KRZ Bicycle and Pedestrian Law Practice Update: New Maine Law on Dog Owner/Keeper Duties

Maine recently enacted 7 MRSA §3955:  An Act Regarding Actions of the Owner or Keeper of a Dog That Assaults a
Person and Causes an Injury That Requires Medical Attention.  The new law details the legal obligations of owners and keepers of dogs that injure bicyclists, pedestrians and others.   Among other things, the law requires owners and keepers to contact law enforcement following a dog versus person attack, incident, or collision that results in a victim needing medical attention.  In addition, the law requires owners and keepers to help secure medical assistance for victims, contain their dogs, and provide contact and other information to injured persons or their representatives at the scene of an attack, incident or collision.  The new  law also makes it a Class D crime for people to disregard these new legal responsibilities.

Several months ago, KRZ Attorney Boxer-Macomber’s testimony to the Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety on the proposed bill was quoted in this story in the  Lewiston Sun Journal.  Attorney Boxer-Macomber underscored that the proposed law, with amendments, would offer “valuable protections for users of public parks, multi-use trails and roadways” because it would help ensure the necessary information is available to victims and official agencies.   Several of the suggestions made by Attorney Boxer-Macomber in her testimony appear to have been taken into account by the Legislature and included in the final version of the law.