dog bite injury lawyer DOG BITE LAWYER Have dog been bitten or attacked by a dog? Call the attorneys at Rob Levine & Associates.

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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.

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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
  • Lacerations
  • Infection
  • Crushing injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Psychological trauma
  • Scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Additional harm if the victim falls down while trying to escape
FAQs About Your

Injury or accident case

What should I do after a car accident?
Your health should be your priority. See a healthcare professional and follow their orders. During the case, do not discuss the accident with the at-fault party’s insurance company, as this could unintentionally help build their case against you. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will help you navigate the process.
  • 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.
If the police are unable to respond and you or the other driver need to leave, you have two options:
    1. You and the other driver can agree to follow each other and meet at the police department to make a report.
    2. 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.
I’m not sure if I have a case.
Many personal injury cases are complex, so consider hiring a personal injury attorney like Rob Levine & Associates.  We will do our best to investigate, obtain the facts, and help you understand your options.  At Rob Levine & Associates, we do not charge for consultations.
What damages can I be compensated for?
If you are a victim of a bus accident, you are entitled to recover the same damages as any other personal injury case, to include: lost wages, medical bills, pain & suffering, property damage, out of pocket expenses, scarring, compensation for any permanent injury, and compensation for any future medical costs.
What happens if I do not feel pain at the scene of the accident?
You must see a healthcare professional right after your accident, whether or not you feel pain. Your body’s natural adrenaline will likely kick in, meaning your body is in initial shock. Once that wears off, you will be able to feel the effects of your injuries.
How is liability determined in a slip and fall case?
A slip and fall accident occurs when someone sustains injuries due to a trip or slip, whether that be inside or outside, which could have been prevented by the property owner. This could be defined as negligence.  Negligence is defined as duty, breach, causation, and damages. Duty means that the defendant owed you a duty or care as a reasonably prudent person (RPP) under the circumstances under the shoes the defendant was in. Breach means that they violated the RPP standard and put you in a position of peril, having both actual or constructive notice as well as the opportunity to cure the defect. Causation is the link between their breach of the standard of care and the injury or damages that you have suffered. That link must be reasonably foreseeable and there should not be another intervening or superseding cause that caused your damages.  Damages are the harm that you suffered directly caused by the defendant's breach of the standard of care. If you meet those four elements, you have shown the defendant is negligent and you have a viable slip and fall injury case.
When is an owner responsible for a dog bite?
In Rhode Island, there is one standard that we look at to begin the decision tree as to whether or not an owner of a dog is responsible for your injuries. The question is, did the dog bite occur inside or outside the enclosure? The enclosure is defined as the logical border of the actual property. If the dog owner lives in an apartment inside a complex and there is a common area hallway, porch, and/or yard,  inside the enclosure would be inside the owner's apartment. Once the dog enters the hallway, anywhere thereafter, would be considered outside the enclosure. If the dog and owner live in a single-family home, outside the enclosure is defined as outside the property line or any indication of the property line, such as a fence or hedges. If you are bit inside the enclosure, in order to pursue a case, you must show that the dog has previously bitten another person or the owner knew of the dog's vicious propensities. If you were bit outside the enclosure, that is what we refer to as strict liability. The owner is 100% responsible for all of your damages. In MA, dog bites are generally guided by the theory of negligence whether inside or outside the enclosure. Negligence is defined as duty, breach, causation, and damages. Duty means that the defendant owed you a duty or care as a reasonably prudent person (RPP) under the circumstances in the shoes the defendant was in. Breach means that they violated the RPP standard and put you in a position of peril, having both actual or constructive notice as well as the opportunity to cure the defect. Causation is the link between their breach of the standard of care and the injury or damages that you have suffered. That link must be reasonably foreseeable and there should not be another intervening or superseding cause that resulted in your damages.  Damages are the harm that you suffered directly caused by the defendant's breach of the standard of care. If you meet those four elements, you have shown the defendant is negligent and you have a viable personal injury case.

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