Dog Attack Law in Massachusetts

In Other Injuries by John Tramontozzi


While most dogs in Melrose and the rest of Massachusetts are wonderful and loving pets, a bite may result in an injury that can be very serious and ensue extensive medical costs, hospitalization and even permanent scarring. Below is more information on the dog attack law in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Dog Bite Law

In the state of Massachusetts, claims involving dog bites and attacks are governed by M.G.L., Chapter 140 Section 155. The dog bite law states that the owner or keeper of a dog is strictly liable for the victim’s injuries. This means that you don’t have to prove the dog owner knew about the aggressive behavior of the dog or that the dog had bitten before. All that an injured person must prove is that they were not trespassing, teasing, or tormenting the dog to be awarded damages.

Who is responsible in Massachusetts?

  • The owner or “keeper” of the dog who caused the injury to another person.
  • The keeper of a dog is the person who cares for the dog with an assumption of custody, management and control over the dog. Therefore, someone (such as a girlfriend/boyfriend of the owner) who walks the dog, feeds it and cares for it on a regular basis may be determined to be the keeper and so responsible.
  • If the owner of the dog is a minor, then the minor’s parent or guardian is legally responsible.

When is the owner of the dog not responsible for a dog attack?

If the injured party was trespassing, teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog, then the owner may not be held responsible.

Do you have to prove the dog owner knew the dog has bitten others before?

You do not need to show that the owner knew about the aggressive behavior or that the dog had bitten someone else previously.

Help from Massachusetts Dog Bite Lawyers

If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog and are now suffering from injuries, know your rights in Massachusetts. John Tramontozzi has the knowledge and experience to help you with your case and achieve the largest award possible to compensate you for your injury.  Call 781.665.0099 for a consultation.