Middletown requires all dog owners to keep their dogs leashed whenever they leave private property. When people break this rule, they put others at risk. Nearly 900,000 Americans seek medical attention each year for dog bites, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars. Needless to say, most cannot afford that expense on their own.
Rhode Island law allows dog attack victims to pursue injury claims against negligent pet owners. Karns & Kerrison can help you seek compensation for your damages. If you want to know more about how we can help you secure a settlement, reach out for a free consultation.
You can reach Karns & Kerrison’s Middletown lawyers at (888) 281-3100. We’ve been fighting for dog bite and other injury victims since 1974.
When a Dog Owner Is Liable for a Bite
Rhode Island law holds a dog owner liable for their pet’s actions even if it has not previously shown any dangerous propensities. This is a good thing for dog attack victims because it means you do not have to provide evidence beyond the details of your attack and the related damages.
However, there are some defenses a dog owner may use to push back on your claim:
- If you were on the dog owner’s property without permission, they are no longer automatically liable for a bite—you will have to prove the dog had a history of aggression or the owner should have expected it might behave aggressively
- If you did anything that might have provoked the dog to react aggressively, you may be found to share blame and therefore see the amount of your settlement decreased
Thankfully, most cases do not have these complications; therefore, an injury victim’s biggest concern will be providing proper evidence of their injuries and losses.
Filing Claims for Attacks Other than Dog Bites
Biting is not the only way a dog can injure a human. They may rush at someone and knock them over. Even attacking with their claws can cause significant harm if a dog can reach the victim’s face and neck. Regardless of the nature of a dog’s attack, you are still eligible to file a claim.
Damages in a Dog Bite Claim
After a dog bite, you should seek medical attention to ensure you have not contracted any dangerous diseases and the wound is not infected. Even this relatively minor care can cost thousands of dollars. The victims of severe attacks may need treatment including stitches or reconstructive surgery. There are also the mental effects of an attack to consider: It’s not unusual for victims to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that’s triggered by seeing or being around a dog.
You can seek compensation for all these expenses and more, including:
- Future medical needs
- Lost wages
- Permanent scarring/disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
Our team can help you determine the extent of a dog bite’s effects on your life. We want all victims to receive maximum compensation so they can move forward with ease.
What Is Rhode Island’s Double Damages Rule?
Our state is unique in that the owner of any dog that has already harmed someone must pay double the damages to the next person it attacks. This is an incentive for dog owners who know their pet is dangerous to do their utmost to keep it under control.
While it’s rare for a dog bite victim to find themselves eligible for additional compensation under this rule, it’s important to work with an attorney who knows to investigate this matter. Our team at Karns & Kerrison has the resources to launch a thorough analysis of every case we take.
We Can Help with Even the Most Complex Dog Bite Claims
What happens when a dog is in the custody of a dog sitter or walker when it attacks? When can a child be held responsible for taking actions that might anger a dog? These questions come up in some dog bite claims, and when issues like this arise, you need a skilled attorney on your side to provide answers. We have over 85 years of combined experience and are ready to assist you with all matters of your dog bite or dog attack claim.
Being the victim of a dog bite, or seeing a loved one injured in this way, can be shocking and terrifying. We’re here to help you find justice after such an attack. Reach out today to learn about your legal options after being hurt by a dangerous dog.
Our Middletown dog bite lawyers have the skill and experience to help you. Call us now for a free consultation at (888) 281-3100.
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