WHAT SHOULD YOU DO AFTER A DOG BITE ATTACK OR ANIMAL ATTACK?
SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT IMMEDIATELY
If you have suffered a dog bite injury you are at serious risk for infection and you should seek medical care immediately. For severe injuries, you should call an ambulance or go to an emergency room as quickly as possible.
IDENTIFY THE DOG THAT BIT YOU
You or someone you know should attempt to identify the dog that attacked you and determine how the dog’s owner can be found. Because the dogs owner’s home insurance company is usually the entity that pays for injuries, it is vitally important to track down the owner’s identity.
REPORT THE ATTACK
A record of the attack should be made with the local police department or animal control officer. This record should contain information about the attacking dog including the owner’s name and address.
HAVE PHOTOS TAKEN OF THE INJURIES
As soon as it is feasible, you should have photographs of all visible injuries taken including any wounds or lacerations. Additionally, if possible take photos of the attacking dog and the location of the attack.
CONTACT A REPUTABLE LOCAL RHODE ISLAND DOG BITE LAWYER
After a dog bite incident, you are likely in significant pain and facing lengthy treatments, large medical bills, and possibly pressure from an insurance company to give statements or settle the case quickly. The chances of positively resolving your dog bite case will increase substantially with a thorough and effective investigation and legal representation from a skilled dog bite attorney.
DO NOT GIVE AN INSURANCE COMPANY INFORMATION WITHOUT TALKING TO YOUR LAWYER FIRST
The first interest of every insurance company is to protect themselves from claims. Any information that you provide to them will be used against you to weaken or defeat your claim. Don’t try to settle the case yourself. Oftentimes dog bites can result in scars requiring surgical procedures. The economic value of these injuries and medical procedures can only be calculated by a skilled dog bite attorney oftentimes accompanied by expert medical and economic witnesses.
Our personal injury team will fight to get you justice. If you or someone you love has been injured by a dog bite or in a dog attack, you have the right to hold that dog’s owner personally responsible. You have the legal right to demand compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We understand that a dog bite can be a traumatic experience and stand ready to help fight for your recovery. Call our Providence Rhode Island dog bite injury lawyers at 401-228-8271. We are here to help and available 24/7.
ARE DOG OWNERS ARE STRICTLY LIABLE FOR DOG BITE INJURIES?
n Rhode Island, owners can be held strictly liable for harm caused by a dog bite. This means that you don’t have to show that the owner was negligent in supervising, training, or disciplining the dog. There is also no requirement that the dog has a history of viciousness.
In 2004, the Rhode Island Supreme Court in Johnston v. Poulin held that the Rhode Island dog bite law “imposes strict liability in any circumstance wherein the dog is outside of its owner’s enclosure.”
In order to recover compensation from a dog’s owner, you will have to prove:
- You suffered a dog bite
- You were bitten by a dog owned by the defendant
- The dog was outside of its owner’s enclosure
However, just because a dog is inside of its owner’s enclosure does not permanently immunize the dog’s owner from liability. To recover for your injuries you will be required to prove that the dog owner knew that the dog was dangerous and either failed to warn you or failed to take reasonable precautions to protect you. This is also commonly referred to as the “one bite” dog law.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit in Rhode Island?
When you have been injured by a dog bite you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit for damages. However, Rhode Island limits the amount of time you have to take legal action. Rhode Island General Law Section 9-1-14 provides that you must file your dog bite injury claim within three years of the dog attack. If you don’t file before the statute of limitations expires you will be permanently prohibited from pursing legal action for the dog bite injury.
The best way to ensure that your dog bite injury case is filed on-time is to seek legal representation from a skilled local Rhode Island dog bite attorney. At Marin and Barrett, Inc., we are committed to helping you recover the money you deserve. Call us today at 401-228-8271 to schedule your no-obligation case evaluation.
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CAUSES FOR DOG ATTACKS IN RHODE ISLAND?
Why do dog bites happen so frequently in Rhode Island? According to recent research, the most commonly cited causes of dog bites are:
- Irritating a dog while it is eating, playing, or chewing
- Touching or trying to move a dog against its will
- Leaving children with dogs unsupervised
- Attempting to break up a dog fight
- Trying to protect another person from a dog bite
- Abusing or mistreating a dog
In most instances, a dog attack occurs because they are protecting something valuable to them. Whether it is a possession, a resting place, their owner or their owner’s property, protection is a common reason for a dog attack to occur.
WHAT DAMAGES ARE AVAILABLE TO RHODE ISLAND DOG BITE VICTIMS?
Dog bite injuries can be tremendously painful and seeking treatment afterwards can be overwhelming. Oftentimes dog bite injuries can require extensive medical treatment, cause permanent scarring and lead the injured to miss time at work. Fortunately, Rhode Island law provides a way for you to hold the dog’s owner financially responsible for your injuries and damages.
