What to Do if a Dog Bites You in Ohio

Dog Bites You in Ohio

A dog bite is a traumatic event that can cause serious physical and psychological injuries. Physical injuries can include puncture wounds, scars, infection, and, in the most serious cases wrongful death. People who have suffered a dog bite injury may also experience psychological trauma and a lifelong fear of dogs.

Medical treatment for a dog bite injury can be expensive. Treatment may include antibiotics to treat the infection. Treatment may also require plastic surgery and other medical procedures to treat deep tissue injuries to reduce the likelihood of scarring. Dog bite injuries often result in extensive pain and suffering and a long and painful healing process.

If you or someone you love was injured during a dog attack, there are steps you should take to protect yourself and maximize the likelihood of financial recovery.

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Injury

If you were bitten by a dog in Ohio, you should report the incident to a local health commissioner within 24 hours. Submitting a report to a local investigative agency will trigger an investigation that could play a key role in helping you hold the dog owner responsible for any injuries you sustain.

If you do not personally file a report with the local health commissioner, the doctor who treats you for the dog bite injuries is required to file it.

It is important that you seek medical attention as quickly as possible after a dog bite injury because dog saliva can carry dangerous bacteria that can lead to infection and other medical complications.

When you report a dog bite injury, you should include:

  • A description of the dog
  • The identity of the dog owner
  • The location where the attack occurred
  • The circumstances that led to the dog bite or attack
  • The dog’s rabies vaccination status (if known)

As soon as possible after a dog bite, you should thoroughly wash the area where the dog bit you with soap and water. This will minimize the chance of an infection. You may require antibiotics that your doctor can prescribe. Depending on the depth and severity of the dog bite injury, you may have also suffered injuries to your muscles, tendons, bones, or nerves.

Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite Injury?

In most cases, the owner of the dog will be liable for any injuries caused by the animal. In some cases, such as when the dog is owned by one person but lives with someone else, the harborer of the dog (i.e., the person who has control over the animal’s home) can be held liable. Finally, the keeper of the dog may be liable if he or she had temporary control of the dog, such as in cases where the owner hired a dog-walker or when a friend was caring for the dog or holding its leash.

Most dog bite injuries are covered by the dog owner’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. The owner, harborer, or keeper of the dog may be liable for:

  • The cost of medical care and treatment
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Disfigurement

If someone you love was killed in a dog attack, your family may be entitled to compensation for loss of support, loss of consortium, and funeral and burial expenses.

Holding Pet Owners Liable for Your Injuries

In Ohio, there are two ways to hold the owner, harborer, or keeper of a dog liable for injuries the animal has caused.

Under Ohio’s dog bite liability statute, “The owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog is liable in damages for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog.” This is true even if the dog does not have a history of attacking people or other vicious behavior.

You may also be entitled to compensation under common law if you can show that the dog owner was acting negligently or recklessly and should have known that injury was likely, or if the dog had tried to bite someone else before.

If a dog has bitten someone before, it may have been registered as a “dangerous dog” if this is the case, the animal is subject to severe restrictions and must always be kept on a leash, or in a locked cage or yard. Dangerous dogs must be registered with the county auditor and must wear a tag that designates them as dangerous.

Robenalt Law Fights for Victims of Dog Bite Injuries

If you or someone you love was injured in a dog bite incident, the lawyers at Robenalt Law can help. We will help you navigate the legal and insurance claims process and will fight for the compensation you deserve. We handle dog bite injury cases on a contingency fee, which means we don’t get paid unless we recover money for you.

Most dog bite injury claims are subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This means that if you do not file a lawsuit seeking compensation for your injuries within two years, your claim will be forever barred.

We invite you to learn more about how we help people who have been injured by someone else’s negligence, to read testimonials from other people we’ve helped, and to contact us today to schedule a free, confidential consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.

Tom Robenalt started his litigation career defending claims for personal injuries and wrongful death at a large firm in Cleveland. For the past 25 years, he has used that experience to help people who have been injured by someone else’s negligence secure the compensation they deserve.

Categories: Types of Injuries

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