Dog Bite Law in Rhode Island versus Massachusetts Legal Analysis | d'Oliveira & Associates

If you have suffered a serious dog bite injury, contact an experienced dog bite attorney to help you proceed with your personal injury claim.

Online PR News – 09-August-2019 – Providence, Rhode Island – Rhode Island and Massachusetts may be connected by a state border but their dog bite laws could not be further apart. Massachusetts is known to have one of the most comprehensive dog bite laws in the country that favor the victim. While Rhode Island, has two different types of laws depending on the location of the dog bite incident. One of those laws known as the "one bite" law favors the dog owner more.

In RI, if a person is bitten by a dog on the dog owner's property, the law that applies is the "one bite" law. The one bite law says that the dog owner is only held liable to the victim if the owner knew or should have known their dog is dangerous. This has to be proven by the victim of the dog bite by presenting evidence of a previous incident with the same dog injuring another person or animal. In this case, the burden of proof is put on the victim of the dog bite.

On the other hand, in RI, if a person is bitten by a dog anywhere else, the law that applies is strict liability. Strict liability just means that the dog owner may be held strictly liable to the victim of the dog bite. This means that if a dog bites a person, that owner is almost always held liable. The victim does not have to be a person either. The RI law also includes injuries to another animal that is owned by someone.

Now, MA has one law known as strict liability. It is quite similar to that of Rhode Island with some distinctions. First, the burden of proof shifts onto the dog owner to prove that their dog was provoked in order to not be held liable. If their dog was teased, abused, tormented, or the victim was a trespasser, then the dog owner will likely not be held liable. On the other hand, a defense around this is that children under the age of seven are considered innocent even if there is evidence of provocation.

These laws can be complex and confusing. That is why you may want to put your trust in a dog bite lawyer who understands how to handle these types of cases. Just last month, our firm received an $85,000 settlement for a Warwick, RI woman who was injured after being bitten by a dog while jogging. You can read more about the case in our dog bite blog posts here.

If you or a loved one have recently been injured by a dog, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income, medical bills, and pain and suffering, among other losses. Whether it happened in MA or RI, the easiest way to distinguish what you need to prove in your case, is to hire a lawyer who is experienced with these types of cases. In fact, you can call us toll free 24/7 today at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.

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