If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, you should ask around or research and find the best dog bite lawyer you can. Many dog owners have liability insurance coverage and you may be able to be compensated for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Our firm charges no fee until you obtain a settlement or award, so feel free to call or contact us online 24/7.
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There are about 60 million dogs in the United States, most of which are lovable pets. Unfortunately dogs sometimes bite and according to the Center for Disease Control the number of dog bites requiring medical attention has been steadily rising. Dogs bite nearly 5 million Americans every year and approximately 800,000 of these bites require medical care. A large majority of the victims are young children, who are bitten by dogs belonging to a family member or friend.
Rhode Island Dog Bite Injury Law
Rhode Island imposes strict liability upon dog owners. Any time a dog is outside of its enclosure, bites or injures a person, the dog’s owner is liable for any injuries that occur. The only exception to this rule is if the victim was a trespasser or if the victim was teasing, tormenting or provoking the dog prior to the attack.
The Rhode Island law protects people and other kinds of animals. The law allows for recovery when a dog bites a human, another dog, horses, cows, sheep, pigs or fowl. In addition, if a dog has already bitten a person, then the dog owner is liable for double damages if the same dog attacks again.
There are parties other than the dog owner who may be liable for injuries the dog inflicted. Animal keepers, who are responsible for the care and custody of the animal, a kennel or animal sitter are examples of dog keepers that can be responsible for the dog. A property owner may also be liable if the property owner allowed the dog onto their property. Lastly, if the dog owner is a renter, the landlord may be liable for the injuries if they knew one of their tenants owned a dangerous animal.
Massachusetts Dog Bite Injury Law
Massachusetts imposes strict liability upon dog owners if their dog bites or injures another person. The only exception is if the victim was a trespasser or if the victim was teasing, tormenting or provoking the dog prior to the attack. If the victim is under the age of seven, the law presumes none of the exceptions are applicable and holds the dog owner strictly liable.
The dog owner then has the burden to prove otherwise. If a minor owns the dog, the minor’s parents or guardians are liable for the damages. Under Massachusetts law, if there was a prior restraining order issued for the dog by the Animal Control Officer and the dog again causes injuries to another person, the dog owner is liable for three times as much as the damage amount.
There are parties other than the dog owner who may be liable for injuries the dog inflicted. There are animal keepers, who are responsible for the care and custody of the animal, a kennel or animal sitter, for example. A property owner can also be held liable if the property owner allowed the dog onto their property. Lastly, if the dog owner is a renter, the landlord may be liable for the injuries if they knew one of their tenants owned a dangerous animal.
Connecticut Dog Bite Injury Law
Connecticut imposes strict liability upon dog owners if their dog bites or injures another person. The only exceptions are if the victim was trespassing or if the victim was teasing, tormenting or provoking the dog prior to the attack. If the victim is under the age of seven, the law presumes none of the exceptions are applicable and holds the dog owner strictly liable.
The dog owner then has the burden to prove otherwise. If a minor owns the dog, the minor’s parents or guardians are liable for the damages. In Connecticut, the dog does not actually have to bite the victim in order for the victim to recover from the dog’s owner. If the person is knocked down and injured when chased by an aggressive dog, then the victim can recover from the dog’s owner.
There are parties other than the dog owner who may be liable for injuries the dog inflicted. There are animal keepers, who are responsible for the care and custody of the animal, example a kennel or animal sitter. The property owner may be liable if the property owner allowed the dog onto their property. Lastly, if the dog owner is a renter, the landlord may be liable for the injuries if they knew one of their tenants owned a dangerous animal.
What to do After a Dog Bite
- Identify both the dog and dog owner.
- Take down the dog owner’s name, address, phone number and the dog’s license and tag number.
- Get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Once you have obtained that information, do not contact or speak to the witnesses again or try to get any written statements. If your attorney wants to contact them, they can do so.
- Take pictures of the dog and the area where the dog bite occurred. Take pictures of any injuries/wounds you sustained. Take pictures of the condition of your clothing and save the clothing you were wearing when attacked, do not wash it.
- Seek medical treatment for all injuries, however insignificant, as soon as possible. Even minor injuries can result in infections and future harm. In addition, you may need a rabies shot. Do not be afraid to tell the doctor about every area of your body in which you are experiencing pain.
- File a report with the police, animal control or some public agency. Make sure you are given a copy of the completed report.
- Keep track of any medical bills, property damage and other expenses associated with the dog bite.
What NOT to Do After a Dog Bite
- DO NOT discuss or make any statements about your case with any employees or insurance representatives of the property owner, without first speaking with your own lawyer.
- DO NOT accept any forms of payment or sign any releases without speaking to your lawyer. Doing so could waive your right to recovery.
- DO NOT apologize for the incident (for example, "I may have provoked the dog," or "it probably was my fault.") Any statement you make can be used against you by insurance companies and their attorneys to defeat your claim for compensation. Don't sign any document admitting fault.
Common Injuries From Dog Bites
Dog bites can inflict minor and major injuries. Sadly, dog attacks and dog bites can lead to fatalities. Roughly 12 to 15 people die each year from dog bites, most victims are young children. More common injuries include:
- Infection (caused by dog saliva and bacteria from dog’s mouth)
- Torn ligaments
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Fractured or broken bones
- Head Injuries
- Permanent disfigurement and scarring
- Psychological trauma (depression and anxiety)
- PTSD (post traumatic stress syndrome)
You are entitled to compensation for the injuries you suffered. Injuries from dog bites can cause both mental and physical harm and can be very costly. You can recover for medical bills (including plastic or reconstructive surgery), psychological counseling, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering.
How to Avoid a Dog Bite Injury:
- Ask the owner before petting or touching a dog.
- Do not suddenly approach or startle a dog.
- Do not pet or touch a sleeping dog.
- Do not leave babies or small children alone with a dog.
- Do not tease, provoke or torment a dog.
If Attacked by a Dog:
- Do not run or scream.
- Do not stare the dog in the eye.
- If the dog knocks you over, roll into a ball and do not move.
- Try to find a stick or something to shove in the dog’s mouth. This will make the dog feel like it is gagging and will let go of you.
Why You Need a Dog Bite Injury Lawyer?
Dog bite injuries can be both shocking and traumatic. Although you may not want to pursue a claim because family or friends own the dog, you deserve compensation for your injuries. Generally speaking, if a dog bites a person, and the dog owner has homeowners insurance, there may be insurance coverage for the victim’s injuries. This insurance coverage should include damages for medical bills as well as pain and suffering caused to the victim. In addition, receiving money for your injuries does not necessarily mean the dog will be euthanized. Therefore, a victim of a dog attack should immediately consult an injury lawyer in order to preserve a right to compensation.
Attorney Paul d'Oliveira and his Associate Attorneys have settled thousands of personal injury cases over the past twenty-four (24) years. With our help, you can receive compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, damages to personal property, pain and suffering and wrongful death, resulting from a dog bite accident. Our experience and prior track record at d’Oliveira & Associates provide us with the best qualifications to handle your dog bite.
If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite, the right injury lawyer can make certain that you recover the maximum benefits you deserve under the law.
If a dog has bitten you, you should consider contacting an injury attorney who specializes in dog bite cases. The attorneys of d'Oliveira & Associates, P.C., would like to meet with you and discuss the investigation of your injury. Our law firm has represented and assisted numerous dog bite victims in bringing lawsuits against dog owners and insurance companies alike. We never charge our clients any fees or expenses, unless we win your case.