Most of us have a positive association with dogs – like TikTok’s famous Noodle, the pug who tells us whether we will have a “bones” or “no bones” day. But as cute and cuddly as dogs can be, they are still animals. If you are one of the 4.5 million people who are bitten by a dog each year, then you might have an entirely different perspective on dogs.
In Massachusetts, the person who owns or is in control of a dog is strictly liable for any injuries that their dog causes. This means that you don’t have to prove that the dog was vicious or has attacked someone before in order to recover money for your injuries. The amount that you can get when you sue for a dog bite in MA will depend on factors such as the severity of your injuries and the policy limits of the dog owner’s insurance coverage.
At Parker Scheer, we understand how traumatic it can be to be bitten by a dog. If you have suffered an animal attack, you will need a skilled Boston dog bite lawyer who can fight for your right to full compensation. Reach out today for a free initial consultation with a member of our law firm.
What Types of Damages Can I Recover in a MA Dog Bite Case?
In any personal injury case – including a dog bite claim – you may be entitled to financial compensation for your losses. These losses are known as damages. You may be eligible for three types of damages in a dog bite case: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic damages are designed to compensate you for your direct financial losses. In a dog bite case, this might include your medical bills, future medical care, lost wages, and property damage (such as torn or damaged clothing from the dog bite).
Noneconomic damages cover your intangible losses. After a dog bite, you might have a number of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, scarring, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life. Many people suffer significant trauma after a dog attack, which they may be compensated for through noneconomic damages.
Finally, punitive damages may be awarded in rare cases. Punitive damages are meant to punish a wrongdoer for intentional or reckless conduct.
Oftentimes, dog bite claims can be covered by a homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. As such, even if you are attacked by a family member or friend’s dog, there are ways to be compensated for your injuries and losses.
What Is a Dog Bite Case Worth in Massachusetts?
The value of a dog bite case depends on a number of different factors. Generally, a more serious attack will result in a higher settlement or verdict at trial than one that causes minor injuries. More compensation is typically available in cases that involve:
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Emergency medical attention
- Mental health therapy to recover from the trauma
- Surgery or extended medical treatment
In addition, the amount of insurance coverage can affect how much you recover for your injuries. For this reason, dog bite settlement amounts in MA can vary drastically. A skilled Boston personal injury lawyer can meet with you to go over the details of your case and evaluate your claim.
At Parker Scheer, we use our decades of combined experience to help victims of dog bites get the most possible compensation for their injuries. Recently, we have helped our clients resolve their cases for:
- $550,000 for tissue loss and emotional distress;
- $175,000 for significant tissue loss and scarring;
- $255,000 for a partial nose amputation; and
- $435,000 for a case where a neighbor’s pit bull attacked our client.
Of course, every case is different, and past results do not guarantee future outcomes. Working with a skilled Boston dog bite attorney – like the legal team at Parker Scheer – can help you achieve the outcome you deserve for the injuries and losses you suffered.
Bitten By a Dog? We’re Here to Help.
If you have been hurt by a dog, you may not know where to turn for help – especially if the dog is owned by a loved one. At Parker Scheer, we understand how traumatic dog bites can be – and how complicated it can be to file a claim against a friend, family member, or neighbor. We will work with you to help you get the compensation that you deserve for your injuries.
Based in Boston, we represent people throughout the state who have been hurt in all types of accidents, including dog bites. We offer free initial consultations for all personal injury claims, and never charge a fee unless we recover money for you. To learn more or to schedule an appointment with a Boston dog bite lawyer, give us a call at 617-886-0500 or fill out our online contact form.
Eric J. Parker, the Managing Partner of Parker Scheer LLP, has over 30 years’ experience representing victims in complex personal injury cases. He is active in many legal associations and has won many awards for performance and principles. Eric believes in giving back to the community and supports young scholars and law students by acting as faculty and mentor to them.