Each year, 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs, according to a 2008 article in Injury Prevention. Many of these accidents are severe enough to warrant medical attention, and many victims are disfigured as a result of their injuries.
Fortunately, there are laws in Ohio that enable victims to file a claim against dog owners to pursue compensation for their damages. These types of cases are not always easily won, though, so ensure that you ask an attorney to assist you through the process. For a dog bite attorney with a successful track record helping victims in Westerville, contact dog bite attorney David Bressman.
Steps to Take after a Dog Bite Attack
Of course, the first item on your agenda is to get the medical care you need. Visit your primary care physician, an urgent care center, or if the injury is serious, an emergency room. Quick, proper care is important to control swelling and bleeding, minimize scarring, and reduce the risk of infection.
You will want to notify animal control of the attack, as well. They will attempt to locate and speak to the owner. The owner will need to produce proof that the dog is up-to-date with rabies shots. If the dog and its owner can’t be located or there’s suspicion it was rabid, you’ll have to under a series of rabies shots as a precautionary measure.
Next, you’ll want to contact a local dog bite attorney. An attorney will explain your legal options to you and help you take whatever legal action is appropriate in your case.
Can you file a claim against the owner for your injuries?
Many states will only allow a dog attack victim to sue the owner if the dog previously attacked someone and the owner is aware of this fact. In order to determine these things, some research will need to be done. A dog bite lawyer can investigate as to whether any previous complaints were filed against the dog as well as look into the owner’s history with the animal.
Ohio Revised Codes § 955.28(B) reads: “The owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog is liable in damages for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog.”
There are a few exceptions to this dog bite statute.
- If you own the dog you cannot sue another person for the attack.
- If you were trespassing you cannot sue the owner.
- If you were committing a crime when attacked, you cannot sue.
- If you provoked the attack via teasing or tormenting the dog.
Of course, these are all instances that can sometimes be interpreted differently by different parties, so consult a dog attack lawyer if you think your situation merits a claim.
Types of Compensable Damages from Dog Bite Claim
If you are able to hold the person in charge of the dog liable, your attorney can help you detail a complete list of all your damages so the courts can get a clear picture of the extent of your injuries as well as order the owner to pay you appropriately.
Below are a few of the types of damage you can include.
- Ambulance and ER bills
- Hospital and physician bills
- Surgeries, medications, and other treatments
- Follow-up appointments
- Lost wages
- The effect the attack and injury have had on your daily life and relationships
The horror of a dog attack is far beyond physical. Many victims experience a wide range of emotional damages, such as anxiety disorders, clinical depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The cost of your mental health care needs can be included on a dog bite claim, as can intangible damages such as pain and suffering.
Call a Dog Bite Attorney in Westerville
Bressman Law serves clients in Westerville and the surrounding areas. Our aim is to help families get the financial settlements they need and deserve when they are injured. To discuss your dog bite attack with a lawyer, contact Bressman Law. Call us today at 877-538-1116 for a free consultation.