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Who is responsible for the losses caused by a dog bite?

Owning a pet is not unusual for Massachusetts's residents. For many, a dog is considered a life companion that is a valuable addition to their family. While owning a dog comes with much enjoyment, it also comes with much responsibility. As a dog owner, it is imperative to understand what could happen if a dog acts out, bites or even attacks another person.

Being a victim of a dog bite can be a very overwhelming experience. It is not only a shocking event but it is also a situation that leaves the victim suffering physical, mental and emotional pain. Thus, it is likely to result in various medical needs to recover. This can be costly, resulting in financial hardships. Thus, it is important to understand how this event happened, who is responsible and what recourses are available.

Who is responsible for the losses and damages caused by a dog bite? Depending on the situation, if a dog owner is found responsible for a dog attack, the monetary award could come from various resources. In most cases, homeowner's insurance could cover liability arising from a dog bite. So long as their dog is in their policy, a dog owner could use their homeowner's insurance to cover the arising costs.

If homeowner's insurance isn't applicable, car insurance could cover the bit. This only applies if the animal was in the vehicle or the back of a truck when the attack or bite took place. In some cases, owners obtain animal insurance. This policy could be used to cover costs arising form their dog biting another person. Finally, even if no insurance applies to the situation, a dog bite victim could seek compensation directly from the dog owner by bringing a personal injury action.

Although a dog bite is a traumatic experience, a victim has options and recourses available to them. Understanding your options and rights can help ensure you obtain the compensation you are entitled for, while also holding a negligent dog owner liable.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Animal Bites: Who Pays Damages?" accessed Sept. 10, 2017

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