Injuries from a dog bite can be severe and often include puncture wounds, scarring, infection, and even death. Dog bite injuries may require extensive reconstructive surgery, which can result in substantial medical bills. People who have been bitten by a dog often suffer severe emotional trauma and even a lifelong fear of animals.
Unfortunately, dog bite injuries are not uncommon. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, and over 800,000 of those require medical attention. At least half are children.
If you were bitten by a dog, you need to eliminate the immediate threat, then seek first aid and additional medical attention. Once you have addressed your immediate physical injuries, you should contact one of our experienced Ohio personal injury lawyers.
Request Contact Information for the Dog Owner
Once the situation has calmed down, request the name and contact information of the dog owner. You should also ask for contact information for the dog’s veterinarian and determine whether the dog is up to date on its rabies shots.
Take photographs of the dog, the dog owner, and the neighborhood where the dog bite occurred. Try to take pictures of any vehicles in the vicinity and their license plates, as these individuals might have witnessed the incident.
You should also photograph your injuries, including torn or bloody clothing, bite marks, torn flesh, and any bruises.
Seek Medical Attention
Injuries from a dog bite can be severe and there is a risk that the bite area can become infected. By quickly seeking medical attention, you can reduce the likelihood of infection. Seeking medical attention is also important to diagnose and document the extent of your injuries.
Report the Incident to the Police
Regardless of the extent of injury, you should report the incident to the police. If the dog or its owner are hostile, the police can help obtain information you will need to make a claim. Having a police report will be helpful to support your claim for compensation.
Reporting a dog bite will also trigger an investigation, and the dog owner might be required to take precautions to protect others from being bitten. If the dog is being mistreated, a police investigation can shed light on inhumane conditions.
Who Is Responsible for Dog Bite Injuries?
Under Ohio law, there are two ways a dog owner can be held responsible for injuries caused by their dog.
Strict Liability. If a dog causes injury to a person or property, the dog owner is liable for the amount of damage caused by the animal.
Negligence. The dog owner can also be held liable if they knew or should have known that the dog was vicious but did not act to minimize the risk of danger.
You do not need to prove that the dog has injured other people before or that the dog owner was required to put up a fence or signs warning people of the dog.
There are generally only two defenses to a dog bite injury: (1) that the victim was provoking the dog; or (2) that the victim was trespassing on the dog owner’s property.
How a Dog Bite Lawyer Can Help
Most dog bite injuries are covered by the dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance policy. By documenting the incident and obtaining contact information for the dog owner, you improve your chances of successfully receiving compensation for your injuries.
Contact the Ohio Dog Bite Lawyers at RKPT
The personal injury lawyers at RKPT have extensive experience handling dog bite claims in Ohio, and we know what it takes to hold a dog owner responsible for the injuries you suffered. We will help you obtain the compensation you deserve, including money for
Pain and suffering
Punitive damages (in some cases)
If you have questions about a dog bite injury, call (513) 721-3330 or contact RKPT today to schedule a consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.