Massachusetts Law Regarding Injuries by Dogs

Massachusetts law is somewhat unique when it comes to the rights of persons injured by a dog. Massachusetts, by statute, makes the owner or “keeper” (not an owner but one controlling the dog) of a dog liable to a person injured by the dog even if the owner or keeper is not negligent. This is an example of “strict liability.” In other words, if you are injured by another’s dog, you may recover without proving the owner or keeper knew of the dangerous propensities (if any) of the dog prior to the time of your injury. What you do need to prove is that you were not trespassing, teasing, tormenting or otherwise abusing the dog when you were injured. If a minor under seven years of age is injured, the law presumes the child was not teasing, etc. the dog. Finally, one may recover from an owner or keeper even if the dog does not actually come in physical contact with you. We’ve represented several bicycle riders who were injured when they either collided with a dog chasing them or flew over the handle bars while braking as they were avoiding a wayward dog.

If you’ve been injured by a dog in Massachusetts, contact our office for a free consultation.

Truck Door Strikes Driver in back of Head – $650,000.00

Our middle aged client was a delivery driver for an utility. He was assigned a medium sized box truck with a 6’ x 4’ foot side utility door weighing more than 100 pounds. When opened, the utility door was connected to the truck body by a passive post and grommet system that relied on friction to keep the door open and stable. While he was heaving a large bag of scrap wire into the side utility door, the door became detached from the truck body, and struck our client in the back of the head/neck driving him down to the ground. The client suffered serious neck injuries resulting in cervical (neck) fusion surgery. He was declared permanently disabled from his job and was unable to return to work. Because an injured employee in Massachusetts who is hurt on the job may not sue his employer because he is eligible for workers compensation benefits, we could not sue the employer. However, the truck was owned not by the utility but by a “spin off” wholly owned subsidiary. We sued the subsidiary together with a maintenance company under contract with the utility. We learned during pre-trial discovery, that the truck owner, through the utility employer, wrote the truck specifications for the manufacturer that included an active T-bar latch system to hold the cargo doors open, but that 1) these were never placed on the trucks, and 2) the owner and maintenance companies never inspected the trucks to determine if they met the specifications. Once this information was learned, the parties agreed to mediation. The case settled after more than two days of negotiations for $650,000.00.

Bicycle Strikes Jogger – $1,150,000.00

While she was jogging on a public bike path, our client was run down from behind by a bicyclist. Our client suffered a skull fracture, a fractured clavicle, several rib fractures and a left rotator cuff tear. Subsequently she developed left sided hearing loss and tinnitus and vision changes. The bicyclist denied fault and we brought a lawsuit. After extensive pre-trial discovery, we were able to settle the case after a day-long mediation for $1,150,000.00.

Auto Accident with question of fault – $350,000.00

Elderly client was a front seat passenger in her husband’s car when they were involved in a head on collision. She suffered a broken arm and broken leg and underwent surgery. The issue in the case was which car crossed the yellow center line causing the collision. The drivers blamed each other. There were no independent witnesses. We were able to convince the insurers for both drivers to offer the full amount of their insurance policies to settle the case.

In Good Hands

Attorney Boris was great from start to finish. I felt I was in good hands throughout the entire process. He was prompt, precise, supportive and trustworthy. He wants what’s best for his clients and it shows. I would highly recommend him. I’m very thankful for all his hard work.

by Ashley, a Personal Injury client

Auto Accident – Neck Injury – $300,000.00

We obtained a settlement of $300,000 for our middle-aged house painter who was injured in an auto accident. The challenge in the case was the recovery of his substantial lost wages despite his self-employment. We were able to gather enough evidence of his work and earnings history to convince the insurer to include all of his lost wages in the settlement.

Importance of strong legal representation

Attorney Boris represented me in a personal injury case where we worked together for 2 1/2 years. During that time, I was treated with respect, kindness while being educated of the legal process. My case settled out if court only a few months before the scheduled trail. The non-binding arbitration was an effective strategy in achieving what I believe is the highest possible insurance settlement.

Not only is Attorney Boris pleasant to work with, his partners and paralegal are professional and nice to work with.

It was a very difficult time for me, but made the best it could be with My legal representation.

by a Personal Injury client

Sexual Assault of Minor – Sale of Defendant’s home

A pre-teen was sexually molested by her elderly adult neighbor. The neighbor was convicted of indecent assault and battery and jailed. We brought a lawsuit against the abuser for civil battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The defendant’s homeowners insurer denied insurance coverage because the abuse was intentional. In order to get compensation for our client, the defendant and his wife agreed to sell their mortgage free suburban home where the abuse occurred with one-half of the proceeds going to our client and the other half to the abuser’s wife.

Highly recommend Steven Boris

I found Steven Boris to be an an exceptional attorney. He managed to maximize the value of my case without filing a lawsuit. He was overly communicative and he returned my calls promptly. I am lucky to have found him. I highly recommend Steven Boris.

Edward C. – Car Accident Client

Outstanding Results

Attorney Krasnow is an excellent attorney whom I have referred many cases to over the years. He has achieved outstanding results for his clients and he is honest and ethical.

Howard Lewis