Like the majority of states in the country, Massachusetts imposes strict liability on dog owners for injuries or damages caused by a dog. Under Massachusetts General Laws c. 140, §155, the dog owner is liable unless the injured party was trespassing or was tormenting, teasing, or abusing the dog. If the injured party is under 7 years of age, it will be presumed that the child was not trespassing or tormenting, teasing, or abusing the dog and the burden would then be on the Defendant to prove otherwise.
Although it is commonly referred to as the “dog bite” statute, M.G.L. c. 140, §155 also holds dog owners strictly liable for damage to property. Therefore, if a dog got loose and caused damage to someone’s yard, vehicle, fence, or other personal property, the owner would responsible for paying for those damages as well. With few exceptions, personal injuries and damages to property caused by dogs are generally covered by the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance. If you have any questions or would like to inquire whether you are entitled to compensation under this statute, please give us a call at (781) 829-1077 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org