Dog Bite Attorneys in Ohio
Ohio Dog Bite Lawyer
Dogs are often considered members of our families. However, they can still revert to their animal instincts. Dogs sometimes lash out to attack someone without warning or provocation. When you are bitten by someone else’s dog, you may be entitled to hold the dog’s owner responsible for your injuries and damages arising from the dog bite.
Contact Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law, to set up a free initial case evaluation. You can discuss the details of your dog bite claim and learn how our dog bite lawyers in Ohio can help you with your case. Call us today.
Who Is Responsible for a Dog Bite Injury?
Many dog bite injuries are inflicted by a dog owned by someone the victim knows. The victim can be a family member, a friend or a neighbor. When you have been injured by the dog of someone you know, you may hesitate to file a legal claim for compensation for damages. You may worry about damaging your relationship with your family member, friend, or neighbor by asking for compensation in a legal claim.
However, you should not have to pay for injuries that were not your fault. Fortunately, in most dog bite injury cases, the injured victim’s compensation is paid by the owner’s homeowner’s insurance, renter’s insurance or animal insurance policy.
These policies often provide liability coverage for injuries that occur on the owner’s property. That can include a dog bite. Your family member, friend or neighbor probably carries insurance for protection in the event someone is injured on their property.
Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
If you’ve suffered a dog bite injury, you may be entitled to compensation for damages incurred as a result of your injuries. Compensation can cover these damages:
- Medical treatment
- Lost wages and income
- Lost earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Lost quality of life
If you suffered any property damage during the dog attack, such as torn or ruined clothing, you may also be entitled to compensation for that property.
What to Do If You Have Been Bitten by a Dog
If you or a family member have been bitten by someone else’s dog, take these steps to protect your legal rights and options for seeking compensation for your injuries and damages:
- Report your injury to the dog’s owner. If you can find the dog’s owner, report the attack to the owner. Get the owner’s contact and homeowner’s or renter’s insurance information in case you later decide to file a claim for compensation.
- Call 911 if you believe the dog may be dangerous. If you believe the dog that attacked you may be vicious or carrying a disease, call 911 or animal control to track down and capture the dog. That can help prevent others from being injured.
- Document the incident and your injuries. Take photos of the accident scene, if relevant. For example, if the attacking dog escaped from a nearby yard, take photos to show what kind of fencing or other restraining measures are in place to restrain the dog from getting loose. You should also photograph any visible injuries.
- Seek medical attention. Visit the emergency room or urgent care clinic as soon as possible. Dogs can carry harmful viruses and bacteria in their mouths. You will want to make sure that your bite wound is thoroughly cleaned. A doctor can give you medicine and vaccines to help prevent diseases, such as rabies, that the dog might have.
- Talk to a knowledgeable dog bite attorney. An attorney can advise you of your rights and options for pursuing compensation for your injuries and damages. An attorney can also explain the steps of a dog bite injury claim.
Ohio Dog Bite Laws
Under Ohio law, a dog owner or keeper can be held liable for any injury caused by their dog if:
- The dog’s behavior caused the injury.
- The injured person was not committing or attempting to commit a crime.
- The injured person was not trespassing.
- The injured person did not provoke the dog by abusing, teasing or tormenting it.
Ohio laws also require dog owners or keepers to:
- Register the dog with their local county auditor.
- Have their dogs wear registration tags.
- Keep their dogs physically confined or restrained on the owner’s premises, or harbored by a leash, tether, or adequate fence to prevent escape.
Other local dog laws in Ohio include:
- Akron – All dogs must be vaccinated against rabies. Dogs are not permitted to damage or deposit waste on public or private property. Dogs may not annoy others with continuous barking or howling. Dogs must be leashed when outside the owner’s property.
- Canfield – All dogs must be vaccinated against rabies at four months of age.
- Cincinnati – Dogs may not be tethered without adequate food, water or shelter at nighttime, when the owner is not home, or for more than six hours a day. Nor can the dog be tethered during severe weather, heat or cold.
- Cleveland – Dogs must be muzzled in public unless on a leash. Owners are responsible for any damage the dog causes to public or private property.
- Columbus – Dogs must be immunized against rabies and wear rabies immunization tags.
- Beavercreek – Dogs must not be permitted to emanate frequent or extended noises audible outside of the owner’s property.
Statute of Limitations on Dog Bite Claims in Ohio
Under Ohio’s statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit to seek compensation for the injuries and damages you’ve suffered. A minor child injured by a dog bite has two years from his or her 18th birthday to file suit.
If you fail to file your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, the court can permanently dismiss the lawsuit. That means you will lose your right to compensation.
How Our Ohio Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help
When you’ve been injured by a dog bite, the attorneys at Amourgis & Associates, Attorneys at Law can help you pursue compensation for your injuries and damages by:
- Recovering evidence of your attack and injury.
- Identifying the dog’s owner and insurance coverage that can compensate you.
- Working with medical, vocational, and financial experts to help build your claim for damages.
- Negotiating with insurance companies to seek fair and full compensation.
- Preparing to take your case to court, if it becomes necessary, to get you the financial recovery you need and deserve.
We will explain how our firm can help you secure the financial compensation you need and deserve. We have six convenient office locations throughout the state of Ohio – Akron, Cincinnati, Independence (Cleveland), Columbus, Beavercreek and Canfield.