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What is the dog bite law in Rhode Island?

For millions of Americans, their dogs are beloved members of the family. Dogs also serve a vital purpose in society as aids in law enforcement and for many disabled people.

Though most pet dogs are tame and trained, they are still animals and their actions cannot always be predicted. Without warning, dogs sometimes attack people and badly injure them with bite wounds.

Such injuries can be life-threatening, especially when the victim is elderly or a child. More commonly, the victim suffers tremendous pain and must undergo extensive medical treatment to recover. Medical care is often very expensive.

Dog bite laws in Rhode Island

Each state has its own laws regarding civil liability after a serious dog bite. In Rhode Island, the law applies strict liability to a dog owner after his or her dog injures someone else. This means that, unlike most other personal injury cases, the owner’s intentions do not matter. If his or her dog bit someone and hurt them, the owner must pay compensation.

There is one unusual exception outlined by the Rhode Island Supreme Court: strict liability does not apply when the attack took place within the dog’s “enclosure.” In that situation, the victim must prove that the dog owner negligently allowed the injury to occur, which is more difficult to do.

On the other hand, if the dog has injured someone before, the subsequent victim may be entitled to double compensation.

To hold the owner of a dangerous dog responsible for your injuries, it is important to make sure you have a skilled personal injury attorney representing you.

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