Trying to avoid accidents or injuries caused by other people can be difficult. But trying to prevent the actions of a dangerous animal is even more challenging. When a dog or other animal bites an individual, Ohio has laws in place to protect the dog attack victim and affords them the right to seek compensation from the animal’s owner.
The nature of a dog bite or mauling makes the experience especially traumatic – both physically and psychologically. Dog bite victims often need ongoing medical care for what may become a long-term disability or permanent disfigurement. Our Cincinnati dog bite lawyers understand the far-reaching effects of a dog attack. They are here to do everything possible to help you heal emotionally, physically, and financially from this devastating event.
Our firm welcomes you to talk to one of the experienced dog bite attorneys. During your free initial consultation, we will discuss the specifics of the incident and develop an appropriate course of action to get you the compensation you deserve.
Common Dog Bite Injuries
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur each year, with many more going unreported. Of those dog bite victims, nearly 900,000 need to seek medical attention for their injuries. Dog attacks can cause a wide range of injuries that include:
- Puncture wounds
- Muscle and ligament tears
- Tissue loss
- Fractured or broken bones
- Facial injuries
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Emotional distress
- Severe anxiety
What to Do After a Dog Attack
A dog bite can happen when you least expect it. Dog bite victims frequently want to know what to do after a dog attack. The following are a few steps you can take if you have been bitten or mauled by a dog or other domesticated animal.
- Seek medical treatment immediately – Dog bites can result in serious injuries and infections that require extensive treatment. After a dog attack, go to the nearest urgent care or emergency room so they can assess and treat your injuries right away. Delayed treatment can lead to life-threatening infections and permanent injuries.
- Get the contact information of the dog’s owner – If possible, get the name, address, and phone number of the animal’s owner as well as the contact information for any available eyewitnesses. It is also crucial to obtain the vaccination records for the dog who attacked you.
- Report the dog bite to the authorities – Under Ohio law, victims must report a dog bite attack to their local health commissioner within 24 hours. The health commissioner’s report will contain vital information should you decide to pursue legal action against the dog’s owner.
- Take photos of your injuries – Have your doctor or a loved one take pictures of your injuries as soon as possible after the attack. Continue to take photos of your injuries throughout the entire healing process.
- Keep track of all doctor’s visits and treatment – Document the healing process, including your level of pain, amount of missed work hours, and the length of time it takes to fully recover from your injuries. This information will prove vital in your dog bite case.
- Consult with a Cincinnati dog bite lawyer – A dog attack can leave you with lingering injuries and mounting medical bills. You should not be left to deal with the physical and financial effects of your injuries. A dog bite attorney can go over your legal options and help you decide what your next step should be.
Recovering Damages in a Dog Attack Case
In Ohio, you have the right to pursue compensation for your injuries and other losses related to your dog bite attack. Ohio is a strict liability state, which means you do not have to prove the owner or person caring for the dog at the time of the attack was negligent, nor do you have to show the dog had a history of violence or aggression. There are some exceptions to the strict liability rule as it pertains to dog bites. The owner, keeper, or harborer may not be held liable if, at the time of the attack, the injured victim was:
- Trespassing onto the property of the owner, keeper, or harborer
- Committing or attempting to commit a crime
- Provoking, abusing, or taunting the dog
Depending on your case’s circumstances, you may be able to recover damages, such as:
- Medical expenses
- Cost for future medical care, including reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Modifications to your home and vehicle
- Pain and suffering
Our Cincinnati dog bite lawyers will accurately assess your past and future losses and present supporting documentation and expert testimony to the insurance company or court to ensure you receive full and fair compensation.
Ohio’s Statute of Limitations for a Dog Attack Lawsuit
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a dog bite attack or mauling, you could seek recovery for your losses. In Ohio, an injured victim has six years from the date of the injury to pursue legal action. If you were under 18 at the attack time, you have six years from your 18th birthday to file a dog bite injury lawsuit. However, it is always best to pursue legal action as soon as possible, as it increases your chance of obtaining the compensation you deserve.
In Ohio, the responsibility for a dog attack depends on the circumstances of the attack. One or more of the following parties may be held liable in a dog bite lawsuit:
- The dog’s owner, harborer, or keeper
- The owner of the property where the dog attack occurred
- The landlord of the property where the dog bite occurred
- The owner of the commercial property where the attack occurred
In your initial consultation with one of our Cincinnati dog bite attorneys, they will want to know where the attack occurred and the names of the people or entities that may be involved. This information is essential in identifying who is legally liable for your injuries and other losses.
Schedule a FREE Consultation with a Cincinnati Dog Bite Lawyer
No dog bite injury victim should be left to deal with the consequences of the attack. If you or a loved one were bitten or mauled by a dog or other domesticated animal, there are laws in place that give you the right to recover your losses. The Cincinnati personal injury lawyers at Slater & Zurz have an in-depth understanding of Ohio’s dog bite laws and will put a strategy into place to obtain your rightful compensation.
We understand that recovering from a dog bite injury can be both traumatic and costly. For this reason, we establish contingency fee agreements with our clients so they don’t have to worry about having to pay any out-of-pocket expenses and can focus solely on healing from their injuries. Get started today by calling the accomplished legal team at Slater & Zurz. (513)496-3331