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. 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 our firm 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, another 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.
The Severity of the Injury Plays a Role in the Type of Treatment You Receive
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
- Explain your treatment options
Some bites do not require any additional appointments, but others require regular checkups until they heal or you receive further treatment. In severe cases, you could suffer permanent impairments or need plastic surgery following a dog bite.
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Take Pictures, Protect Evidence, and Begin to Build a Strong Case
You can take action immediately to strengthen your case for compensation in the future following a dog bite incident. 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
- Columbus Health Department
- Franklin County Public Health
They will investigate the incident, possibly interview witnesses, and create other documentation about the bite and your injuries. This report may serve as evidence in your claim for compensation.
If You think You were Partially at Fault for Your Injuries
Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §2315.33 states that as long as an accident victim is not responsible for most of the accident, they can still collect damages. Your proportion of fault will determine how much you could receive.
For instance, you could have whistled at the dog before it ran at you and out of the broken fence that should have stopped it from reaching you. The insurance company might decide that you were not primarily at fault in this situation.
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Talk to an Ohio Dog Bite Attorney with Our Firm about Your Case
We recommend reaching out to our firm 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 our firm 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.
Things Our Team Can Do for You
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.
Your lawyer will gather all the evidence they can find to support your case and investigate the bite to determine fault and liability. They will assign a value to all your accident-related losses and negotiate a fair settlement from the insurance company.
Our team will:
- Keep you up-to-date throughout the case
- Answer your questions
- File paperwork
- Help you stay within the relevant statute of limitations
- Stand with you in court, if necessary
- Interview eyewitnesses to the bite
We work for you. Our team wants nothing more than a successful case for you. Our past clients have left testimonials to our service:
- “Bressman Law is the best! One of the things I love about their office was that there was always a kind voice on the other end of the telephone.” – Dave C.
- “David did a terrific job for me. Caring and professional throughout the process. I highly recommend him.” – Ginny L.
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 to let us review your case for free.