Dog Bites

When attacked by a dog, a person can be left with both emotional and physical scars.  The physical dog bite related injuries can range from minor wounds to severe lacerations, broken bones, and even death.  Sometimes worse than the physical injuries may be the corresponding emotional injuries which can constitute phobias, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Many of these injuries, especially those that require medical attention, can result in expensive medical bills, lost wages, and other financial hardships.

When a person is bitten by a dog, they may be able to seek damages from the dog’s owner or keeper.  In both Massachusetts and Rhode Island, animal bite claims are governed by a state law known as “strict liability.”

In Massachusetts, a dog’s owner or keeper is responsible for any bite victim’s injuries no matter the involved in the attack. However, the strict liability law does not apply under two circumstances: 1) when the victim was trespassing or committing another violation at the time of the attack, and 2) when the victim incited the attack by teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog.

In Rhode Island, strict liability only applies in certain circumstances where the attack occurs outside of a dog’s enclosure.

If you are bitten by a dog the first thing you should do is contact animal control and then determine if the dog has had its appropriate vaccinations.  You should immediately get proper medical treatment.  Finally, you should contact a dog bite attorney who could assist you in recovering just compensation. 

Dog bites can cause severe physical and emotional trauma, and victims should not hesitate to pursue a legal claim if they have been seriously injured. With the assistance of a qualified dog bite lawyer, victims of dog bites can seek justice and compensation for their injuries.

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