ROB LEVINE, THE DOG BITE LAWYER
INJURED? CALL THE DOG BITE ACCIDENT LAWYER NOW FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION - NO FEES UNTIL YOU WIN
According to a study from the Center For Disease Control (CDC), approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and 800,000 of those bites result in medical care. The U.S. population is approximately 328.2 million people as of 2019. That means a dog bites 1 out of every 73 people.
Dogs of any breed and size may bite, from large Great Danes to small Chihuahuas. Injuries sustained in a dog attack can be serious and some might require extensive medical attention. Dogs might bite for numerous reasons, and in some cases, the circumstances of the bite might affect your ability to hold the dog’s owner liable for damages. If you suffered injuries in a dog bite attack, remember that a dog does not have to bite you to qualify as an injury. For example, if you’re playing frisbee in a park and a dog knocks you down, and you break your leg, the owners would be liable for the injuries you have suffered. Speak to a dog bite lawyer in Providence, Boston, Fall River, Hartford, or New Haven about filing a claim for your damages.
DOG BITE LAWS VARY BY STATE
One of the most important things to discuss with your dog bite lawyer in detail is the laws pertaining to dog bite attacks specifically in the state where the attack occurred. The laws are different from one state to the next, so make sure you find an attorney capable of handling your case.
In Rhode Island, for example, there is the distinction of whether the attack occurred inside the enclosure; or outside the enclosure. The enclosure is defined as the boundary lines for the property. For example, if you live in an apartment, anything outside of your apartment door is considered a common area and outside of the enclosure. If you own your own home, outside of the enclosure would be if you have fencing or bushes that outline the property line. If a dog bites outside of the enclosure, the owner is considered strictly liable. If the dog bites inside the enclosure, you either have to prove that the dog has previously bitten someone or that the owner had knowledge of the dog’s vicious propensities. This really becomes the definition of negligence: duty, breach, causation, and damages. As part of the breach, we need to prove that the dog owner knew or should have known, that the dog was vicious.
In Massachusetts, the court follows more strict adherence to the negligence standard, proving duty, breach, causation, and damages.
It’s important to discuss the law in the state with a dog bite lawyer who can review the facts of the case and determine eligibility to file a claim against the owner or person responsible for the dog at the time of the bite, often referred to as the dog’s keeper.
HIRE AN EXPERIENCED DOG BITE ATTACK LAWYER
An experienced dog bite lawyer not only will know the laws necessary to prove your case in each state but will be able to handle and argue with the insurance company to ensure you have coverage. Most dog bites are covered by a homeowners’ policy. Generally, homeowners’ insurance is held by the owner of the property. A high percentage of dog bites come from tenants who rent apartments, condominiums, or single-family homes. Often those tenants do not carry liability insurance for their dog. You need an attorney who understands how to read the insurance policies and show that the owner of the property was harboring the dog, allowing his tenant to keep the dog on the premises, thereby making the owner liable.
Some examples of dog bite-related injuries that victims might sustain include the following:
- Puncture wounds
- Crushing injuries
- Broken bones
- Psychological trauma
- Additional harm if the victim falls down while trying to escape
Injury or accident case
- Dial 911 and report the accident. Let them know if there are any injuries and always request a rescue if you are injured.
- Never move your vehicle prior to the police arriving.
- If you are able to exit your vehicle, take pictures of the accident scene from a distance so that you can see all of the vehicles involved and all of the vehicles in one picture. Then take close-up pictures of each vehicle involved. Make sure to include the damage, license plate of the vehicle, and a picture of the driver.
- If there is a witness to the accident, ask them to wait for the police to arrive so they can give a statement. If they cannot wait, ask if you can take a picture of their identification and then include a picture of them holding their identification that you can read.
- Once the police arrive, make a statement as to how the accident occurred. Ensure that the police talk to the witness and takes their statement as well. If the witness left prior to the police arrival, show the police officer a picture of the witness and their identification, making sure that, on the police report, they are noted as a witness that had to leave before his arrival.
- If you are injured, never refuse medical treatment by rescue personnel. Be transported by rescue to the nearest hospital to get medical treatment.
- You and the other driver can agree to follow each other and meet at the police department to make a report.
- If you are not going to meet at the police department to make a report, you should exchange the following information to include a copy of their license, motor vehicle registration, insurance card, a picture of their license plate, and a picture of the other driver. Remember, you should have documented photos of the scene of the accident and damages to vehicles as well.