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Dog bite liability in Rhode Island

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | Dog Bites

Major, life-changing injuries can result from dog bite attacks. Victims often suffer permanent injuries, causing scarring and disabilities that may require surgery. Dog attacks can also result in psychological effects, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

In Rhode Island, the dog’s owner may have legal responsibility for the costs associated with an attack.

Understanding liability

Rhode Island has a strict liability law for dog bite injuries. Under this law, the owner pays for injuries and damages if an animal attack occurs outside of an enclosed area on his or her property.

However, if a dog bites you on the owner’s private property, he or she does not have to pay for the cost of injuries if the animal does not have a history of aggression. If you suffer injuries caused by a dog with a history of attacks, the court may double your available legal damages.

Reviewing additional circumstances

The term “owner” in Rhode Island refers to the person who had control of the animal at the time of the incident. The state also allows you to seek compensation for a pet (or “nonhuman victim”) of a dog bite. In addition to the cost of medical treatment associated with the injuries, you can also file a claim for property damage that occurred in the attack.

In addition to the state laws about dog bites, some Rhode Island cities have their own regulations about vicious animals and requirements to report dog attacks. If you want to seek legal compensation from a dog’s owner, you have three years to file a claim from the date of the incident.