pursue your own legal matter. Should you have any questions about the content of this blog post or any legal matter, contact an attorney from Orlando & Associates, P.C. It costs you nothing to have an initial consultation.