The Answers You Need for the Questions You’re Forced to Ask
One of the worst aspects of pursuing a case—whether you’re fighting for injury compensation or trying to settle a divorce—is not knowing what to expect. Before you get yourself knee deep in the details of your case allow us to answer some of your questions first. We’ll help you be more fully prepared and more confident as you move forward.
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What Should I Do If a Dog Bites Me or Someone In My Family?
Dogs may be members of a household, but they can still be dangerous—especially to young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 4.5 million dog bites occur every year, while one in five of these injuries requires medical attention. Over half of the time, people are bitten by a dog they know such as a neighbor’s dog, a friend's dog, or their own family pet.
What to Do After Someone You Know Is Bitten by a Dog
Children are more likely to be seriously injured by dog bites than adults, but all people can suffer infections and scarring due to improperly treated bites. To care for a dog bite injury, here’s what you should do following the incident:
- Immediately. If the wound is bleeding, place a clean towel over the injury site, and elevate the wounded limb until the bleeding stops. When you remove the towel, allow cold, clean water to run over the wound, and dab the bite carefully with soap and water. If the wound is not deep, apply a sterile bandage smeared with antibiotic ointment to the wound.
- Within a few hours. If the bite is deep or the injury has become swollen or tender, you should go to the hospital immediately for treatment. Even if you can treat the wound at home, it is vital that you see a doctor in the days following the dog bite incident. The doctor can clean the wound more thoroughly, assess your risk of infection, and tell you which symptoms and complications to look for as you heal.
- In the next week. Find out as much information as you can about the dog, including who the owner is, if the dog was properly restrained, if the dog was provoked, and if the dog is up to date on rabies shots and all necessary vaccinations.
Contact An Attorney After a Dog Bite
After you have done these things, it is a good idea to speak to an attorney about your injury case. You may be able to get compensation for your time off work, your injuries, and any long-term consequences a dog attack may cause. Call us today at 401-946-3200 or fill out our online contact form on this page to make an appointment in our Rhode Island personal injury law office.
How can I claim compensation if I’ve been attacked by a dog?
Known for their loyalty and obedience, dogs are one of the most popular pets in America. In spite of this, in the United States, more than 1,000 people seek emergency room treatment for dog bites every day. Each year, in Providence, Kent, and Washington Counties, Rhode Island, many adults and children suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries as a result of an unprovoked dog attack. Dog bites can result in permanent physical scarring, disfigurement, and psychological trauma that lasts long after the attack. If you or a love one suffered injuries in an unprovoked dog attack, you can file a lawsuit for compensation, but you may want a skilled attorney to help you.
Liability for Dog Bites
In the Ocean State, if you are bitten by a dog while it is outside of an enclosed area (such as the owner’s yard), the dog’s keeper or owner is liable for your injuries. It the bite occurs inside of the dog’s enclosure, you must prove that the owner was aware of the dog’s tendency to be vicious in order for the owner to have strict liability for the attack. This can be proven by producing evidence that the dog was involved in previous unprovoked attacks on adults or children.
Under Rhode Island law, it’s important to determine if a dog injured a child or an adult previously and the owner was held liable for those injuries in a lawsuit. If this is true, and the dog causes a subsequent injury and the owner is again held liable, he may be required to pay double the amount of damages.
There are a number of damages you may claim in a dog attack personal injury case. These include:
- Economic damages. These types of damages can include medical costs, lost earnings, diminished future income, and life care.
- Non-economic damages. These types of damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.
If the victim’s injuries prove fatal, family members may also be entitled to claim damages for wrongful death. In this case, it must be proven that the dog attack victim died as a result of the bites, and the surviving family members have suffered financially due to the death.
If you or your child suffered injuries in an unprovoked dog attack in Rhode Island, our attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum understand the anger, pain, and concerns you are now facing. Our firm has been providing legal services to communities in Providence, Kent, and Washington Counties for more than 80 years. We have a history of proven results. Call us at 401-946-3200, or use our online form to request a free consultation with our dog bite attorneys. Let us help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.