Helping You Hold Dog Owners Liable
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Providence, RI, it's important to seek legal representation from an experienced dog bite attorney, such as the lawyers here at Karns & Kerrison. Dog bites can result in serious injuries and may leave long-term physical and emotional scars. At our law firm, we understand the impact that a dog bite can have on your life, and we are here to help you seek the compensation you deserve to try to make things better. With years of experience representing victims of dog attacks, we have the knowledge and skills needed to fight for your rights and hold the responsible parties accountable.
Common Causes of Dog Bites & Attacks
Owners need to keep control of their dogs whenever other people are around or when they are in public. Failing to take basic precautions can result in the loss of control over the dog, potentially endangering others.
Common mistakes that dog owners make that enable a dog to bite someone include:
- Lack of socialization or training: Dogs that have not been properly socialized with people or other animals may become fearful or aggressive in certain situations, leading to a bite. Similarly, dogs that have not received proper training may not understand boundaries and may be more likely to lash out.
- Failure to properly supervise the dog: Leaving a dog alone with unfamiliar people or animals can be dangerous, particularly if the dog has a history of aggression. It's important for owners to always supervise their dogs and take steps to prevent them from coming into contact with others if necessary.
- Encouraging aggressive behavior: Some owners may intentionally encourage their dogs to be aggressive as a means of protection or to show dominance. However, this can lead to dangerous behavior and should never be encouraged.
- Neglecting medical issues: Dogs who are in pain or discomfort may be more irritable and prone to biting. Owners who neglect medical issues such as ear infections, dental problems, or arthritis may unwittingly contribute to their dog's aggressive behavior.
- Failing to properly secure the dog: Dogs who are allowed to roam freely without proper supervision or confinement may pose a danger to others. Owners should ensure that their dogs are securely contained when outside and cannot escape.
Serious Injuries Caused by Dog Bites
Dog bites can cause a wide range of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to severe trauma. In some cases, the injuries may require extensive medical treatment, including surgery and rehabilitation.
Common injuries associated with serious dog bites include:
- Deep puncture wounds: Dog bites can cause deep puncture wounds that may become infected if not properly treated.
- Tissue damage: A dog bite can cause significant damage to the surrounding tissue, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This type of injury may require surgery to repair.
- Nerve damage: The force of a dog bite can also damage nerves in the affected area, leading to numbness or loss of sensation.
- Broken bones: If a dog bites with enough force, it may break or shatter bones, especially if the dog is a large breed.
- Infection: Dog bites are prone to infection due to the bacteria present in a dog's mouth. If left untreated, an infected wound can lead to serious complications.
In addition to physical injuries, dog bites can also have psychological effects on victims. Many people who have been bitten by dogs suffer from anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the attack. It is important to consider nonphysical injuries when building a dog bite injury claim.
Anyone who has been bitten by a dog should seek medical attention right away and report the incident to local authorities. If you've been injured by someone else's dog due to their negligence or failure to control their pet, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and options for pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Rhode Island Dog Bite Laws
In Rhode Island, the law holds dog owners strictly liable for any injuries their pets cause to another person. This means that if a dog bites someone, the owner is responsible for compensating the victim for their injuries, regardless of whether the owner was negligent. To file a personal injury claim in Rhode Island for a dog bite, the victim must be able to prove that they were bitten by the defendant's dog and that they suffered damages as a result.
Damages in a dog bite claim could include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
It's important to note that there are some exceptions to Rhode Island's strict liability rule for dog bites. For example, if the victim was trespassing on the owner's property or provoking the dog at the time of the attack, they may not be able to recover compensation for their injuries due to complications with liability. Also, a dog owner can try to defend themselves using a broadly interpreted “one bite rule” if the attack occurred on their property and the dog had never been aggressive before.
Keep in mind that there is a three-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims in Rhode Island. This means that you have three years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog. It's important to act quickly and seek legal representation as soon as possible after being bitten.
Call Our Providence Dog Bite Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog in Providence, it's important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Our Providence dog attack lawyers have years of collective experience representing victims of dog bites and fighting for their rights to fair compensation. Don't hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation, so you can see all the ways that we can help you navigate the road ahead.