A dog attack can leave permanent scars which is why the legal system is designed to protect and compensate victims.
A Boston-area dog that bit a 6-year old boy recently, leaving him with injuries that required 400 stitches, also bit a 16-year old girl, sending her to the hospital. The second animal attack came while the family of the dog was contemplating appealing the dog’s sentence (which came after a decision by a board of selectmen) of euthanasia which followed the attack on the boy. The girl suffered serious injuries to her face and ankle and was a member of the dog’s family, according to the news report. Following the second attack, the family came to believe that the dog was suffering from a neurological problem and agreed to have him put down.
Victims of an animal attack may face a future that involves scarring and disfigurement. This may lead to emotional pain that comes in addition to the physical pain of the serious injury the victim suffered. Because of this, victims of a dog bite injury may be able to pursue compensation through a dog bite claim. The victim may be able to collect damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering damages, property damages and lost wages.
Oftentimes it is the insurance company of the pet owner facing liability that will provide compensation to the victim who chooses to pursue and animal bite, or personal injury, claim. Sometimes an owner can face penalties for negligent or reckless conduct if they knew the dog’s dangerous propensities and still allowed it to run free around, for example, a playground and it injured a child. Generally, however, Massachusetts is a strict liability animal bite state in which the owner is not legally required to know about the animal’s dangerous propensities to face liability and be responsible to compensate an injured victim.
Animal attacks can be traumatic and leave lasting physical and emotional injuries. Because of this, legal options exist to compensate victims for injuries and losses suffered.
Source: Examiner.com, “Owner of hound named ‘Milo’ has decided to put dog down following second attack,” Penny Eims, Mar. 4, 2013.