Providence Dog Bite Accident Lawyer
Dog owners have a responsibility to protect others from attacks by their dogs. In Rhode Island, dog owners are liable for injuries inflicted by their dogs, and the Providence dog bite lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush have the skill and knowledge to hold negligent dog owners accountable.
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The aftermath of a vicious dog attack can be painful and costly. Under Rhode Island law, a dog owner is liable for any injury or damage caused by their dog, regardless of the owner’s knowledge of the dog’s vicious propensities. The injured party can seek compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages related to the attack. An attorney can assist with the process and ensure that the victim’s rights are protected.
Dog bites are a terrible experience that can happen to anyone, anywhere. If you suffer an attack in Providence, the top-rated injury lawyers at Marasco & Nesselbush may be able to help.
Trust The Providence Dog Bite Lawyers Marasco & Nesselbush With Your Case
The legal team at Marasco & Nesselbush can work with you to ensure that you recover all your potential expenses and losses. If your injuries are severe, they can work with your medical providers to determine long-term costs, allowing you to cover your needs now and in the future.
They can also negotiate with the insurance company and, if necessary, file a lawsuit on your behalf.
A personal injury attorney can help you recover damages such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Wrongful death
- Loss of companionship
Legal matters can be confusing and complicated, but your Providence personal injury lawyer knows how to handle every aspect, including negotiating with insurance companies, which have a team of lawyers working to help them avoid paying out large sums of money.
Marasco & Nesselbush will defend your rights and represent your best interests. If you have been injured by a dog, don’t hesitate to contact the Marasco & Nesselbush Law Firm for a free consultation today.
How Common Are Dog Bites In Providence, RI?
Providence officials do not provide statistics on how many dog attacks happen in the city, but national statistics paint a sobering picture of how often these incidents occur. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that dogs bite approximately 4.5 million people in the United States each year. Around one in five cases require medical care.
Children are the most common victims. Their small size and fearless nature make them more likely to be attacked by a dog. They are also more likely to do things, such as scaring the dog, that provoke the dog to bite.
What Does Rhode Island Law Say About Dog Bites?
In Rhode Island, state law declares that the owner or person housing a dog is liable for any injuries or damages the canine causes. However, there are some exceptions. For example, in Woonsocket, the city does provide an exception for an owner’s liability if the person who was bitten trespassed, committed a crime, or provoked the animal.
The state also has rules concerning vicious dogs. Dogs are considered vicious when they have attacked a person or responded aggressively without provocation. Animal control officers working for municipal police departments in Rhode Island have the authority to declare a dog vicious, a move that triggers additional responsibilities for the dog owner, including providing special housing and confinement for the dog to prevent further incidents.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Dog bites are often a reaction to a stimulus. Some of the most common stimuli include:
- Pain: Biting can be a reaction to pain when an animal is ill or injured.
- Fear: Attacks can be a natural response if the canine is scared or frightened.
- Protectiveness: If the dog senses that someone or something they love is being threatened, the dog may bite in an attempt to protect them. If they feel threatened, they may also have the inclination to fight back.
Sometimes, dogs will bite because they have not been adequately trained. Aggressive breeds may bite or attack in the absence of an apparent stimulus. However, aggression can occur in any breed of dog, so those who come into contact with any dog should assess its potential to attack based on behavior, not breed alone.
Common Injuries From Dog Bites
Injuries in dog bite cases typically involve torn skin, bruising, and punctures. A dog’s teeth can be quite sharp and go through the skin fairly easily. Sometimes, they may snag on the skin, and if the dog shakes its head, the skin might tear or rip.
The most significant concern with most dog bite injuries is infection. Bacterial infections can set in open wounds easily if you do not keep the area clean and covered. There is also a risk of rabies, especially if the dog wasn’t vaccinated.
Other common injuries include:
- Nerve damage
- Head injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
The resulting injuries from an attack can range from minor to deadly. It often depends on the breed and size of the animal, as some dangerous dog breeds are much stronger than others and can inflict more severe damage.
What Should I Do If A Dog Bites Me In Providence?
If a dog injures you, you want to take specific steps to ensure your health and safety and to protect your legal rights. The priority after an incident is to seek medical care, as time is of the essence to avoid infection and repair any major damage.
- Seek medical care. Call 911 or get to a hospital as soon as possible. You will want to administer first aid immediately by washing the bite and covering it with a clean cloth or bandage.
- Report the incident. The hospital should report the bite to authorities, but if they do not, make sure you do. The Providence Municiple Code of Ordinances requires that physicians, hospitals or other medical practitioners report all dog attacks that occur in Providence.
- Gather evidence. Speak with witnesses or take pictures of the scene. The idea is to gather any information that can assist your attorney with building your case against the dog’s owner.
- Hire a Providence dog bite accident lawyer. Find an attorney who has experience handling dog bite cases.
- Follow up with your medical provider. Attend all medical appointments and adhere to doctor’s orders. Also, keep an eye out for signs of infection.
What Happens If Another Dog Bites My Dog In Providence?
Rhode Island law states that if a dog bites, wounds, or kills a domestic animal, including another dog, “the owner or keeper of the dog shall be liable to the person aggrieved, for all damage sustained, to be recovered in a civil action, with costs of suit.”
This means that the owner of the dog will be liable for veterinary bills and other related expenses. If the dog attacks another dog a second time, the owner will owe the plaintiff double the damages, and the court may order the “detention or destruction of the dog.”
Who Is Responsible For My Dog Bite Injury?
In Providence, the responsibility for dog attacks is the owner’s. It is the job of anyone who owns or harbors a canine to ensure that the animal is adequately contained, which means keeping it locked up, on a leash, muzzled, or otherwise under control so that it cannot cause harm.
However, the law does allow for exceptions to this rule. The owner is not liable if the victim taunted or provoked the dog. Owners can also reduce liability by clearly displaying a warning sign about the canine on their properties.
Is There A Deadline To File A Dog Bite Lawsuit In Providence, RI?
The time limit for dog attacks falls under the statute of limitations for personal injury. You must file your case for claims regarding a physical injury within three years of the incident. The same time limit applies if an attack leads to the death of a loved one. You have the right to sue for the wrongful death of a close relative.
Be cautious about the statute of limitations. Time can go by rather quickly, and you could miss the deadline. If you do not file your case before the end of the time limit, the court will not hear it, and you will lose your right to make a claim.
You also want to ensure you work with an attorney that understands how to handle Rhode Island premises liability cases.
Your case evaluation is free and confidential, and our law office works on a contingency-fee basis, so it will cost you nothing to talk to a lawyer today.
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If you think you may have a dog bite accident case, contact us now for a FREE consultation