Dog bite attacks often leave victims facing disfiguring scars, painful emotional trauma, and many other lasting complications. Fortunately, there are several methods under Ohio law to pursue compensation for dog bites with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Injuries Commonly Caused by Dog Bites and Attacks
Dog attacks often occur suddenly and unexpectedly. When the attack is over, victims often struggle with substantial injuries, such as:
Cuts and bruises
Head and neck injuries
Scarring and disfigurement
While many of these injuries do not result in death, they still have the potential to be life-changing and often necessitate costly and ongoing treatment.
Pursuing an Insurance Claim After an Ohio Dog Attack
In Ohio, dog bites are often covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. Insurance claims permit victims to pursue both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are costs that can easily be assigned a monetary value like lost wages or medical expenses. Non-economic damages include things like physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Many people who only receive minor injuries due to a dog bite discover that homeowner’s policies cover all necessary costs. If you were seriously injured, however, a policy limit may prohibit an insurance carrier from fully compensating you.
Fairfield Dog Attacks and The One Bite Rule
Ohio’s common law doctrine is referred to as the “one bite rule.” This regulation states that dog attack victims can recover compensation from the dog’s owner or keeper if the dog previously attacked another person or acted as if the animal intended to do so and the owner was aware of this behavior.
To receive compensation under this regulation, the evidence must be established in a court of law that:
The dog previously displayed aggressive behavior or attacked someone else. A previous history of biting or attempting to bite by a dog can be shown in several ways. Some victims locate a record of the attack that was filed with the county. Other victims can collect witness testimony from people who were previously hurt by the dog or saw its vicious behavior.
The defendant named in the lawsuit must have been the party in control of the dog at the time of the attack. Even though a person has control over an animal, they still might have let it roam free so it could attack or bite someone.
The defendant must have known about the dog’s previous attacks or aggressive behavior. Proving that the animal’s owner knew about the dog’s behavior is often not difficult. If a formal complaint against the animal was made, there is a likelihood that the owner was aware that the animal previously bit or attempted to bite someone.
You must have experienced a compensable injury as a result of the attack. Besides obtaining damages for any injuries experienced due to an attack, victims are also sometimes able to collect punitive damages, which are designed to punish the party that engaged in the wrongful conduct that led to the attack. For punitive damages, it must be shown that the defendant acted maliciously in letting a dog attack you.
Ohio Statutory Law and Dog Attacks
Ohio statute 955.28 categorizes dog bites in a slightly different manner than the common law. A person who owns or controls a dog is responsible for the animal’s actions. It does not matter if the owner or person in control knew the dog was outside when it should have been contained. To prevail under this theory, there must be no evidence that the victim was in any way responsible for the accident.
As a result, to prevail under Ohio statutory law, a dog bite victim must show that:
The defendant was the owner or entity in control of the animal at the time of the attack.
The victim must have incurred a compensable injury.
The victim must not have been committing a criminal offense, teasing the dog, or doing any other wrongful action that resulted in the attack.
Speak With a Fairfield Dog Bite Attorney Today
If you or a loved one is attacked by a dog in Fairfield or any other part of Ohio, a dog bite attorney can help you pursue compensation. Contact Kruger & Hodges today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our dog bite lawyers serving Fairfield, Ohio.