Dog owners are required by law to control their pets and handle them with care. If a dog owner or caretaker fails to secure their dog and you suffer a bite or other injuries as a result, you can potentially sue for damages. It can be challenging to seek financial recovery while healing from wounds suffered in a dog bite incident. You can still handle your legal matters while recovering from your injuries, and we can help.
A Dayton dog bite lawyer at the Fitch Law Firm LLC will fight to protect your rights as we help you understand the many laws that apply to dog bite and personal injury cases in the Dayton, Ohio, area. We will also review the evidence you will need to file an insurance claim or lawsuit. You can reach out to us now to learn more about the legal process during a free consultation.
You Could Recover Damages in Your Dayton Dog Bite Case
If you file to recover damages, the types and amounts of compensation you could pursue will depend on the kinds of injuries you suffered as well as the treatment required to care for them. The length of your recovery time and how long you were away from work are also factors. Our lawyer will look at your damages to determine what financial recovery could look like in your case.
You could recover economic damages, such as:
- Your medical expenses to cover your emergency room bills, hospital stays, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and follow-up doctor’s visits
- Medical equipment and medications required for recovery
- Lost wages due to your missing time at work
- Reduced earning ability because of the accident (temporary or permanent)
Damages Could Cover Pain and Suffering, Too
You also may be able to recover non-economic damages, which are subjective and challenging to measure because they do not have a dollar amount. Damages that fall into this category include:
- Pain and suffering from the trauma of the incident
- Disability and disfigurement
- Permanent scarring
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of companionship if your spouse suffered fatal injuries in the attack
How We Can Help You Pursue Your Dayton Dog Bite Case
We know how challenging it is to think about pursuing legal action while you’re trying to heal from your injuries. It may be the last thing you want to think about dealing with, and we understand. We can take care of your legal case as you recover. Our attorney in our Dayton office will help you:
- Assess evidence that supports your case against the liable party (e.g., police report, photographs of your injuries)
- Prove the liable party’s dog bit you and the damages you suffered
- Evaluate your injuries to determine how much your case is worth
- Communicate with the liable party’s insurer, attorney, or other representatives
- Negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf
- Prepare and file a lawsuit by Ohio’s statute of limitations deadline if a settlement isn’t reached
Our legal team can also help you by interviewing witnesses of the animal attack and consulting with an expert witness, such as a medical professional, who can weigh in with a professional opinion about your case.
We encourage you to keep all documents related to your case in one place, such as any bills, invoices, receipts, medical records, forms, and other types of documents.
This can make it easier for us to help you seek financial recovery.
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Additional Points Regarding Dog Bite Laws in Ohio
Here are a few additional points you must keep in mind regarding dog bite cases in Ohio.
Suing for a Dog Bite
Ohio is an at-fault state, so you can sue for a dog bite injury. Injuries sustained in a dog attack are classified as personal injuries for which you can seek compensation. As long as you were not trespassing or committing a crime when the attack occurred and you were attacked by a dog that you did not provoke, you can sue for damages.
Ohio Follows ‘Strict Liability’ Law When It Comes to Dog Bites
Some states follow a “one-bite rule” in which dog owners or other parties may not be held liable for their dog’s first attack or bite. Alternatively, Ohio is a strict liability state, which means you can be held responsible for the actions of your dog, even if it never attacked anyone in the past. As per Ohio Revised Code Section 955.28, a dog that chases or menacingly approaches someone, attempts to bite or endanger someone, injures or kills someone, or attacks other animals can be killed at the time of the attack.
This statute goes on to say the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog in question is liable for damages in the event of an attack, including any injuries, death, or losses to people or properties that result. The only exclusion is if those losses occurred when the victim of the attack was committing or was attempting to commit a crime other than a minor misdemeanor or was teasing, harassing, or abusing the dog on the property of the owner, caretaker, or harborer.
You Have Two Years to Take Legal Action in a Dog Bite Case in Dayton, Ohio
Dog bite injuries are a form of personal injury. Ohio Revised Code Section 2305.10 generally gives you two years to file a personal injury lawsuit for your dog bite injuries. If you miss your filing deadline, you may forfeit your right to any compensation that you otherwise may have been entitled to. We will file your civil lawsuit within the statutes of limitations.
How Dog Bites Occur in Dayton
Dog attacks can happen anywhere and to anyone. Attacks are common in public parks, at people’s homes, and on the road. Wherever the paths of strangers and animals overlap, animal attacks can occur. Dog bites can cause significant pain, injury, and trauma to a victim.
As per Ohio law, dog owners, walkers, and other caretakers–sometimes referred to as those who harbor a dog or have control over it–are all required to secure and responsibly care for their animals to prevent attacks or accidents from occurring.
