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Strict liability applies in dog bite incidents

People like to say that a dog is a man's best friend and for many Massachusetts residents canine companions make their lives better. Wet noses and warm fur are only a few of the traits that draw individuals to dogs as pets. Additionally, some people feel safer knowing that dogs are on guard in their homes and are listening for possible threats.

While most dogs and their owners live their shared existences without any legal complications, problems can develop if the dogs attack or bite other people. In Massachusetts, dog owners are strictly liable for the harm their pets inflict, subject to a handful of exceptions.

Strict liability means that the owner of a dog does not have to have done anything wrong or have caused in any way the situation that led to their dog biting another person. For example, if a dog owner built a secure fence and somehow their pet found a way out and bit a person without the owner's immediate knowledge, the owner would still be legally responsible for the inflicted harm.

There are situations, though, where the actions of a dog bite victim may actually be responsible for the harm they suffer. If a victim provoked a dog into biting them through teasing or torture, or if the victim trespassed onto the dog owner's land and the bite occurred during the trespass, then the victim may not be able to pursue their bite-related losses.

Dog bites and animal attacks can cause serious medical and health problems. As such, they should be treated as serious legal matters. Consultation with personal injury attorneys can be beneficial for those who are curious to learn more about their rights after an animal bite or attack.

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