Damages for injuries to dog bite victims in Rhode Island can include payment for:
ECONOMIC DAMAGE – such as tangible out of pocket costs which are often established with bills and invoices
- Medical expenses, including past, present, and future bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Costs of medical devices and modifications and accommodations to your home or vehicle
- Costs of assistive devices
- Expenses for in-home healthcare and household services
- Lost wages, both from missed work and missed future earning potential
- Household bills
NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES – which include general intangible damages. These damages affect quality of life, but are oftentimes more significant, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Anxiety and post-traumatic stress (emotional distress)
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Lifestyle Impairment
In the event that a loved one has died in a dog bite attack you may be able to pursue a wrongful death claim for those left behind. Of course no amount of money can bring your loved on back or provide adequate compensation, but you nevertheless may be able to recover for funeral and burial costs, loss of income, and loss of companionship.
At Marin and Barrett, Inc., our local Rhode Island dog bite attorneys will fight for every dollar you deserve. On these types of cases it is often helpful to work closely with expert witnesses to ensure that your injuries and damages are valued fully. This extra effort makes sure that you recover all you deserve for your dog bite injuries.
CHILDREN ARE MOST LIKELY TO BE DOG BITE VICTIMS
While anyone can be at risk of suffering a dog bite, the long-term statistics show that children tend to be injured by dog bites more often than adults. According to dogbite.org, newborns, infants and toddlers (ages 0-2 years old) made up 27% of all dog bite fatality victims from 2005 to 2018. The highest age specific fatality rate is infants (under 1 year old) which accounted for 48% of all 0-2 aged victims. Additionally, children under 10 years of age made up 40% of all dog bite fatalities.
THE MOST DANGEROUS DOGS ACCORDING TO BITE STATISTICS
Some dogs are more prone to biting people than others. According to dogbite.org, from 2005 to 2017 dogs killed 433 Americans. Of those deaths, 66% were caused by pit bulls making them by far the most dangerous type of dog. The percentage of fatalities caused by pit bulls increases when looking at attacks from unfamiliar dogs.
In addition to pit bulls, german shepherds are prone to attack and were responsible for 4% of all attacks and 45 fatal dog attacks between 2005 and 2017. Surprisingly, chihuahuas are responsible for 3% of dog attacks while retrievers, boxers and rottweilers together caused only 2% of attacks.
DOG BITE INJURY STATISTICS
For years cities and towns in Rhode Island were able to actively ban individuals from owning dog breeds that were deemed to be too dangerous. However, in 2013 Rhode Island passed a law prohibiting the practice of banning particular breeds, and the restrictions were lifted. Not surprisingly, this led to a sharp increase in vicious dog attacks. For instance, the City of Pawtucket had a ban on pit bull ownership from 2004 until the passage of the law in 2013. During the period of the ban the city saw only 23 instances of pit bull bites; however since the ban has been lifted the city says there have been over 23 instances annually, or ten times as many dog attacks per year.
According to a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and 800,000 of those bites result in medical care. With the current U.S. population approximately 325 million people this means that a dog bites 1 out of every 69 people each year. Every day, over 1,000 people are treated in hospital emergency rooms for non-fatal dog bite related injuries. Research released by the National Safety Council indicates that the odds of dying from a dog attack in the United States is 1 in 112,400.Out of the 4.7 million dog bites that occur each year in the United States, 81% of those cause no injury at all or only minor injuries that do not require medical attention. In total, the insurance industry paid more than $530 million dollars in dog bite related claims in 2014. That figure jumped to nearly $800 million dollars for dog bites and dog-related injuries in 2019.
RHODE ISLAND DOG BITE ATTORNEY
Have you or someone you love been injured by a dog bite in Rhode Island? At Marin and Barrett, Inc., our RI dog bite lawyers understand that a dog bite can have serious and long-lasting consequences. You have the legal right to seek compensation from the dog’s owner and we can help to make sure that you are fully compensated. Call our office at 401-228-8271 to schedule your free, no obligation dog bite case evaluation today.
To Learn More About Your Rights and Receive a Free Initial Consultation from local
Rhode Island Dog Bite Attorneys, Contact us 24/7 at 401-228-8271
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HOW DO I GET STARTED WITH MY DOG BITE CASE?
First thing is first, be sure to get the medical attention you need. Once you do that, the bills will start pouring in and the expenses add up in a hurry. Realistically you’ll want to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The evidence you may need is often the freshest shortly after the accident, and you can rest assured that the party or parties responsible for your injuries will be gearing up for their own legal fight and you will not want to be left behind.