A failure to do so can be classified as a breach of the duty of care. If you own, care for, or harbor a dog, you owe the public a duty to secure it from any harm the dog may cause, and if your dog causes harm, you can be held liable for those damages.
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Common Injuries in Dayton Dog Bite Attacks
Dog bites can be fatal, especially in cases involving young children. Non-fatal injuries often seen in dog bite attacks include:
- Facial injuries
- Scratches and abrasions
- Puncture wounds
- Broken bones
- Traumatic head and/or brain injuries
- Spinal cord, neck, and/or back injuries
How and where a dog attacks you also factor into the severity of the injuries you will likely sustain in the attack. For example, if you are attacked by a dog while riding your bike in the park, you can suffer serious injuries, especially if you fall while riding at high speed.
Even non-fatal injuries, such as broken bones and head injuries, can take weeks or months to recover from. Some dog bite injuries, such as pinched nerves, muscle sprains, and internal organ damage, may not show up until days or weeks after the attack.
Seek Prompt Medical Care and File Your Dayton Dog Bite Claim in a Timely Manner
After the attack, you must gather evidence and undergo a complete physical checkup to rule out or identify any latent injuries that have not yet manifested themselves to protect your physical and financial well-being after your accident. You also should take prompt action after your dog bite injury.
If you take too long to report your injuries, insurers for the liable party may say your injuries are from another incident and deny your claim. Getting prompt medical care can help document that your injuries are linked to the dog attack.
Dayton, OH, Dog Bite FAQ
Dog attacks are some of the most terrifying experiences a person can go through. The aftermath can leave you shaken, confused, and unsure about your next steps. Our Dayton dog bite lawyer can help you with your case’s specifics.
We want to guide you through this process, so we have answered some of the most frequently asked questions regarding dog bite claims below. If you have other questions we did not answer on this page, you can reach out to our office serving Dayton for a free consultation.
Can Shared Fault Affect My Dayton Dog Bite Case?
Yes. It is more common than you might think for a defendant to argue that the plaintiff is partially responsible for causing their injuries in dog attacks. The dog owner in your Dayton dog bit case may say you provoked their dog, failed to take steps to protect yourself, or make other false claims about your behavior.
Ohio is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that if you are partially responsible for your injuries, your injury settlement could be reduced in proportion to your percentage of liability. Furthermore, if your portion of fault exceeds 50%, you will lose your chance to have the Dayton civil court system hear your case.
The defendant could argue that you share fault for your injuries so they can reduce their financial liability. Our dog bite attorney in Dayton can review the situation, build your case for the other party’s liability, and help you seek damages to compensate you for your losses. We will advocate for your rights, ensuring that we also accurately evaluate liability where it concerns your insurance and civil claims.
Can I Sue for PTSD or Other Mental Health Conditions After a Dog Bite Attack?
Yes, one of the most common ways dog bite victims’ lives are affected by the attack is through mental and emotional injuries. Many people have reported suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, depression, anxiety, nightmares, weight loss, and difficulty living their lives normally due to the extent of their emotional injuries.
Our Dayton dog bite attorney can seek these damages in your lawsuit against the at-fault party. Here, you can receive compensation for the non-economic damages that have turned your life upside down.
How Can I Recover My Damages in Full After a Dog Bite Injury?
If you hope to recover your damages in their entirety, you must prepare to file claims with the insurance company and bring your case to court. Many people assume they can recover compensation through an insurance settlement. However, this is often not the case.
Insurance companies care about their profits more than your financial interests. Even if the dog owner has homeowners insurance or another type of liability insurance, it is unlikely a settlement will fully cover your damages. For you to recover your economic and non-economic damages, you may need to bring your case before a judge.
When you present your case in court, you have the opportunity to recover every loss you have endured as a result of your dog attack injuries. Whether your case settles outside of court or at trial, our Dayton dog bite lawyer can guide you through either outcome.
Call the Fitch Law Firm LLC for Help Today
Dog bite cases–and the laws that govern them – can be complicated. Decisions regarding fault, liability, and damages for dog bites will factor in how the attack you were involved in occurred, who was responsible for the animal in question when you were attacked, and where you were attacked. Various premises laws and dog handling ordinances may also come into play, and you also need to quantify your damages and understand the insurance laws that apply to your case before filing a claim or a lawsuit.
We are here to help. The Fitch Law Firm LLC’s Dayton dog bite lawyer can help you with collecting evidence, interviewing eyewitnesses, and filing a claim or lawsuit. Contact our team today in the Dayton office for a free consultation.
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