What to do After you Have been Bitten By A Dog
Q1. Could anyone else be held responsible for a dog bite other than the dog’s owner?
A. Yes. A keeper of a dog may be liable. For example, the dog’s owner leaves a dog with a parent while he or she goes out of town. That parent is the keeper of the dog and has liability if the dog attacks someone.
A harborer of a dog may also be liable. A harborer is a person who controls the place where a dog lives. For example, a son or daughter who lives with their parents owns a dog. These parents are harborers.
Q2. How long do I have to resolve my dog attack claim?
A. A lawsuit for personal injury must be filed, or the claim must be resolved within 2 (two) years after the attack took place.
Q3. How long does a dog bite claim take from beginning to end?
A. There is no one answer to this question. Every case is different. Many dog bite cases can be completed in as little as 90 days after a victim finishes his or her medical treatment. However, if there is scarring involved, it is important to wait to determine how the wounds heal and if further treatments are necessary such as cosmetic surgery.
Q4. How long does a dog bite victim have to file a claim for their injuries and damages?
A. If a dog bite victim files a claim under Ohio’s strict liability statute, it is six (6) years. If the dog bite victims files under a negligent claim, it is two (2) years. Every case is different and there are exceptions. It’s important to contact us as soon as possible for a free consultation. We will provide you with the specific information you need.
Q5. How much will I be paid?
A. Valuing a dog attack injury requires detailed analysis of several factors. Special Damages recoup damage to property, lost wages and medical bills. General Damages are more complex, and include scarring, disfigurement and pain/suffering. Location of the injuries on the body, the city/county the attack took place in and the insurance company are all included in the analysis. The best way to receive the most value for your claim is to speak with an attorney who has experience in this area of law.
Q6. Is the owner of an apartment complex liable if a dog bites someone on apartment property?
A. Generally, landlords are not liable for a dog attack caused by a renter. However, there are exceptions.
Q7. The dog owner is a neighbor or friend, will I offend them?
A. A common misconception among dog attack victims is that if they proceed with a claim, they are “suing” the dog owner. In most instances, that is not the case; you are filing a claim with their homeowner’s insurance. Most homeowner’s insurance policies contain liability coverage to protect against events like dog attacks. After a claim has been filed, the dog owner is almost completely removed from the equation – all claim discussion and negotiation occurs with the insurance adjuster.
Q8. What am I entitled to?
A. You have the opportunity to be compensated for present and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, damaged property and permanency (scarring or disfigurement).
Q9. What can be done to prevent the dog from attacking again?
A. An attack should be reported to local police, local health department and local dog warden. A dog may need to be quarantined for rabies. The dog may also need to be labeled as a vicious dog, as defined by Ohio law. If so, the dog owner may be required to take actions to prevent attacks.
Q10. What dogs are defined as vicious dogs under Ohio law?
A. In Ohio, a dog is not classified as vicious just by its type of breed. Under Ohio law, a vicious dog is any dog that, without being provoked, has killed or caused serious injury to any person.
Q11. What if the dog’s owner is a friend or a relative?
A. A dog bite claim is handled by an insurance company, not a friend or relative. In Ohio, dog bite victims are entitled to be compensated for their injuries even if the dog is owned by a friend or relative.
Q12. What should I do if I am attacked by a dog?
A. First, seek medical treatment immediately – injuries caused by dogs have an increased chance for infection, so it is important to immediately receive medical care. Next, document the attack as much as possible – take photographs of your injuries, contact the local dog warden, police department and health department as soon as practicable. Create a log containing details of the attack: the dog owner’s name and address, date and time of the attack, days you missed from work, amount of money paid out of pocket and each medical provider you visit. Finally, contact an experienced attorney quickly to ensure you case is properly established.
Q13. What types of compensation can a dog bite victim receive for their injuries?
A. Dog bite victims are entitled to compensation for all medical bills, lost wages, damaged clothing, damaged eyeglasses and other personal items linked to the dog attack.
A dog bite victim may also receive compensation for the pain and suffering associated with the dog attack. In most dog bite cases, this is often the largest part of the claim.
Q14. What will be done about the dog after I report the attack?
A. Citations and what will happen to the dog are up to the local health department and authorities. The action taken against the dog and the owner depends on the city/county in which the attack took place. You can suggest that additional action be taken when creating a report with the authorities, but the decision is made with the police department, local prosecutor, dog warden and health department.
Q15. Who is responsible for the costs and expenses associated with a dog attack in Ohio?
A. The owner of a dog is responsible for the dog attack victim’s costs and expenses. Ohio’s dog bite laws say that if a dog attacks and bites someone, the dog’s owner is responsible in most cases. A victim does not have to prove the dog’s owner was negligent. The dog owner is responsible unless you were trespassing, teasing or tormenting the dog.
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