Taking the right steps if a dog bites you or a family member and breaks the skin, can mean the difference in quick healing or severe infection — and it can also help you in your pursuit of compensation later. In general, you will want to get medical care quickly, identify and protect evidence in your case, and reach out to a lawyer as soon as practical.
Perform First Aid and Get Medical Care as Soon as Possible
Health and safety must be your first concern during and immediately after this type of incident. Ensuring the dog is restrained and cannot attack again, bite a child or other family member, or anyone else is important. You will also need to perform first aid if there is significant bleeding.
Do not hesitate to call an ambulance for a serious bite injury. Notifying first responders can also help you build a stronger case later because you can rely on the police report as evidence. There will also be little in the way of disputing what caused your injuries since you went straight from the scene to the hospital.
Every dog bite that breaks the skin requires medical care. Depending on the severity, this could include:
- Paramedics who respond to the scene
- Your own doctor or nurse practitioner
- A walk-in clinic
- The local emergency department
Dog bites have a high risk of infection if not properly cleaned. Your care provider will:
- Clean the wound;
- Evaluate the bite;
- Assess the damage done; and
- Explain your treatment options
Some bites do not require any additional appointments, but others require regular checkups until they heal or further treatment. In severe cases, you could suffer permanent impairments or need plastic surgery following a dog bite.
Take Pictures, Protect Evidence, and Begin to Build a Strong Case
You can take action immediately following a dog bite incident that strengthens your case for compensation in the future. Take pictures of the dog, the scene, and other evidence. Taking pictures of your wounds may also prove important later. Get the contact information of the dog’s owner and any witnesses. Keep torn clothing or other items.
You never know what small bit of evidence could be crucial in proving liability or damages in an Ohio dog bite case. Collecting evidence at the scene lays the foundation for your pursuit of damages to cover your medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Report the Incident Within 24 Hours
Ohio law gives you 24 hours from the time a dog bite incident occurs to report it to the proper authorities. While this will occur on your behalf when you see a doctor or if police respond to the scene, we suggest calling in on your own to ensure a record of your report exists.
In Columbus, Ohio, or elsewhere in Franklin County, you can report a bite by calling:
- Franklin County Animal Care & Control: 614-525-3400
- Columbus Health Department: 614-645-6134
- Franklin County Public Health: 614-525-3160
They will investigate the incident, possibly interviewing witnesses and creating other documentation about the bite and your injuries. This report may serve as evidence in your claim for compensation.
Talk to an Ohio Dog Bite Attorney About Your Case
We recommend reaching out to an attorney well-versed in Ohio dog bite law as soon as possible after your injuries occur. Ohio law generally gives us six years from the date of the bite to file a lawsuit, or six years from one’s 18th birthday if the bite occurred before then. While one seemingly has ample time, we have a lot to do to prepare the case. Evidence can disappear quickly, so take action right away.
If you choose attorney David Bressman and the Bressman Law team to handle your case, you can expect us to treat you like a member of your family. We are available to take your call, answer your questions, and help you understand all aspects of your case.
We will investigate the dog bite incident, collect evidence, and build a solid argument for recovering a payout on your behalf. We can pursue compensation in an out-of-court settlement, or a personal injury lawsuit based on Ohio’s strict dog bite laws.
Reach Out to Bressman Law to Discuss Your Claim with a Member of Our Team
At Bressman Law, our firm understands the most pressing concerns following a central Ohio dog bite incident. You can focus on getting the medical care you need and recovering physically and emotionally while we take on your legal case. Let us pursue the payout you deserve based on the facts of your case.
Call us today at 877-538-1116 to let us review your case for free.