When an animal attacks, it can leave a victim with much more than just a cut or bruise. The physical damage can be quite extensive, but additionally, the emotional scarring from a dog bite can affect a victim for years following the incident. For this reason, Massachusetts dog bite victims would be wise to know their rights and seek compensation from liable parties when appropriate.
If you suffered injuries and emotional trauma from a dog bite, you may be wondering who is actually to blame for what you experienced. As a victim, you always have the right to know your options, even if you are unsure of your current legal options. It may be possible that the dog's owner is financially liable for what you experienced.
What are your next steps after a dog bite?
One of the most important things you can do after a dog bite is seek medical attention. Not only does this ensure that you get the care you need to avoid infection and other complications, it will provide the important documentation you may need for a civil claim.
After that, you may find it beneficial to seek guidance as you work to determine who is liable for what happened to you and what steps you should take regarding the personal injury claims process. If you have a valid claim, you have no time to lose in protecting your personal and financial interests.
Who's going to pay?
In many cases, the owner is liable for damages caused by his or her animal. However, it can be useful to ask and seek answers to the following questions before you move forward with the claims process:
- Was the dog on a leash at the time of attack?
- Did the animal harm your child?
- Is the dog a breed that many consider dangerous?
- Did the owner know the animal had a propensity for aggression?
- Did the owner do anything to cause the attack or attempt to stop it?
These questions may help you understand who is liable for your suffering and the strength of any civil claim. Possibly, the dog owner's homeowners insurance policy could cover any losses you experienced.
As a victim of a dog bite, you may have a rightful claim to damages for the physical injuries and psychological trauma you experienced during an animal attack. You would be wise to apprise yourself of your legal options as soon as possible after the incident.