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Did your dog bite someone or another dog?

DEFENDING DOG OWNERS WHEN THERE IS NO INSURANCE​

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When your dog bites someone or bites a dog, you can expect that the victim or the dog owner is thinking about suing you.

Some pet owners have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance which might provide liability coverage. We represent uninsured dog owners, dog owners whose coverage was denied and also dog owners with insurance coverage who need our assistance navigating the claims process.

 

At BDL, our experiences allow us to investigate dog bite claims in ways that are unique.  This includes diving deep into what may have triggered the incident by taking a close look at the dog’s behavior and the victim’s behavior in the hours leading up to the event. There are dozens of reasons as to why a dog bit someone or another dog. These factors must be considered when determining liability and the amount of damages, if any, to be paid. We have the team of investigators, trainers, behaviorists, veterinarians and claims adjusters who seek to find out the truth.

 

There are many defenses to a dog bite and if one exists for you, we will pursue it. We look at the history of the dog and the victim. We look at the location, the time, the weather, the clothing, the leash, fence or other dog involved. There is so much to find out before determining whether to pay out on a dog bite lawsuit and we put in the time necessary to investigate.

Image by Martin Olsen

DEFENSE OPTIONS: TRESPASSING AND PROVOCATION

Never let anyone tell you that there are no defenses when a dog attacks.

 

In Massachusetts, the most often utilized defense is that of trespass and provocation.

 

If the injured person was on the private property of the owner without permission the owner may not be liable for the injuries that occurred. In addition, if the injured person was provoking the dog in any manner such as teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog the owner may not be liable because these actions likely caused the dog to react in an aggressive manner.​

 

If a person goes into an area where there is a “beware of dog” sign, we believe there may be a defense to a bite. At BDL we argue that “Beware” is a verb requiring diligence and care on the part of the person who is about to be the victim of an attack. We want to know why they were there and what steps they took to avoid the incident.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

QUESTIONS WE MAY ASK:

 

Did you get a letter from a lawyer representing a dog bite victim who is claiming your dog bit them?

 

Did you present the claim to your homeowner or rental insurer?

 

Is there coverage?

 

You don't have insurance but were sued in court and served by a sheriff for a minor dog bite?

 

Were you told that when it comes to owning a dog who bit there is strict liability and you must pay and there are no defenses (not true)?

 

Did your insurer deny coverage or tell you that the loss amount will exceed your policy limits?

 

Was the alleged dog bite victim even supposed to be on your property?

 

Had you warned the dog bite victim not to pet your dog or not to come near your dog?

 

Are you being asked to pay for vet bills or "out-of-pocket" medical expenses because of a dog bite?

 

Did you get a release of all other claims before you paid?

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