While we have all heard dogs referred to as “man’s best friend,” the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year. Although children and men are the most common victims of these attacks, everyone is at risk of being seriously injured by dogs. Not only do these attacks result in serious physical injuries, but they also often result in long-lasting emotional scars.
Common Injuries Following Ohio Dog Bites
Based on studies conducted by the CDC, people are most likely to experience bites on the arm, hands, legs, foot, head, or neck. Some of the most common injuries known to result from these attacks include:
Bruises, cuts, and scratches
Navigating Ohio’s Dog Attack Laws
In many personal injury cases, the victim must establish that the defendant did something carelessly or recklessly to hold them responsible for their injuries. The regulations, however, are different for dog attack injury claims. This is because the state of Ohio has created a strict liability structure for dog bite injuries. Under Section 955.28 of the Ohio Revised Code, dog owners are liable for any injuries caused by their animal. This holds true even if the animal never acted aggressively toward humans before.
Ohio has also created special rules addressing “dangerous dogs.” If any animal has previously shown aggression toward humans, the dog’s owner must take additional precautions to protect others. If you or a loved one was harmed by a dangerous dog or injured as the result of negligent behavior by a dog owner or controller, your dog bite lawyer likely can also pursue a common law claim against the dog owner for negligence.
Dog bite law claims in Ohio are often complex. Some of the elements that must be established in order to be successful in your claim include:
Whether the dog has a history of aggressive behavior or biting
The location where the attack occurred
Whether warning signs were presented about the danger of the dog
Whether the owner or controller complied with Ohio law
Anticipating Ohio Dog Owner Defenses
Dog owners in Ohio are strictly liable for any injuries caused by their dog, but they do have some potential defenses that they can raise. Some of the most common defenses that Ohio dog owners raise following attacks include:
If you were committing a criminal offense at the time of a dog attack, you might be prohibited from pursuing compensation. The criminal offense might be breaking and entering, committing a physically violent act against another individual, or one of many other criminal offenses.
Ohio law looks down on financial recovery for victims who provoke animals into attacking them. If you in any way provoked a dog to attack, this could end up jeopardizing the outcome of your case.
With few exceptions, Ohio disallows the recovery of compensation for people who were trespassing at the time that dog attacks occurred.
Compensation for Trenton Dog Bite Victims
If you were injured by a dog, you have a right to pursue compensation for your resulting injuries. Many times, dog bite injuries are pursued against homeowners’ policies for the responsible dog owner. Sometimes, however, these claims are directly pursued against rental companies or other property owners.
The compensation included in settlements can make up for various damages faced by dog attack victims like:
Disfigurement and scarring
Emergency room fees
Pain and suffering
Why Ohio Dog Bite Attack Victims Should Act Quickly
Ohio has a narrow statute of limitations in which a person can pursue a dog bite lawsuit.
If a person attempts to initiate a case outside of this window, he or she will be barred from doing so. There is generally a six-year window for adults in Ohio who wish to pursue action in a strict liability dog accident case. For children, there is a six-year window of time that begins running when the child reaches the age of 18.
For negligence cases, the statute of limitations is two years. Not only do dog big victims risk being outside the statute of limitations in waiting to initiate a lawsuit, but there is also a risk that critical evidence about how an accident occurred might be lost.
Speak with a Trenton Dog Bite Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was the victim of a dog attack, you might be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and many other complications. Contact Kruger & Hodges today to schedule a free case evaluation with a dog bite attorney serving Trenton, Ohio.