Providence Dog Bite Lawyer
The numbers are staggering. Well over four million people in the United States suffer a dog bite every year. About 750,000 dog bite victims require medical attention, and dog bites send about 350,000 people to the emergency room each year. Most tragically, dog bites cause dozens of deaths annually. In 2018, 40 people lost their lives after a vicious dog attack.
Dog bites are painful and traumatic. They can cause catastrophic injuries including nerve damage, fractures, facial lacerations and diseases that can cause paralysis or life-threatening infections. For some, the emotional scars of a dog bite never heal.
When dog bites require serious medical attention, they need serious legal attention as well. Providence dog bite lawyer Michael Kiselica helps victims of dog bites in Rhode Island recover compensation to deal with all the damages a serious dog bite brings, including medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, scarring or disfigurement, and emotional distress. Call the Kiselica Law Firm to discuss your options if you or a family member has been hurt by a dog bite or animal attack in Rhode Island.
What does Rhode Island law have to say about dog bites and liability of dog owners?
Rhode Island dog bite law holds the owner or keeper of the dog liable for all damage sustained when a dog “assaults, bites, or otherwise injures any person while traveling the highway or out of the enclosure of the owner or keeper” of the dog. The Rhode Island Supreme Court has said this law imposes “strict liability” on the dog’s owner or keeper. In other words, it is not necessary to prove that the owner or keeper was negligent in allowing the attack to occur. Dog owners are strictly liable for any bite that occurs off the owner’s property.
Rhode Island’s dog bite statute further states that if a dog bite occurs for a second time, that injury victim can recover double the amount of damages caused, and the court will also order the killing of the dog. The law applies to persons injured by dog bites as well as if a dog kills, wounds or “worries” a person’s livestock or other domestic animal.
What about attacks that happen on the owner’s property?
Rhode Island’s “strict liability” law only applies to dog bites that occur outside of the owner’s property. If the bite occurs on the owner’s property, the dog bite victim will have to prove that the owner knew or should have known that the dog might bite yet failed to take reasonable steps to prevent the attack. Such negligence could include letting the dog roam freely without leash or tether or warning the victim if the keeper knew the dog may have vicious propensities.
Proving what the dog owner knew or should have known can be difficult. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Michael Kiselica knows the proper steps to take to build and present a strong case proving the dog owner’s liability for the damages caused by a dog bite.
If the dog’s owner is a friend or family member, will I have to sue them?
We can help you negotiate a settlement that covers your costs without harming your relationship with a friend, neighbor or family member. Dog bites can be expensive and require serious compensation, but in most cases the owner will be covered by homeowner’s or renter’s insurance or a personal umbrella insurance policy. If a lawsuit is necessary to recover sufficient compensation, the money will come from the insurance company and not from the dog owner’s pocket. This is what insurance is for, and you shouldn’t feel bad about having to sue if necessary. Your friend or neighbor likely feels terrible about what happened and wants to see you properly compensated, and they should understand that any legal action is not personal to them and will not cost them directly.
Call Providence Personal Injury Lawyer Michael Kiselica after a Rhode Island Dog Bite or Animal Attack
If you or a loved one has been hurt by a dog bite in Rhode Island, call Providence dog bite lawyer Michael Kiselica at 401-421-0300 for a free, confidential consultation regarding any potential claims you may have. We’ll help you get the care and compensation you need to recover after a serious Rhode Island dog bite or animal attack.