If you or your child sustained injuries from a dog bite, you may have the right to recover compensation. Medical bills and other damages need to be accounted for.
Animal bites can cause serious physical injuries as well as emotional trauma, especially if the victim is a child.
Unfortunately, this area of personal injury law poses some complex challenges. You must demonstrate that the animal’s owner was negligent in handling the dog or in providing adequate warning of any potential danger.
An Ohio dog bite attorney can help. A lawyer can gather the necessary evidence to build a persuasive case and fight to recover the compensation you deserve.
Ohio Dog Bite Laws
The way that Ohio’s dog bite laws affect your claim depends on the circumstances of the animal attack.
If an animal causes you or someone else to sustain an injury, the animal’s owner typically has liability for your injuries and the resulting medical bills. In Ohio, strict liability guides dog bites cases. Owners are liable for attacking regardless if they acted negligently or knew the dog was dangerous.
However, the animal’s owner is not strictly liable for a victim’s injuries if the victim was provoking the dog, trespassing, or committing another type of crime while on the owner’s property.
Your injuries might be a bite wound, but the owner is also liable if a dog knocked you off your bicycle, knocked you over, etc.
If your case doesn’t meet the requirements of strict liability, you might be able to pursue a negligence case against the dog’s owner or handler if they knew the animal posed a danger to others.
Some animals have previously shown to be vicious or dangerous. In these cases, owners and handlers must contain the dog and provide warning of the potential danger.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for a Dog Bite?
Proving that a dog bit you can be a simple and straightforward process. Proving that the animal’s owner or handler was negligent presents a more complex challenge.
Dog bite injuries pose a potentially serious health threat to victims. A variety of potentially deadly bacteria dwell in the mouths of dogs and in their saliva. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that dog bite risks include contracting rabies, MRSA, tetanus, plague, and more. The Insurance Information Institute ranks Ohio eighth in the U.S. for the number and cost of dog bites per year.
The risk of a serious injury—and the cost of the damages that accompany animal attack injuries—means that your medical bills and other losses could be substantial. Having an animal attack lawyer on your side will help protect your legal rights.
Your attorney will gather evidence to substantiate your claim and carefully document your damages. This increases your chances of recovering the compensation you deserve for all your losses.
Who Is Responsible for a Dog Attack or Bite?
When a victim sustains injuries from an animal attack, the dog’s owner is typically liable for all damages. These could include:
- Medical bills,
- Lost wages and benefits,
- Psychological treatment, and
- Pain and suffering.
Victims may also have the right to compensation for:
- Diminished earning capacity,
- Lost enjoyment of life,
- and Any disability or disfigurement that results from the attack.
In some cases, the injury was the result of gross negligence on the part of the dog owner. If so, you may be entitled to punitive damages. These are extra damages intended to punish the wrongdoer and to discourage others from the same actions.
A dog bite attorney can review the details of your case and advise you of the potential value of your settlement.
Finding an Ohio Lawyer Who Handles Dog Bites
Because proving negligence can be difficult, a lawyer for animal attack cases should have knowledge and experience in this area of the law. Animal attacks fall under the general category of personal injury law.
However, having experience with car accident injuries or wrongful death claims doesn’t necessarily mean that an attorney understands dog bite cases.
Fortunately, most animal attack claims can be resolved through negotiation with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Choose an attorney who has a strong track record in negotiating settlements for his or her clients. Be aware, however, that your lawyer may need to file a lawsuit in civil court if the insurance company will not make an acceptable settlement offer.
The Ohio statute of limitations provides you with only two years to file legal action for an animal attack injury claim. Talking to a lawyer as soon as possible after an attack can help ensure you don’t lose your legal right to recover compensation.
Contact an Ohio Dog Bite Attorney Today
In Ohio, Attorney Aaron Bensinger of Bensinger Law can help you with a dog bite or animal attack injury claim. He assists clients throughout northwest Ohio, including Lima, Kenton, Findlay, Shawnee, and Van Wert.
Before you provide a statement to the insurance company or consider accepting any type of settlement agreement, contact us to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Ohio dog bite lawyer.