Dog Bite Injuries
Cleveland Dog Bite Injury Lawyers
Many people throughout Ohio have dogs as pets and companions. While dogs may be man’s best friend, they are still animals and, at times, can be unpredictable. As such, any dog owner should take the proper measures to train and socialize their pets with other dogs and people to best prevent future violence. Unfortunately, however, even the most docile and sociable dogs can end up attacking.
Dog bites can be serious and often cause both physical and emotional trauma. If you, your child, or another loved one endured a dog attack, the Cleveland dog bite lawyers at Joseph Law Group can help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Top Rated Dog Bite Attorney Cleveland, Ohio
Our top Cleveland personal injury law firm has a firm understanding of Ohio dog bite laws and extensive experience handling related legal issues. This means we know what it takes in order to hold all dog owners accountable for their negligent actions and help our clients attain financial recovery for their injuries. Our dog bite attorneys also understand the complexity of these personal injury cases – especially when the pet owner at fault is a friend or relative – so we take measures to be sensitive as we fight for justice. Call us today at (216) 522-1600 and we’ll get straight to work investigating and strengthening your dog bite case.
Ohio Dog Bite Law
Ohio dog bite laws, which can be found in the Ohio Revised Code Section 955.28 B, are notably different than other state laws when it comes to recovering compensation. This is because instead of following negligence laws, the state of Ohio follows strict liability laws. In short, this means that Ohio dog bite victims don’t have to prove the dog owner’s negligence caused or led to the attack. Instead, victims simply have to prove that:
- The dog’s aggressive behavior caused injuries;
- The victim wasn’t trespassing (or attempting to trespass) on the dog owner’s property when the attack occurred;
- And the victim didn’t anger, tease, or abuse the dog before the dog bite occurred.
If the victim and their legal team successfully prove these elements, then the dog’s owner is strictly liable for all damages related to the attack.
What is the Definition of a Dangerous Dog Under Ohio Law?
According to Ohio Revised Code Section 955.11, a dangerous dog is one that has:
- Previously injured or killed a person;
- Previously injured or killed another dog or pet;
- Escaped restrainment or confinement more than three times, as enforced by Ohio Revised Code Section 955.22, Division C.
Police dogs who have caused injury to suspects while on the job are not included in this dangerous dog definition.
How Many Dog Attacks Happen Every Year?
Unfortunately, dog bites and attacks are incredibly common in the United States. In fact, more than 4.5 million Americans suffer from dog bites every year, and more than 800,000 have to seek emergency medical care for their injuries. Tragically, at least half of these dog bite victims are children. These shocking statistics are exactly why our Cleveland attorneys take dog bite cases so seriously and highly encourage victims to obtain our legal services as soon as possible.
Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries
Injuries caused by dangerous dogs are typically much more than just minor cuts and scrapes. Unfortunately, many victims suffer serious and catastrophic injuries such as disfigurement and other permanent injuries after a dog attack. Other common dog bite wounds include:
- Nerve damage
- Deep puncture wounds and other tissue damage
- Eye injuries and vision loss
- Major bruising and scarring
- Broken bones
- Joint dislocations
- Head and neck injuries
It is critical that anyone who suffers from an animal attack of any kind seek medical help immediately.
What To Do After an Animal Attack
The first thing you should do after you or a loved one endures a dog attack is to take care of yourself. More than likely, you’ll need to call 911 and go to the emergency room right away. Even if you think your injuries are minor, you still need to get checked out immediately to prevent bacterial and viral infection. Keep in mind that dogs are the most common carriers of the Rabies virus, according to IAMAT. Because virus transmission occurs through infected animals’ saliva, even the most minor dog bites could be life-threatening.
Another priority immediately following dog attacks is gathering evidence. If you can, type the dog owner’s name and contact information in the notes section of your phone or otherwise jot it down in a safe place. You may also want to document any witnesses and their contact information, if applicable. Additionally, it is helpful to your case to take pictures and videos of your injuries, the attack scene, the dangerous dog, and any other relevant information.
