Does the one-bite rule apply in Massachusetts?

On Behalf of | Dec 13, 2018 | Animal Bites

Many Worcester households include pets that enrich the lives of their owners. Over time, animals can become members of a family and can hold special places in the hearts of those who love them. However, it is important that everyone remembers that pets are animals and can act out of character when they are faced with new or threatening situations.

It is an unfortunate fact that many dog bites and attacks occur when their owners fail to recognize the potential harm their pets can inflict on others. In some jurisdictions, dogs are permitted one bite, meaning that if they have not previously exhibited any dangerous behaviors, they are given one chance after they have bitten their victims. If they attack again, they and their owners will face consequences.

The one-bite rule does not apply in Massachusetts. In Worcester and the rest of the state, dog owners are held strictly liable for the actions of their pets and will be assumed negligent if their dogs cause harm to others. Only if a dog owner can prove that their dog was provoked or that the victim had trespassed onto their land when the attack occurred may the dog and owner avoid liability for the inflicted harm.

Special rules apply in cases where children are victims’ of dog bites, and, as such, it is important that all animal attack victims get timely legal help. Different jurisdictions operate under different dog bite laws and it is important that Massachusetts residents have a clear understanding of the laws and standards they will be held to when they begin litigating their personal injury claims.