Although dogs have become a staple of the average household, the creatures aren't always man's best friend. When a dog attacks a person, the results can be devastating. Dog attacks can result in serious injuries and even death. If you are the victim of a dog bite, you may be able to recover compensation for the suffering that you have endured.
Strict Liability for Dog Bites in Rhode Island
Rhode Island, like many other states, follows the theory of "strict liability" when it comes to dog bites. The statute states that an owner of a dog is wholly liable for injuries resulting from a dog bite as long as the person was not on the property of the dog's owner. If you are jogging in a local park and were attacked by a fellow visitor's dog, for example, the owner of the dog would be strictly liable for any injuries resulting from the dog bite.
The "One Bite Rule" in Rhode Island
The law differs, however, when a dog bite occurs on the owner's property. In this case, strict liability does not apply; rather, the "one bite rule" comes into play. This rule says that the owner of a dog will only be held liable for a dog attack if the owner knew--or had reason to know--that the dog would attack.
Recoverable Compensation After a Dog Bite
If you were attacked by a dog, you may be able to recover financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. A successful case can provide compensation--otherwise known as "damages"--for costs including:
- Medical bills incurred after the attack, including hospital bills, emergency room visits, and surgical expenses
- Costs of medical supplies and medication necessary to treat your injuries
If you are the victim of a dog bite, you already know that the repercussions of an attack can extend far beyond the financial level. Although there is no amount of money that can take this suffering away, a personal injury lawsuit can still provide financial compensation for:
- Physical pain that you suffered during and after the attack
- Emotional trauma that you endured as a result of the attack, such as fear, depression, anxiety, or inability to sleep
Don't Wait Too Long to Hire an Attorney
If you were bitten by a dog in Rhode Island, it's important to speak with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Laws called "statutes of limitations" place time limits on how long a person can wait to bring a lawsuit against a wrongdoer. In Rhode Island, a person only has three years to file a claim against a dog owner for an attack. Once this period has passed, it is extremely difficult--or even impossible--to file a claim.
Attacked by a Dog in Rhode Island? We're Here to Help
If you were attacked by a dog in Rhode Island, one of the best decisions that you can make is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. With the help of an Inman & Tourgee personal injury attorney, you can rest easy knowing that your case is being handled by an experienced attorney with your best interests in mind. To discuss your attack with a member of our legal team, fill out an online case evaluation form or call (401) 823-9200 today.