An estimated 4.7 million Americans will be bitten by a dog this year alone.
Untreated animal bites can result in injury, infection, or even death if not treated properly. So if you, your child, or another loved one has been bitten by a dog or other animal you will need to get medical attention right away. You may be able to recover the costs of your medical care and any other damages you suffer as a result of the bite from the animal’s owner or another responsible party.
Who Is Most at Risk?
The majority of dog bite victims do not expect to be injured by a pet they see as a friend. Although adults and children are injured in animal attacks each year, the highest percentage of attacks occur among children between five and nine years old with children under four years of age often bitten in the head and neck area. These attacks can result in devastating injuries in a few short moments with physical and emotional scars that may take years to heal.
What to Do When Bit
If a dog bites you or a loved one, remain calm, clean the wound with soap and water, and either visit an emergency room or call your doctor immediately for more after-bite care. There are also several steps you can take to document the attack:
- If the dog is loose, confine it if you can do so without endangering yourself
- Report the animal attack to animal control
- Take photos of the bite injuries
- Document as many details of the incident as you can remember, including the location, size of the dog, breed of the dog, whether it had a collar, or if you know the owner
- Keep the clothing worn during the attack and do not wash
- Save all medical documents related to the attack
Ohio Dog Bite Statute
The statute of limitations for dog bites in Ohio is two years. The dog bite statute states that the owner of the animal is strictly liable for any injuries his or her pet causes. Even if the dog is mild-mannered and well-trained with the most responsible of owners, the liability remains valid. If you or a loved one suffered an animal attack, you must prove three elements to file a successful claim:
- Documented bodily harm
- The defendant is the keeper, harborer or owner of the dog
- The dog caused the injury
- The attack was unprovoked
If the dog is known to bite without provocation and the owner is aware of this propensity, there may be grounds for a negligence claim. This type of suit can be filed simultaneously with the strictly liable statute and allows an award for punitive damages. Recoverable damage can include the following:
- Aftermath Counseling
- Emotional Trauma
- Lost Wages
- Medical Expenses
- Plastic Surgery
- Scars and Disfigurement
Dog Bite Lawyers
At the Law Offices of Kevin F. Kurgis, Co., LPA, our attorneys have an in-depth understanding of Ohio’s laws, and we have experience working with the insurance companies that represent animal owners. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation. We can help determine if you have a claim and what damages you are due under the law.
And remember, “I don’t get paid, unless you get paid.”
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kevin Kurgis serve serious injury and animal attack cases in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton, Parma, Canton, Youngstown, Lorain, Hamilton, Springfield, Kettering, Elyria, Lakewood, Cuyahoga Falls, Euclid, Middletown, Mansfield, Newark, Findlay, Urbana, Chillicothe and Zanesville OH areas.
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