Justia Badge
Brown Alumnus
American Association for Justice
Rhode Island Association for Justice
TNTL Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Avvo Ratong 10.0

Woonsocket Dog Bite Attorney

If You’ve Been Hurt by a Dog in Woonsocket, Seek Legal Advice

Under the right circumstances, any dog can bite. It doesn’t matter breed or training; at the end of the day a dog is an animal. Still, in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, pit bulls account for almost half of all dog bites. Of the known reported bites from dogs in Woonsocket since 2014, almost half of the 171 total dogs were pit bull-type breeds. Over the years, various Rhode Island municipalities have considered banning pit-bull type breeds. In nearby Pawtucket, a ban on pit bulls was enacted in 2004 in an effort to lessen the number of dog attacks in the city. However, in 2013 the banning of any particular breed of dog was deemed unconstitutional throughout Rhode Island. If you, or a loved one, have been bitten, attacked, or assaulted by a dog, it’s essential you have a competent Woonsocket dog bite attorney to represent you in your personal injury claim and protect your legal rights.

Woonsocket RI Dog Ordinance

The City of Woonsocket has a vicious dog ordinance where the keeper of the dog that bites or assaults a person can be fined between $100 and $200. In order for this fine to be levied against the dog owner, an investigation must be conducted by the city’s enforcement agent. At the conclusion of the investigation, it must be certified that the dog was off the property of the owner or that the assault occurred from negligence of the owner or keeper. The city’s dog bite incidents involve dogs biting people, including a number of police officers and mail carriers, in addition to other animals. In 2019, Woonsocket’s Assistant Animal Control Officer was hospitalized after a severe dog bite and had to take a leave of absence from work. Around the same time, in Pawtucket, two loose pit-bulls attacked a woman who was walking her own dog. The woman was hospitalized and her dog was killed in the vicious attack.

Prevention of Dog Bites

As a Woonsocket dog bite attorney, David Tapalian cautions the importance of being aware around dogs, even our own family pets, especially with young children and the elderly who are more vulnerable to dog related injuries. While some dog bites can be prevented with certain actions, others can’t. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a number of tips on how to prevent dog bites including:

  • Don’t approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Don’t run from a dog, panic, or make loud noises.
  • Don’t disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
  • Don’t pet a dog without asking permission from its owner and allowing it to see and sniff you first.
  • Don’t encourage your dog to play aggressively.
  • Don’t let young children play with a dog unsupervised.

Dog bite injuries can be horrific and result in significant trauma, scarring and permanent disability or death. In 2018, 36 dog attacks resulted in human deaths in the United States. According to the CDC, there are almost 5 million dog bites per year throughout the United States. Of these dog bites, over 800,000 resulted in medical treatment. Dog bite injuries are a significant and serious concern all over the country and in particular Rhode Island.

Steps to Follow After a Dog Bite

As an experienced Woonsocket dog bite attorney, Tapalian Law, knows that certain steps must be taken if you or a loved one suffer a dog attack in Rhode Island, starting with seeking professional medical help. If you are bitten by a dog in Woonsocket, Landmark Medical Center has significant experience in handling even the most serious dog bite cases. Never presume that your dog bite is not serious enough to require medical care. Some of the most significant injuries from dog bites can be the infections that occur from the saliva of the dog. Call 911 and seek medical treatment immediately for your Woonsocket RI dog bite. The local police should always be contacted for any dog bite or assault that occurs. It is important that dog bites be reported not only so you receive just compensation for your medical bills and injuries from the dog’s owner, but so another dog bite may be prevented.

Why Does a Dog Bite?

Woonsocket dog bite lawyer David Tapalian knows that there are various reasons why a dog may bite. A dog, even those pets considered a loving member of the family, is still an animal and animals react instinctively. Dogs can bite people simply because they are startled by a sound or action. Even if the dog is familiar with the person who is approaching, a bite can still occur if the dog is surprised or alarmed. Dogs may bite due to territorial instincts, for instance, if a dog is disturbed while eating or playing with a toy, it could lash out if it feels threatened. Another reason a dog might attack is the animal might be subject to, or was subject to in the past, significant abuse. Abused animals are known to be more vicious. The dog may simply fear somebody and animals can strike out and bite due to fear. Maternal instincts are another reason why a dog bite may occur; never approach a female dog with her puppies.

Compensable Dog Bite Damages

If you are bitten by a dog in Rhode Island, Woonsocket dog bite lawyer, David Tapalian will fight to get you awarded fair and just compensation from the animal’s owner. Tapalian Law provides a free consultation and will determine the viability of your dog bite claim. Compensatory damages for a dog bite include, but are not limited to:

  • medical expenses
  • lost wages
  • pain-and-suffering
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • scarring
  • disability
  • future medical expenses
  • lost earning capacity
  • future pain-and-suffering

The City of Woonsocket, RI is subject to what is known as Rhode Island’s “one bite” jurisdiction. If a bite occurs on the owner’s property or within the animal’s enclosure, the owner would likely not be liable if the dog has not bitten before. However, strict liability will apply to the owner of a dog that bites outside of the enclosure. That is, if you encounter a dog attack in a public place, that Woonsocket dog owner would be responsible for all ensuing damages that you suffer. It is always best to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to determine liability in a dog bite case.

Contact Tapalian Law for a Free Consultation

As with all types of personal injury cases in Rhode Island, there is a three-year (3) statute of limitations and a delay in seeking professional legal advice can lead to a decrease in claim value. It is imperative that you contact an experienced RI dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. There may be certain procedures that must be followed to obtain evidence in order to prove your case. Our personal injury law firm has successfully represented victims of dog bites throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts and we are ready to begin helping you. Contact our Providence RI law office at 401-552-5000, or contact us online for a free case review.

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.