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What is the law regarding dog bites and attacks?

Have you ever been bitten by a dog? Dog bites are not just for mail carriers. Unsupervised or untrained domestic animals attack several people each year.

If a dog has attacked you, it is time to be informed about relevant personal injury laws. Depending on your situation, you may have some recovery options.

For example, in Rhode Island, the owner of a dog will be strictly liable for a bite unless the animal was within the owner's enclosed property. Therefore, as long as the dog is not in its own enclosure during the attack, an owner will be legally responsible for the victim's injury.

On the other hand, if the plaintiff suffers injuries within the dog owner's enclosed property, the statute will not apply. In such case, common law will kick in and the burden will shift to the plaintiff. The victim will then be required to prove that the defendant knew about the dog's "violent" or "vicious" tendencies. This is also known as the "one-bite rule."

Application of the law

The dog bite law can apply to anyone who is deemed a "keeper" of the dog - not just owners. The law is all about control and the technical location of the dog. Moreover, the injury does not have to be an actual bite to be within the coverage of the law. The victim could suffer another type of harm, as well (for example, scratches). Speaking of victim... the victim can be another dog, too. Therefore, if a domestic animal attacks your pooch, you may still have rights.

It might be important to note that if the offending dog has a history of aggressive conduct, the victim may be entitled to double the damages. If you want to know about Rhode Island's dog bite laws, seek legal help. Legal assistance may clarify your options after an incident.

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