Dog Bite Injury
The Richards Firm loves animals, especially dogs. Even the most conscientious of dog owners make mistakes that allow dogs to attack people. Ohio law provides for common law and statutory claims against owners, harborers, and keepers of dogs when they attack.
The Ohio Revised Code § 955.28 provides that the owner, harborer, or keeper is strictly liable for damages caused by a dog attack that causes any injury, death, or loss to a person or property. While Ohio courts have interpreted the statute to not apply when the victim was an owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog, contact The Richards Firm today to discuss the nuances of Ohio court decisions relative to the statute.
Ohio law also permits a dog bite victim to recover compensation on the ground of negligence, which is defined as a lack of ordinary care or the absence of care a reasonably prudent and careful person would exercise under similar circumstances. Under common law, a dog bite victim must prove that the defendant harbored the dog with knowledge of its vicious propensities. The victim must show that the defendant owned or harbored the dog, the dog was vicious, the defendant knew of those vicious tendencies, and the defendant was negligent in keeping the dog. In short, a dog bite victim must satisfy more requirements to prevail under a common law theory of liability.
In many dog bite cases, a dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance will be implicated by a dog attack. While you may have difficulty determining what your next step should be after a dog attack, you should consider contacting the local police and/or animal control department. You should also seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You might think that the consequences of such a bite could be minor but those wounds can develop into an infection if not properly treated and monitored. Keeping all evidence associated with the attack, such as pictures of the area and any clothing that was torn or damaged in the attack can prove important when you file an injury claim. It may be difficult to deal with the owner of the dog who may be refusing liability or acting as though you are blowing the situation out of proportion.
Because of the complex issues involved in a dog bite case, you need to ensure that you have a lawyer at your side to assist you with pursuing compensation. Call The Richards Firm today to hire a strong advocate to fight for your rights when attacked. As a personal injury attorney in Hamilton, Ohio, Rhys Richards has handled numerous dog bite claims in the Greater Cincinnati area under a myriad of circumstances. He is prepared to address your needs while advocating for you. Call or email us today and schedule your free case consultation.
The Dangers of Dog Bites in Ohio
According to the Ohio Department of Health, dog bites account for approximately 75% of all bites suffered by people in Ohio each year.
Dog bites are concerning not only because of the potential for a physical wound and resulting scarring, but also due to the high risk of bacterial infections and damage to tissues that can result. Dogs carry a number of bacteria in their mouths, but Capnocytophaga canimorsus may be the most concerning because it can cause life-threatening infections in immunocompromised people. Dogs also can transmit other diseases such as rabies. In fact, dogs are the most common domestic animal to transmit rabies to people in the world.
If you have been attacked by a dog, you should contact your local health department to report the bite. You should also consult with your family physician or seek treatment at your local hospital. At a bare minimum, you need to disinfect the wound and seek medical advice regarding how to keep the wound clean as it heals.
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, take pictures of the wound throughout the healing process. You should also keep any clothing or other belongings that were torn or damaged in the attack.
The Richards Firm has handled numerous dog bite cases. Call The Richards Firm today to hire a strong advocate in Hamilton, Ohio.