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Robert E. Craven & Associates Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney

Rhode Island Dog Bite Attorney

Among the many different ways a personal injury may be inflicted, vicious dog bites and animal attacks have the potential to not only cause serious and permanent injury or even death, but also lasting emotional scars and psychological trauma that can forever alter a dog bite victim’s peace of mind and ability to function in society as the person did before the attack. Rhode Island law takes dog bites very seriously and provides a means for dog bite victims to hold dog owners accountable for the injuries and harms their animals have inflicted. Rhode Island dog bite law can be complicated and confusing, however, so it’s important to retain qualified and experienced personal injury attorneys to pursue a claim on your behalf so you’ll be successful achieving justice for your family while recovering much-needed compensation to deal with the damage caused. The Rhode Island dog bite attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates have the skills and knowledge needed and are here to help you through this difficult time. Learn more about dog bite claims in Rhode Island below, and contact our compassionate yet aggressive dog bite lawyers to make sure you get the care and compensation you need after an animal attack in Rhode Island.

How does Rhode Island dog bite law work?

Rhode Island dog bite law imposes “strict liability” on the owner of a dog for any bite or attack which occurs when the dog is not on the owner’s property or outside “of the enclosure of the owner or keeper.” Strict liability means that the injury victim does not have to prove that the owner was negligent in any way; it is actually irrelevant to the case what type of care the owner or keeper did or did not exercise. Simply put, when the dog bite occurs off-site, the owner is strictly liable for the damages caused, including damages for:

  • Hospital and medical expenses
  • Lost wages or income
  • Disability or diminished earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss in quality of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Wrongful death

If the dog in question has been involved in a previous lawsuit or injury claim, then the victim is entitled to recover double the amount of damages, and arrangements will be made to put the dog down as well.

What if the attack occurred on the dog owner’s property?

For a bite that happens on the owner’s property, the principle of strict liability does not apply. In these cases, the injury victim must be able to prove that the owner either knew or should have known that the dog was vicious or had dangerous propensities and was liable to bite someone. This is more difficult to prove than a strict liability case, but there are many ways to prove that the owner knew the dog was dangerous, such as if the dog had bitten before or if it has growled or acted aggressively towards others. The owner could also be liable for negligent handling or keeping of the dog on the owner’s property, perhaps by letting the dog roam freely in the yard in the presence of others or intentionally siccing the dog on someone on the property.

For help getting the care and compensation you need after a dog bite or animal attack, call the Rhode Island dog bite attorneys at Robert e. Craven & Associates for a free consultation at 401-453-2700.

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