Dog bite laws vary from state to state. Today’s post focuses on Rhode Island. R.I. has a number of different laws which could effect a dog bite injury case. Let’s take a look at a couple of important ones.
Rhode Island’s Strict Liability Dog Bite Law
Rhode Island Statutes section 4-13-16 imposes “strict liability” on owners whose dogs cause injury to others. This statute allows an injured person to hold the owner of a dog liable for the injuries if:
- the dog “assaults, bites, or injures” the person or an animal belonging to that person, and
- the person or injured animal is not on property belonging to the dog’s owner when the bite occurs.
This statute applies to dog bites, but also to other injuries caused by dogs. For instance, a pedestrian on the sidewalk who is knocked to the ground by a pouncing dog can seek compensation from the dog’s owner for any injuries suffered in the fall, even if the dog did not bite the person.
Rhode Island’s “One Bite” Law
In Rhode Island, if someone is bitten or injured by a dog while on the property of the dog owner, the strict liability dog bite statute does not apply. Instead, an injured person must seek liability under the “one bite” rule. This rule states that a dog owner is only liable for a dog bite injury if the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog would act aggressively.
Have You Been Bitten or Injured by a Dog
If you’ve been bitten or injured by a dog or any other pet, do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your options with one of our experienced attorneys.