Who Let the Dogs Out: Massachusetts Dog Owner Liability and Dog Bite Injury Laws
Injuries from Dog Bites are Common and Often Serious
Every year, approximately 4.7 million Americans are victims of a dog bite attack. About 60% of all dog bite victims are children and 77% of all dog bite injuries to children under 10 tend to be facial. Around 12 individuals die from dog bite incidents annually. In 2019, 14 year old Ryan Hazel from Dighton, Massachusetts, was tragically killed on May 9, 2019 after being attacked by a number of dogs, and in April 2019, a Taunton woman and her dog were attacked by six pitbulls—resulting in severe injuries to the woman and the death of the woman’s dog. In 2012, dog bites accounted for about one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims with a total cost of $489 million. So what should the public be aware of—both as dog owners and as individuals who may simply come into contact with a dog—regarding Massachusetts Dog Owner Liability and Dog Bite Injury Laws? We have outlined below a brief synopsis of what you should be informed and provide answers to some frequently asked questions:
Massachusetts Law on Dog Bites
Massachusetts has its own statute covering dog bites, M.G.L. c. 140, Section 155. This statute 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 […]
Who Let the Dogs Out: Massachusetts Dog Owner Liability and Dog Bite Injury Laws
How long does it take to settle my car accident or personal injury case?
If a person is injured in a car accident in Massachusetts claims may be filed to pursue damages for those injuries. Those claims can be filed seeking damages from the insurance company that insures the vehicle you were in, from the “at fault” driver’s insurance company, or from any third parties who might be responsible.
In order to receive the compensation that you deserve it is first necessary to understand your injuries. In order to fully understand your injuries you should pursue immediate treatment, receive proper diagnostic evaluations, and pursuing ongoing medical treatment as necessary. Continued medical treatment is often necessary for injuries due to the nature of the injuries themselves. Continued treatment is also necessary to determine the severity and long term effects of your injuries. Without diagnostic evaluations, medical treatment, and the passage of time, it can be difficult or impossible to know if impairments or injuries from your accident could be permanent.
This often means that you should go through the process of receiving treatment, completing treatment, and identifying any permanent injuries before working to resolve your personal injury case. If you tried to settle your personal injury case before that process is complete you would not be able to receive the full compensation that you deserve. In order to receive the full compensation that you deserve it is necessary for you to complete treatment and determine the full scope, nature, and duration of your injuries. In other words, some lawyers might tell you they can settle your case “fast” but that is only possible if you are willing to accept less compensation than you deserve. For this reason, we […]
What’s the statute of limitations for a car accident or personal injury case in Massachusetts?
If you are filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit, what is the statute of limitation, or deadline, to file a lawsuit for a car accident?
If a person is injured in a car accident in Massachusetts claims may be filed to pursue damages for those injuries. Those claims can be filed against the insurance company that insures the vehicle that you were riding in at the time of the accident, against the insurance company that insurer’s the “at fault” driver, or against any third parties who might be responsible.
The Massachusetts Public Safety Board shows over 120,000 motor vehicle accidents in Massachusetts each year. Out of those accidents, over 4,000 accidents result in serious injuries. Often a person who was injured in a car accident or other accident may not fully realize the extent of their injuries. In order to realize the full extent of the injuries the injured individual must receive proper diagnostic evaluations and medical treatment, which takes time. As time passes while treatment is being obtained it is nevertheless important to be mindful of the applicable “statute of limitations.”
The claims process can be confusing and can take months or years to complete. Similarly, the process of receiving the necessary treatment for your injuries can also take months or years. For this reason, it is helpful to have an understanding of how the “statute of limitations” could impact your claim. The statute of limitations is the deadline to file a law suit. The statute of limitations in Massachusetts to file a lawsuit for damages in most situations is 3 years. This means that if your claim is not […]
6 Things To Do After A Car Accident
Have you ever wondered what to do after a car accident? After a car accident you may experience confusion on what to do. This may be due to shock, a rush of adrenaline, or due to the injuries you suffered. You also may be worried about legal issues such as when and how to report the accident, who you should speak with about the accident, and how to file a claim. This blog is intended to provide some basic information to answer those questions. This will not only help you to avoid feeling confused but will also help to ensure that your rights are protected and will allow us to pursue the maximum amount of money possible to compensate you for your injuries.
Here is a compiled list of things to start doing immediately after an auto accident:
Call 911 and notify the police and emergency medical treatment providers;
Exchange insurance information with the at-fault driver but do not speak to the at-fault driver regarding why or how the accident happened;
Seek immediate medical treatment if necessary and follow the recommendations of your treatment providers;
Take photographs to document the location of the accident, the property damage, and any visible injuries;
Assemble all relevant documents (insurance declaration page, medical bills, police reports, crash operator reports, etc);
Contact Cohen Cleary before speaking with any insurance companies or signing any documents;
At Cohen Cleary, P.C. we have extensive experience in handling car accidents and other personal injury cases. Call us today to ensure that one of our skilled attorneys can fight to get you the money you deserve. Call us now at (508) 880-6677 for your free personal injury case consultation.
