Dog Bite Attorney in Middletown, Ohio
Whether you are the victim of an attack by a stray dog or your child was bitten by the dog next door, dog bites are some of the most dangerous yet common injuries faced by Americans. While it is a rare occasion for someone to be killed by a dog attack, these encounters often leave victims facing scars, disfigurement, nerve damages, and lasting and painful memories of the event.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that approximately 4.5 million individuals each year in the United States receive treatment for dog injuries. Meanwhile, approximately 33 people die each year due to these attacks. More than half of these attacks occur at either homes or familiar places.
Disease Risks Faced by Dog Bite Victims
There are various disease risks associated with being bitten by a dog, especially dogs who have not yet been vaccinated for rabies. One reason that so many diseases can result from a dog attack is that 60 types of bacteria can be found in a dog’s mouth.
Some of the most common bacterial diseases that result from dog attacks include:
- Capnocytophaga bacteria. This bacteria lives in the mouths of dogs, cats, and people, but does not make animals sick.
- MRSA. An abbreviation for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA is a staph infection that is resistant to some types of antibiotics. MRSA can lead to skin, lung, and urinary infections.
- Pasteurella. Found in more than half of infected dog bites, Pasteurella results in pain, redness, and swelling at the site of the bite. The condition also results in swelling in the joints and difficulty moving.
- Rabies. While many people have heard of rabies, they do not know that the virus spreads to the brain and is nearly always fatal once symptoms present.
- Tetanus. A toxin produced by the Clostridium tetani bacteria, tetanus can result in paralysis in non-vaccinated humans, especially if a bite is deep.
Damages Commonly Faced by Ohio Dog Bite Victims
While they might sound tame in comparison to other types of accidents, the victims of dog attacks often find themselves facing several types of damages including:
- Ambulance fees
- Counseling for emotional hardships
- Emergency room and hospitalization costs
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Medication costs
- Plastic surgery expenses
The Statute of Limitations for Ohio Dog Bites
A “statute of limitations” refers to the amount of time that a person has to file a lawsuit following a dog attack. If your claim is not filed within a specific amount of time, you will likely be barred from pursuing compensation in a court of law. The statute of limitations for a strict liability dog bite lawsuit in the state of Ohio is six years for adults.
If a victim is a minor, the individual has a six-year window that begins running on that individual’s 18th birthday. While some people believe that six years is an ample amount of time, it is critical to not hesitate in pursuing a claim. This window is reduced to only two years for negligence lawsuits. Not only is there a risk that your case might end up outside the statute of limitations, but critical evidence might also be lost.
How to Protect Your Rights After a Dog Attack
If you are injured in a dog attack, there are some critical steps that you should remember to follow to make sure that your right to pursue compensation is not impacted. These steps include:
- Receiving emergency medical treatment. In many cases, dog bites result in infections and serious complications later on. If you are uncertain if you need any additional treatment, it is always a better idea to seek help.
- If it is possible and safe to do so, take photographs of your injuries as well as the attack site, the clothing you were wearing, and the dog.
- Exchange personal information with the dog’s owner as well as anyone who saw the accident occur.
- Report the attack to law enforcement as well as your local animal control officer. Making a report is particularly critical if you are uncertain whether the dog has been vaccinated or if the dog is acting strangely or sick.
- Remember that in Ohio there are several ways to establish a party was responsible for a dog attack. A person can pursue a claim under strict liability, negligence, or both. A dog’s owner can be held responsible for your injuries even if he or she did nothing wrong and even if the animal had not previously bitten someone else.
Contact a Dog Bite Accident Attorney
At Kruger & Hodges, we have experience fighting for dog bite victims and know how to navigate even the toughest cases. Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney serving Middletown, Ohio.
Fun Facts about Middletown!
With Middletown, Ohio having over 30 parks, there is no shortage of possibilities of where to spend your time. Play some soccer, spend some time on nature trails, or have a picnic at Jacot Park. Spend some time at Bull’s Run Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum. Bull’s Run Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum is named after a pasture that was used for bulls in the mid-1800s. The Park holds the last free-flowing section of Bull’s Run Creek which was an original Middletown boundary in 1802.