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Dog Bite Scars

Dogs are usually friendly, loving family members, but even dogs that are typically very calm can potentially bite others when they are frightened or trying to protect their puppies or owners. Dog attacks can be terrifying and leave a lasting impression on the victim, including physical scars and mental post-traumatic stress. Every year in the U.S., approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur, with an estimated 800,000 of these injuries requiring medical attention. Rhode Island Dog Bite Attorney David Tapalian understands how devastating a dog bite injury can be and how the visible scars it leaves are a distressing reminder of a terrifying moment. Attorney Tapalian has over 20 years of experience helping victims of personal injury hold the at-fault person responsible and seek maximum compensation for physical injuries, medical expenses, lost wages, emotional pain and suffering, as well as future surgical procedures.

Physical & Emotional Impacts of Scarring

Dog bite scars can have a huge impact on an individual's livelihood, both physically and emotionally. Even after a wound heals, it can leave deep scarring resulting in limited mobility for the victim. If the scarring is at a joint, such as a knee or elbow, it can limit the range of motion of the limb. Scarring can limit a person's ability to function as they did prior to being injured, from daily tasks like getting dressed or caring for a child, to working at their job in the same capacity as prior to the injury. This can affect the victim's ability to physically, and financially, provide for their family. A well-qualified Rhode Island dog bite lawyer, along with your medical team, will determine the cost of future medical treatments you will require for your scars, and how your scars may affect your future earning capacity. In addition, dog bites are highly susceptible to infection due to bacteria in an animal's mouth. If a person's wounds suffer a serious bacterial infection, not only can it lead to debilitating scarring, in more severe cases it can lead to limb amputation(s).

Long after the physical healing has finished, being left with a disfiguring scar is an emotional reminder that can cause terrible anguish for a victim. The scar, especially if large, jagged, or on a highly visible spot of the body and subject to the looks of strangers, can cause extreme anxiety. This anxiety may limit the person's daily livelihood, job prospects, and future earning capacity. For example, if the victim worked with the public prior to the injury, they may find it too distressing to return to their former occupation where they are subject to constant stares and questions from strangers about their scar. These financial factors will be taken into account by your dog bite attorney when seeking compensation for your damages.

What is the Value of a Dog Bite Scar?

A common question that we encounter as injury lawyers is: What is the value of a dog bite scar, and how is a monetary value assigned in a personal injury claim? A host of factors determine scarring value and how much compensation will be rewarded. A general rule of thumb from most medical professionals is that it can take a minimum of a year for the scar to reach maximum medical improvement. After this point, a physician can more accurately determine how the injury will appear, and in what capacity, if any, the scar will affect the way the person can perform their daily tasks and occupation. However, this may vary depending upon the age of the victim. If the dog bite scar is on a child, that child's skin and body is constantly growing and developing and the scarring may alter this growth, or vice versa. Particularly for young children, significant scars may require multiple surgeries throughout their childhood as their body grows and changes. Therefore, a future prediction may not be as clear and ongoing medical treatment may be required throughout the years ahead. Your dog bite lawyer will take these factors, and more, into account when determining the amount of damages that are suitable in your Rhode Island dog bite personal injury claim.

The amount of compensation for the scar, or its "value", also depends upon where the scar is located on the person's body. If the scar is on a face, it is obvious and more damaging and therefore will likely deserve more compensation than a scar on someone's lower back or in another area that is unlikely to be viewed. Whom the scar is on, and their profession, can also affect the value. Is it a physical laborer who must bend to pick up heavy loads? Is it a model whose occupation and paycheck are dependent on how they look? Is it a small child or an elderly person? A scar can impact people very differently. At Tapalian Law, our experienced injury attorney will determine the maximum value of compensation you are due for your dog bite scarring and damages and fight to get you what is fair for your injuries.

How Can You Obtain Compensation After a Dog Bite?

To ensure a successful dog bite compensation claim, it's vital to collect as much evidence as possible about the incident. This includes police reports, medical records, documentation of communication with the dog's owner, witness names, photos of the place where the attack took place, your injuries, scarring, and any available information about the dog's past history and veterinary records to see if its shots are up to date. As many of these elements as can be gathered can help the success of your personal injury claim. Placing liability on the owner of the dog is determined by a range of factors when deciding whether a dog owner is culpable for an accident and has been negligent. In Rhode Island, depending upon the dog's prior vicious propensities, the injured party may need to prove that the dog's owner neglected their duty to control their dog's behavior and that this negligence resulted in the injured person's damages. Liability to an owner of a dog that bites, is very fact-specific. A knowledgeable Rhode Island dog bite lawyer can assist you in collecting pertinent evidence and explaining the intricacies of the law.

RI Dog Bite Law

The laws in Rhode Island differentiate as to where the dog bite occurred, over half of these injuries occur on the dog owner's property, and if the animal has a previous history of causing harm. Rhode Island's dog bite law is often referred to as the "one bite rule". For example, if the attack took place inside the dog's fenced in yard, and the dog has no history of violent propensities, it may be more difficult to hold the owner responsible for the animal's destructive behavior. However, if the dog is unleashed and the bite happens on public property in for instance, Warwick, RI, where owners are required to have their dogs leashed at all times when not in an enclosure on the owner's property, holding the animal's owner liable will likely be more straightforward. Because of these intricacies, it is important to have a dog bite attorney well- versed in Rhode Island law.

Tapalian Law Can Help You if You've Suffered a Dog Bite Injury

An experienced lawyer can explain how the Rhode Island dog bite laws apply to your situation and how you can protect your rights. You may be eligible to seek compensation for your damages including:

Compensation from your injury claim depends on the circumstances of the attack and the determination of negligence upon the dog's owner or keeper. It is essential to seek help from someone who understands the complexities of personal injury law. Tapalian Law has the knowledge and experience you need to obtain what is fair and just for your injuries and emotional suffering. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dog bite injury in Rhode Island that resulted in scarring, contact a personal injury lawyer at Tapalian Law in Providence, RI, Warwick, RI, and Seekonk, MA, at (401) 552-5000, or reach us online, to schedule a free consultation.

Client Reviews
He took care of everything and kept me updated as well. It was such a smooth process and in the end I won my case. I would highly recommend David Tapalian! Patrice F.
When I contacted David Tapalian, Attorney & Counselor at Law, all my worries were immediately alleviated. He handled my case from beginning to end and kept me updated every step of the way. Susie M.
I visited David a couple of days after my accident and he gave me clear and concise details on what would happen throughout the process... David N.