A person who
keeps or has control of an animal may be liable for personal
injury or property damage caused by the animal. A keeper of
an animal is one that "harbors, protects, or shelters" the
animal. It is not necessary that the person is the "owner."
However, an owner who retains some degree of control over an
animal can be liable even if the animal is partly under the
care of others. Normally, the owner of an animal is liable
only for negligence if the animal causes injury or property
damage. Negligence is the failure to use ordinary care in
keeping or controlling the animal. View statistics about dog
bites and injuries .
The Rhode Island Law
Rhode Island law provides that the owner of a dog is liable
for the damages suffered by anyone who is bitten while in a
public place or lawfully in a private place, including the
dog owner's property. The fact that a dog does not have
prior attacks, or that the owner has no awareness of a dog's
viciousness is not determinative.
The Rhode Island dog bite statute can impute "strict
liability" on the owner's of vicious animals. Strict
liability means that a person is liable for damages even if
the person used ordinary care, and therefore was not
negligent in keeping or controlling the animal. The keeper's
liability is said to be absolute in the sense that the gist
of the action is not how the animal was kept, but that it
was kept at all in light of its dangerous propensities. A
plaintiff who can prove the animal's dangerous nature or
trait and the keeper's "knowledge" of it, need not prove
negligence in failing to restrain or confine it. Actual
notice is not required. An owner's knowledge can be
"constructive" wherein an owner can be liable if she could
have learned of the propensity through reasonable inquiry.
Additionally, an owner may be liable if his employees,
agents, partners or family knew of the animal's dangerous
Horses: A stable keeper must use reasonable care to learn the
habits and dispositions of the horses kept for hire. A
stable keeper warrants that the horse is suitable for the
particular rider and can be liable for damages if the horse
Cattle: It is the obligation of the property owner of cattle
to "fence out" free-running domestic animals to prevent
damage to crops and other property.
If you have been injured by an animal contact, immediately
contact The Law Offices of James P. Howe for a free
evaluation of your potential case.
10 Things you can do if you have been injured by a dog or
If you have recently been injured by an animal and have not
sought medical attention, you should do so immediately.
Immediately report your accident to the police and request a
copy of the Police Accident Report.
Try to obtain the name and contact information of the animal
Try to get the name and contact information of any people
who witnessed your accident.
Try to take photographs of the animal which caused your
injuries in the location of the accident.
Try to take photographs of any visible injuries you have
suffered as a result of the incident with the animal or
permit our investigator to accomplish this.
Do not have any communication with the owner of the dog or
the owner's insurance company. If you accept any form of
compensation, you may waive your right to claim additional
Try to save any clothing that may have been damaged by the
Please save and take photographs of any property damage
caused by the animal.
Contact our law offices for a free evaluation and obtain the
services of a very aggressive law firm that specializes in
dog bite cases.
It is imperative that you immediately contact an Aggressive
Personal Injury Lawyer such as James P. Howe . We
will protect your rights!
Contact An Aggressive Personal Injury Law Firm to Protect
or call us today at (401) 788-0600 to speak with
someone from our firm..