Commonly referred to as man’s best friend, dogs are generally friendly and loving animals. However, some dogs can be aggressive and violent and attack an innocent victim. Fortunately, the injured victim has the right to seek compensation for their injuries and other losses caused by the attack.
If you sustained injuries in a dog attack or mauling, our Akron dog bite lawyers could help. We have extensive experience handling cases involving dog attacks and other dog-related injuries and can provide you with the skilled legal representation you need.
Our Slater & Zurz legal team welcomes you to schedule a free consultation to learn more about the dog bite lawsuit process. Our qualified dog bite lawyers will explain your legal rights and discuss the process of pursuing compensation for your injuries.
Statistics on Dog Attacks
The recent findings of an in-depth study by the American Humane Association showed that:
- Ohio ranks #4 out of all 50 states in the highest number of dog bite attacks that occur annually.
- In the U.S., there are approximately 90 million dogs. That is one for every 3.5 humans.
- An estimated 4.7 million Americans are bitten or mauled by a dog each year. However, this number does not include the many dog attacks that go unreported.
- Approximately 900,000 dog bite victims require medical attention for their injuries each year. Of those, 350,000 required emergency medical care.
- Over 80% of dog bite victims are 15 years of age or younger.
- 70% of all dog bite fatalities are children ten or younger.
Dog Bite Injuries
Canines have extremely powerful jaws and sharp teeth designed to tear through flesh and break bones. As a result, dog bites can inflict serious harm. Some of the most common injuries sustained in an Akron dog attack include:
- Scratches, bruises, and lacerations
- Puncture wounds
- Torn flesh
- Broken bones
- Eye injuries
- Torn ligaments
- Emotional trauma
- Lingering anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Wrongful death
If you or a loved one were injured in an Ohio dog bite attack, it is necessary to seek medical attention immediately. Once your injuries have been assessed and treated, it is essential to report your attack to the local health commissioner. In Ohio, all dog bite victims must report the attack within 24 hours of the incident. To find your local health commissioner, visit Ohio.gov.
Pursuing a Dog Bite Case in Akron
According to Ohio’s strict liability law, when a dog behaves aggressively and attacks an individual, the animal’s owner, keeper, or harborer is liable. Under this law, the victim does not need to prove the owner or person in charge of the dog at the time was negligent. Additionally, it does not need to be proven the animal had a propensity for aggression or violence. In other words, the party is liable for the attack even if the dog has no history of biting or attacking someone.
However, it is important to remember that the dog owner is only liable if:
- Dog bite victim was not trespassing at the time of the attack.
- Injured victim was not engaging or attempting to engage in an unlawful act at the time.
- Dog was not provoked, taunted, or abused by the injured party.
- Dog was not on police, government, or military duty at the time.
Deadline for Filing an Ohio Dog Bite Injury Lawsuit
In Ohio, injury victims have a deadline for filing a lawsuit, known as a “statute of limitations.” For most injury victims, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the injury. However, dog bite victims have a time frame of six years from the date of the incident to pursue legal action. If the dog bite victim is under 18, they will have six years from their 18th birthday to seek damages in a dog bite lawsuit. However, it is always best to act quickly in any personal injury matter to increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
Compensation for Your Dog Bite Injuries
When a victim of a dog attack sustains injuries, they are entitled to compensation for their losses. Every dog bite attack case is unique; therefore, damages in each case vary considerably. Compensation for dog bite injuries includes:
- Past and future medical expenses related to the attack
- Costs for ongoing care, such as rehabilitation, therapy, and medication
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Mobility aids
- Home and vehicle modifications
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Diminished quality of life
Often, insurance companies try to offer a settlement for much less than what is owed. Our Akron dog bite lawyers will carefully assess all damages and negotiate effectively with the insurer to ensure you receive your rightful compensation.
Factors that affect the amount of compensation in a dog bite injury case include:
- Nature and severity of your injuries
- Amount of your medical expenses
- Whether you need additional treatment, such as surgeries and rehabilitation
- Whether you have permanent physical scarring and disfigurement
- Whether you lost income or your future earning capacity has diminished
- Extent of emotional and psychological trauma
- Whether you are able to return to your previous way of life
If a dog has attacked you, take the following steps to protect your best interests:
- Obtain the contact information of the dog owner and any eyewitnesses.
- Seek medical attention right away.
- Report the attack to the local health commissioner and obtain a copy of their report.
- Take photos of your injuries and document your recovery.
- Keep track of all medical expenses and missed work.
Get Expert Legal Advice from a Dog Bite Lawyer in Akron
At Slater & Zurz, our personal injury lawyers have represented victims of dog bites for over 30 years. We know Ohio’s dog bite laws. We know how to recover full and fair compensation. We know how insurance companies approach these cases. And we know how jurors respond to dog bite victims. Our experienced and dedicated dog bite lawyers in Akron are here to help you focus on healing from your injuries, navigate the claims process, and recover the compensation you are entitled to.
After sustaining a dog bite injury, you need a capable lawyer who you can trust to pursue full and fair recovery aggressively. Not only do our lawyers have the knowledge and experience necessary to try these challenging cases, but we also have an unwavering commitment to every one of our clients to obtain justice on their behalf. To schedule your free consultation with one of our qualified dog bite lawyers, call (330)762-0700 today.