If Someone You Love Was Killed by a Dog, You Deserve Civil Justice
There is no amount of financial compensation that can replace the loss of someone you love. When tragic accidents suddenly take a loved one from us, the affected survivors often face extreme emotional distress. But fatal attacks by dogs can be especially difficult to deal with due to the horrific and violent ways in which dogs maul.
In 2011, 31 people were killed by dogs in the United States and of those, 23 were killed by pitbulls. Of those who suffered fatal attacks by pitbulls, seven were children. (Rottweilers “offenders” are the second on the list for causing fatal wounds.)
Unfortunately for victims of dog attacks, criminal charges are not often filed against dog owners — only nine owners were charged with a crime out of the 31 fatal attacks that occurred in 2011. Dog owners typically will only face a fine, and in some cases, may not even be required to euthanize the dog.
According to www.dogbite.org:
Annual data from 2011 shows that 58% (18) of the attacks occurred to adults (21 years and older) and 42% (13) occurred to children (11 years and younger). Of the children, 62% (8) occurred to ages 1 and younger.
Filing a civil lawsuit will not replace the loss of a child or family member, but it is your right to hold dog owners who are careless or negligent or maliciously use their dogs as weapons accountable in civil court — even when no criminal charges are filed. You can also file a civil suit even if the dog attack did not result in immediate death, but your loved one later died from mortal wounds suffered.
Criminal Suit vs. Civil Lawsuit
Even if a county prosecutor does bring criminal charges against a dog owner, you will not receive financial restitution for your losses. To recover for financial and emotional losses you need to file a civil lawsuit. When you recover through a wrongful death claim, you can sue for tangible expenses including the cost of medical bills, funeral expenses and other financial losses such as lost income and future income. Civil suits also allow you to seek other “general” damages including for emotional distress, loss of consortium (companionship.)
Even if the dog owners is not found guilty of a crime in a criminal case, or has not been fined, you still have the right to pursue civil justice.
To schedule a free initial consultation with our firm, contact us today.
Under Massachusetts law, if police or a district court has previously ordered a dog owner to keep their dog restrained and the dog gets out and attacks another person, the dog owner becomes liable for treble the amount of damages. This means a court can triple the amount of damages you can receive.
Laws Now Require Pit Bulls To Wear Muzzles In Some Massachusetts Cities
Several cities in Massachusetts now had regulations that require all pit bulls and pit bull-type dogs, including mixes, bull terriers, s and American Staffordshire terriers to wear muzzles when the dogs are out in public including Malden, Boston, Everett, and Worchester.
Call Us Today And Schedule Your Free Consultation with an Attorney To Learn More About Wrongful Death Lawsuits and Settlements in Cases Involving Fatal Dog Attacks
It is important to talk with an attorney as soon as possible if you have lost a loved one and believe you have a wrongful death claim. We will aggressively pursue dog owners to get you the maximum compensation you are entitled to.
We understand that reliving your ordeal will be difficult — having to share details about what happened can be painful. Our attorneys will compassionately help you through the legal process to ensure your rights are protected. If it is in your best interest, we will seek to obtain a fair settlement for you to avoid the process of a trial; but we develop all cases as strongly as possible should we need to go to trial.
To schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced personal injury and wrongful death claims attorney, contact us today. There is not fee unless we recover for you.