Dog Bite Injury

Dog bite injury wrapped in bandage by doctor

Dog bites are often unexpected, yet, even docile and friendly dogs can and do bite humans. Dog owners are often surprised when they suffer a dog bite injury for the first time. Dog bites can happen anywhere, including the park, in the owner’s home, or while walking along a sidewalk. Dog bites are usually traumatic events that cause physical and emotional injuries to the dog bite victims.

At Jones Kahan Law, LLC, we understand the difficulties involved in recovering from dog bites. A high proportion of dog bite victims are children who can suffer severe injuries and become permanently scarred from dog bites. If you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite injury in Ohio, we can help. Contact our skilled personal injury attorneys today to schedule your initial consultation. After understanding the facts of your case, we can fight for your right to compensation for your injuries.

Common Injuries Caused by Dog Bites

The seriousness of dog bite injuries depends on the size of the dog and how long the attack lasted. Even single bites can cause torn skin and bruises. When a large dog bites a child on the face, the child might suffer a facial injury, particularly if the dog tears the child’s skin. Dog bite injuries can include all of the following:

  • Nerve damage
  • Concussions
  • Broken bones
  • Rabies and other infections
  • Mental health issues and psychological damage
  • Mild to severe scarring
  • Disfigurement
  • Scratches
  • Bruises
  • Lacerations
  • Contusions

Fatal Dog Bite Injuries

Dog bite injuries can cause fatal infections, such as tetanus and rabies. The Pediatrics Medical Journal published a report studying dog bite-related fatalities over six years. The study found that 57 percent of dog bite fatalities involved children ten and younger. Additionally, 59 percent of the deaths involved an unrestrained dog that bit someone while on its owner’s property. Only 22 percent of the fatalities involved a dog biting someone while off the owner’s property. Finally, 10 percent of the dog bite fatalities involved infants who were asleep at the time of the bite. The study demonstrated that some dog breeds were more likely to bite humans fatally. Many different breeds caused fatal dog bites, but the following breeds were the most common culprits for dog bites:
Pit bulls caused 24 deaths
Rottweilers caused 24 deaths
German shepherds caused ten deaths

Ohio’s Dog Bite Law

Ohio’s dog bite law states that a dog owner, keeper or harborer is liable for an injury caused by their dog when:

  • The dog’s behavior caused a physical injury,
  • The victim was not committing a crime or attempting to commit a crime
  • The injured person was not trespassing when the bite occurred, and
  • The injured person did not provoke the dog by abusing, tormenting, or teasing it.

Ohio’s law is somewhat unique because it allows injured parties to bring lawsuits against individuals who are not the dog’s owners. For example, if an individual was watching or “dog sitting” someone else’s dog and the dog bites a victim, the dog sitter could be liable for the injuries.

Additionally, if a dog owned by someone’s significant other or roommate bites a guest, the roommate might be liable even if he or she doesn’t own the dog. Ohio residents who are keeping or harboring dogs for someone else, whether on a paid or unpaid basis, should use caution to prevent the dog from biting.

Bringing a Lawsuit for Dog Bites

Ohio is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. When a dog bites someone in Ohio, the dog’s owner or keeper is responsible for the damages caused by the injuries. Even if the dog had never bitten someone before or shown any signs of aggressiveness, the owner or keeper is still liable for the damages.

Some Ohio cities prohibit the ownership of certain breeds of dogs. Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati, along with many other cities, ban or restrict the ownership of pit bulls and other dangerous breeds. Dog owners and keepers who own a pit bull that bites another individual may face fines from their local government in addition to liability from a personal injury lawsuit.

Recovering Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries

Many homeowner insurance policies cover expenses arising from dog bite injuries. Some homeowner insurance policies even provide coverage for personal injury lawsuits arising from dog bites. Many policies include between $100,000 to $300,000 worth of coverage. At Jones Kahan Law, LLC, our skilled attorneys know how to negotiate with insurance companies to seek the most advantageous payouts for our clients.

Under Ohio law, those injured by a dog bite that causes physical injuries may have a legal right to compensation. To succeed in a personal injury lawsuit, the dog bite victim, or plaintiff, must prove that the dog bite caused their injuries. The plaintiff must also prove that he or she was not trespassing, committing a crime, or taunting the dog when the dog bit him or her. Successful plaintiffs may be entitled to the following kind of compensation:

  • Compensation for medical bills, to include physical therapy bills
  • Compensation for lost income from the treatment of the dog bite injury
  • Compensation for any lost future income should the plaintiff become incapacitated
  • Compensation for any property damage
  • Compensation for loss of consortium when the bite damaged a familial relationship

Contact Our Cincinnati Dog Bite Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one have suffered a dog bite injury in Ohio, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Ohio’s strict liability dog bite law makes it somewhat easier for plaintiffs to recover compensation for dog bites than for some other personal injuries. At Jones Kahan Law, LLC, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients recover damages for personal injuries, including dog bites. After reviewing the facts of your case, we can advise you as to the best legal strategy possible. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you.