When someone’s dog bites a person, that person may be entitled to compensation. The Insurance Information Institute (III) found that, in Ohio, the average value of a dog bite claim in 2020 was $38,009.
Of course, every case is unique, so you should not assume that the average settlement amount will apply in your case. Depending on how severe your injuries are and how they will affect your life, you may recover more or less than the stated amount.
Calculating Damages for a Dog Bite in Ohio
Whether you file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit, your potential settlement may include both economic and non-economic losses. Additionally, you can seek compensation for both current and future damages if your dog bite injuries cause long-term complications.
Examples of damages you can seek include:
- Medical bills, including surgery, emergency room care, and long-term rehabilitation
- Lost wages, for the time you missed at work while healing from your injuries
- Reduced earning capacity, if your injuries prevent you from returning to work
- Pain and suffering
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of quality of life
Our dog bite lawyers can help calculate your damages to ensure you do not leave any money on the table when negotiating a settlement. You do not want to accept an unfair initial offer only to discover that your injuries require ongoing medical care, such as with a permanent disability.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
Dog Bite Injuries Can be Severe and Costly
Although some dog bite injuries are superficial, others can be severe, warranting emergency medical care. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), 1% of emergency room visits per year in the U.S. are caused by animal bites, and some involve disfiguring or fatal wounds.
Per StatPearls, some injuries and medical complications associated with dog bites include:
- Tendon ruptures
- Nerve damage
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Additionally, dog bite wounds often carry a risk of infection, which can lead to further medical complications. A dog bite victim may require surgery, medication, and physical therapy to cope with their injuries.
Ohio’s Dog Bite Statute
Per the Ohio Revised Codes (ORC) §955.28, a dog owner may be held liable when their dog injures, bites, or causes a loss to a person, injures a person’s pet, or damages someone’s personal property.
Nevertheless, the law further states that the dog’s owner would not be held liable for any injuries caused by their dog if the bit victim:
- Was trespassing
- Committing a crime
- Abusing or tormenting the dog
The One-Bite Rule Does not Apply in Ohio
Some states have a one-bite law when it comes to dog bites. This means that a victim may not be able to hold a dog owner liable if their dog never displayed aggressive behavior before, making them aware of the danger their dog poses.
This is not the case in Ohio. Ohio operates on strict liability, meaning the dog owner will face liability even if it is their dog’s first time engaging in such conduct.
Filing an Insurance Claim
After experiencing a dog bite, you may be able to file a claim with the liable party’s homeowner’s insurance provider. Some homeowners insurance policies do not cover dog bite injuries for certain breeds that are deemed dangerous.
Even if the dog bite did not occur on the owner’s property, you may still be able to file a claim through their insurer. You will need to find out if they have coverage for dog bites and how much coverage their policy carries.
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Filing a Lawsuit
If a dog owner does not have insurance coverage for dog bites, you can file a personal injury lawsuit. You can also file a lawsuit if the owner’s policy does not offer enough coverage to fairly compensate you,
In Ohio, you generally have six years from the date of your injury to file a suit—unless you were under 18 years old at the time. If you were younger than that, you have six years from your 18th birthday to file instead.
A Dog Bite Injury Lawyer at Bressman Law Can Help
If a dog bit you in Ohio and you sustained injuries, you have a right to seek compensation from a liable party. You also have a right to legal representation. Bressman Law handles dog bite injury cases. We can calculate your damages to determine what a fair settlement would look like in your case.
Depending on certain factors, you may qualify for more compensation than the average value of a dog bite claim in Ohio. We offer free initial consultations so you can discuss your injuries and determine your case’s worth. Call our personal injury lawyers as soon as possible.