How Much is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
After an auto accident, slip and fall, or any other type of accident that results in an injury, you may have thought about contacting an attorney. You may also have wondered “how much is my personal injury case worth?” The answer to this question involves careful consideration of the issue of liability (was the other party at fault) as well as a careful consideration of your “damages” or how you have been injured.
Damages resulting from your accident include compensation for bodily injury, pain and suffering, property damage, and payment for expenses. Calculating your entitlement to compensation must be done on a “case by case” basis as the damages are specific to your injuries and circumstances.
Compensation for Damages
When you have been injured as the result of someone else’s negligence you have a legal right to pursue compensation for your injuries. If you have been injured as the result of someone’s negligence, the questions then becomes what are your “damages?”
When it comes to compensation for personal injury damages, an award for compensatory damages is meant to make the injured party “whole” again through the payment of funds to the injured individual by the at fault party. Therefore, carefully considering all possible damages is very important. Similarly, documenting all of your injuries resulting from an accident is also very important. Working with an experienced attorney as part of this process helps to ensure that you receive the highest possible payment for all of your damages.
Damages for Personal Injury Claims May Include:
Bodily injuries including exacerbation of pre-existing conditions;
Scarring and disfigurement;
Conscious pain and suffering;
Psychiatric injuries (such as PTSD, Traumatic brain injury, loss of memory or cognitive functioning);
Loss of Enjoyment;
Loss of consortium; and
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Benefits in Motor Vehicle Accidents
What is PIP?
If you have been injured in an auto accident as a driver, passenger, or as a pedestrian, Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits are available through your insurance company, or if you were a pedestrian the drivers insurance company would provide PIP benefits. If you were working at the time of the accident then you would seek workers compensation instead of PIP benefits.
For Massachusetts insured drivers, PIP is offered by the insurance company regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This coverage helps with initial medical expenses, lost wages, household services, and if needed, funeral costs.
What Types of Expenses Do PIP Benefits Cover?
After suffering from a personal injury due to an auto accident, related and necessary medical expenses are covered within the two years following the accident. Emergency room, doctor visits, chiropractic care, and physical therapy are some of the treatments that you may need after an injury.
PIP will cover lost wages caused by the accident if you are disabled from performing your duties. You must provide a doctors note stating the time period of your disability and whether you are partially or totally disabled from work. PIP will pay three quarters of your average weekly rate from the previous year leading up to your accident. This benefit is tax free for you but will not be paid if your employer continues to pay you after the accident.
PIP will also pay for any ordinary and necessary household services that you would normally perform for yourself but are not able to perform due to your injury.
Funeral expenses are covered by PIP in the event that there is a death due to the accident.
What Amount […]
Should I talk to the insurance company before I get a personal injury attorney?
Contacting The Insurance Company
After being injured in an auto accident your insurance company is supposed to be informed. There is a difference between reporting the accident to your insurance company and working to settle a claim with the insurance company of the at-fault driver. In many instances the statement that you make to your insurance company as well as statements made to other insurance companies are recorded. For this reason, it is often beneficial to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney to immediately begin guiding you through the process of seeking payment for your injuries. Having an attorney can help to ensure that your interests are protected and that you don’t make statements that could be misconstrued and later used against you to reduce or eliminate payment of the money you are owed for the damages and injuries that you sustained in the car accident.
Who’s on your side?
You may have the impression that since you pay the insurance company they should return the favor by looking out for your best interest, however, in reality their number one goal of Insurance companies is to make a profit while paying out as little benefits as legally possible. From day one the insurance company is going to be looking for information that may harmful to your claim or for a possible reason to deny or decrease the pay-out on your claim.
The expenses of being injured in a car accident can really add up. Medical care from an emergency room, urgent care, specialists, or physical therapy clinic, while potentially losing time with your family or your job can really take a toll on you mentally and […]
Should I hire a lawyer if I am injured in a car accident?
The short answer is yes!
If you have been in a car accident and have suffered personal injuries you are entitled to receive compensation for all of your injuries. It is typical to receive payment for property damage to your vehicle as well as payment of some of your medical expenses for your injuries. After filing a claim with the insurance company you will often be contacted and asked to provide a written or recorded statement. You also may be offered payment for damage to your vehicle and some medical expenses and asked to sign a release. If you sign that release you may be agreeing to accept less compensation than you deserve, which works out well for the insurance company but does not work out very well for you.
The automobile insurance company has trained professionals who look out for them. This is why it is important for you to have a lawyer who will fight to protect your rights and get you the money you deserve. Once you hired Cohen Cleary, P.C. You will no longer have to worry about what to say or what to do because we will deal with the insurance company for you. We will make sure that you receive payment for the damage to your vehicle, damage to your personal property, payment of all medical expenses, payment for lost wages, and payment for all of your pain, suffering, and emotional anguish that is caused by the car accident. If you have more than $2,000.00 in medical expenses or if you have suffered a permanent and serious disfigurement, broken bone, or loss of hearing or sight then you […]