Rhode Island Dog Bite Lawyer
Recent years have shown a dramatic increase in dog ownership in urban areas. With more young professionals than ever in Rhode Island’s cities and metropolitan areas, the number of households keeping large dogs as pets is on the rise. Bars and restaurants often advertise “dog-friendly” policies while offering free pet treats, and pet-related business-like dog bakeries and pet daycares are common. As a result, the number of interactions between people and dogs — particularly large dogs — is higher than ever.
Even though most dog owners are responsible, the small fraction of careless owners is a real risk for the public. If spooked or excited, a large dog can easily cause serious injuries to a wide range of victims. While the most common injury associated with dog attacks are bites and lacerations, there are often additional injuries that aren’t as readily anticipated.
Injuries from dog attacks
The jaws of a German Shepherd, Rottweiler, or Pitbull can slice through muscles and ligaments, crush bone, and do irreparable nerve damage. Large dog breeds that are trained to fight will bite and hold, shaking massive neck muscles back and forth. Even a single bite can result in severed nerves, infections, and scarring; even after the wound is healed, physical therapy to regain function can take months or years.
In addition to local trauma, deep lacerations can result in severe blood loss which requires hospitalization. This can result in further complications and a lengthier recovery period. In most jurisdictions, the owner of a vicious dog is responsible for all the injuries which proceed from the initial attack.
Not all dog attack injuries involve bites. When a large dog attacks, it pushes itself off the ground with tremendous force. Police dogs are able to knock a full-grown man to the ground with the impact of their jump. Even if a dog does not bite, simply attacking can throw a victim to the ground with enough force to cause whiplash, sprains, concussions, and long-lasting soft tissue injuries.
Common dog bite situations
Rhode Island has laws which require dog owners to keep their dogs on a leash in most situations. However, many people fail to follow this rule or lose their grip on the leash when a dog is spooked or excited. An unleashed or loose dog can cause serious injuries.
Many people looking for the top Rhode Island dog bite lawyer call because they were injured while trying to protect their own pet. A large dog that would ordinarily leave bystanders alone may become dangerous if it sees another dog. If a German Shepherd gets loose and attacks a smaller dog, it can quickly cause serious injuries to anyone who tries to intervene.
Another class of dog attacks happen when a guest is on the dog’s own “turf” and is suddenly perceived as a threat. Dog owners may assume that because the dog is never aggressive toward people in public, the same will be true at home, but that is not necessarily the case. Pitbulls are fiercely territorial and can attack a guest unexpectedly.
How Rhode Island dog bite attorneys prove liability
Someone who has been injured in a dog attack may assume that the owners will be held responsible, but this is not always the case. A careless owner may argue that he never knew his dog would cause injuries, and thus couldn’t have expected what happened. In other cases, the dog might be known to be aggressive, but the insurance company will claim the policy doesn’t cover certain breeds.
After a dog attack, it is critical to document everything about the incident. If you are seriously injured, ask a trusted friend or acquaintance to take the names and phone numbers of all witnesses while you seek medical treatment. You should always call the police and ask for a full police report.
When you contact the law firm of Louis W. Grande, we will ask specific questions to help us determine the best path forward. We will determine the likelihood of obtaining liability as well as the available insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries. All calls are confidential, and you are never charged for a consultation.