Lastly, once your injuries are cared for, call a dog bite attorney at Joseph Law Group. We will carefully study all your case evidence and seek compensation for your suffering.
Why Do Dogs Bite or Attack?
Dogs generally don’t attack out of nowhere. Most often, dog attacks are a reaction to something happening. A dog may bite or attack because it:
- Feels threatened or scared of a person or other animal;
- Senses a stressful situation;
- Is attempting to play;
- Wants to protect its puppies, food, toys, owners, etc.;
- Feels unwell due to an illness or injury.
How to Prevent Dog Attacks
There is no way to foresee or prevent every dog attack. But as dog owners, there are things we can do to protect ourselves and our neighbors from our furry friends.
Restrain or Confine Dangerous Dogs
First of all, if you know that your dog is capable of violence with people or other animals, keep it restrained on a leash or confined behind a fence at all times. You should also hang a sign on the fence that says “Beware of Dog” or something similar to let potential visitors/neighbors/passers by know that your dog may be dangerous.
Be Kind to Your Dog
Many dogs who suffer from abusive owners end up being abusive to other people and animals. So, it’s incredibly important that you be kind to all pets, even when they’re misbehaving. Make sure that your animal has a safe and comfortable home, enough food and water, enough exercise, and enough love. If you see a neighbor abusing their dog, say something. You can also report animal cruelty in Ohio so that an abused dog can get rehomed to a loving owner.
Avoid Dangerous Situations
Protect yourself always. Do not approach a dog if:
- It isn’t restrained or confined;
- The dog’s owner is nowhere to be found;
- It’s sleeping, eating, or obviously unwell;
- It’s with its puppies and is acting protective over them;
- The dog’s owner specifically instructs you not to touch their dog;
- It’s exhibiting aggressive behavior such as barking or growling;
Compensation for Dog Attack Victims
If you suffered injuries from a dog attack, you should file a personal injury lawsuit as soon as possible with a Cleveland dog bite lawyer. If you win, you could receive compensation for:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Permanent disability or disfigurement
- Medical expenses related to the attack
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Lost wages during your recovery
- Loss of earning potential
- Therapy expenses for the psychological trauma related to the attack
- Punitive damages
What is the Ohio Statute of Limitations for Dog Attacks?
Under the Ohio statute of limitations, those bitten by dogs have two years from the date of the attack to pursue legal action. If you wait longer than that to file a claim, the court will almost certainly dismiss your case.
Call Cleveland Dog Bite Injury Lawyers at Joseph Law Group Today for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was injured by a dog, we strongly encourage you to contact our Cleveland dog bite lawyers today. The team of skilled negotiators at our law firm has decades of combined legal experience and focuses strictly on Ohio personal injury and wrongful death-related practice areas.
We understand the immense physical, emotional, and financial impact that personal injury cases like these have on your entire family. We are more than prepared to help guide you through the legal system and advise you on your best course of action in regards to your personal injury claim. We will gather evidence for your case, handle negotiations with the insurance company, and fight for you in court if it comes down to it. Additionally, we prioritize every attorney-client relationship so much so that we routinely travel to meet with clients like you. Plus, you never pay a fee unless we successfully recover compensation for your claim.
Call our Cleveland dog bite attorneys at 216-522-1600 today for a free consultation.
Let's Talk About Your Case
The insurance industry is built on the avoidance of making any payments on claims. They see claims as liabilities, and initially deny, defend, and delay a claim to limit that liability and save money for the company. Ultimately, it is the job of the attorneys at Joseph Law Group to advocate on behalf of our clients and to give the insurance companies and adjusters enough reason to pay an amount of money that is fair under all circumstances. When you hire Joseph Law Group to represent your claim, you are getting a full-service team of dedicated attorneys and paralegals who will be committed to pursuing the best outcome for you from day one until trial.