Ohio Dog Bite Lawyer
It happens to both children and adults all the time. Perhaps they’re visiting a friend, playing with their family member’s dog, or they’re merely taking a walk near someone else’s dog. In a short matter of time, a dog can feel threatened, agitated, or protective, which can lead to a painful dog bite for the victim. When a dog attacks causes harm, the owner or handler of the dog should be held accountable so that future attacks are prevented. A skilled Ohio dog bite attorney can help you at our Columbus or Mansfield location!
The attorneys at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys have been working on behalf of Ohioans for years. Our experience has allowed us to see a variety of cases and advocate on behalf of many victims who need help the most. We understand the financial strain that serious injuries cause for accident victims and their families, which is why there is no fee unless we win.
Our skilled legal team has won millions of dollars for accident victims who have needed it most. We approach every case with compassion and unmatched attention to detail. If you have been the victim of a dog bite injury, there are steps that you can take to hold the owner of the dog legally accountable. Our Ohio dog bite lawyers can help. Don’t shrug off your injuries if you have been hurt, contact our personal injury lawyers at 419-529-2020 today.
Do I Need A Dog Bite Lawyer?
Injuries sustained from dog bite injuries vary widely from case to case, but the shock and trauma is sadly often a universal commonality. Being the subject of an attack is frightening and often leaves victims with trauma that extends past physical injuries. A skilled attorney can help victims recover compensation for expenses related to the injury.
Medical expenses such as initial wound treatment and follow up checkups often put an unexpected financial strain on dog bite victims. The responsibility to cover costs related to dog bite injuries should fall to the owner or handler of the dog. With the help of a lawyer, accident victims can shift the responsibility where it belongs and move on with their lives. With a simple free consultation, a lawyer can learn the details of your case and help you understand your options moving forward.
Depending on the circumstances, some people may attempt to handle negotiations with the dog owner by themselves. Unfortunately, this often doesn’t work in the victim’s favor. The assistance of a lawyer speeds the negotiation process along and enables victims to receive the maximum amount of compensation possible.
Why Choose Rinehardt Injury Attorneys to Handle My Case?
The lawyers at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys handle a wide variety of issues and have decades of experience advocating for the rights of accident victims in Ohio. We are fully aware that our clients have plenty of quality options when they look for the right law firm to handle their case. When people trust their case to our firm, we don’t take it for granted. With compassion, attention to detail, and relentlessness we fight for the best possible legal results and aim to show each client why they chose us.
Our experience has equipped us with a nuanced approach. Though there are commonalities among all cases, we know that the individuals that we work with are vastly different from one another. We are committed to achieving the best possible solutions for our clients because we know the difference that it can make in their lives.
Over the years we have won millions of dollars for people who have been injured by the recklessness of another person. Accidents happen and not all people who cause them do so intentionally. However, we believe that when people cause harm to others, they should face the consequences, and we fight to make sure that they do.
Dog Bite Cases We Handle
The range in physical damage that dog bites cause can vary widely from smaller puncture marks, deep wounds, and even disfigurement. If a dog has injured you, you deserve quality representation so that you can recover any expenses related to your injuries.
According to a 2015 quote from the Centers for Disease Control, about 4.5 million dog bite cases occur each year, and about one in five dog bite wounds become infected. Wounds are classified in different stages depending on their severity. The National Center for Biotechnology Information provides the following information about wound staging:
- Stage I – A more superficial injury that hasn’t cut down into the musculature. These wounds are the least severe but can still become infected if not treated properly.
- Stage II – Deep wound that affects the muscle. These injuries are often far more painful and typically require medical attention.
- Stage III – A severe wound that affects the muscle and involves either tissue loss or tissue necrosis.
- Stage IVA – Wounds affecting the muscle, tissues, and nerves. Nerve damage can cause permanent loss of feeling or function to certain limbs.
- Stage IVB – injuries that affect the muscle, soft tissue, nerves, and bone. Dog bites that pierce down to the bone are serious and should be treated by a doctor as soon as possible.
If a dog has bitten you, seek medical help as soon as possible. Though the vast majority of bites happen from domestic pets treated for rabies and other diseases, it is still wise to have a doctor confirm the status of your injury.
Strict Liability and Negligence in Ohio
If you have experienced the effects of a dog bite injury, you deserve justice. The lawyers at Rinehardt Injury Attorneys work with clients whose wounds heal quickly and other victims who are forced to adapt their whole lives around a severe and lasting injury. No matter what the specific details of your case are, a skilled attorney can help you understand the protection that Ohio law extends to you.
In Ohio, victims of dog bites can either file their claim against the responsible party under the basis of strict liability or negligence.
- Strict Liability – Strict liability indicates that the owner or handler of the dog is held responsible no matter what precautions they took to prevent the occurrence. A victim is protected under strict liability as long as they were not trespassing and they did not provoke the dog.
- Negligence – Successfully holding a dog owner accountable for negligence is far more difficult but can be done if they acted with malice or gross negligence. Gross negligence is considered to be such when carelessness crosses the threshold into recklessness.
Depending on the state, the law treats legal action taken in response to dog bite wounds differently.
Warning Signs of a Dog Bite
Of course, the best way to minimize recovery after a dog bite is to avoid the bite in the first place. This isn’t always possible, but if you can watch for the warning signs from the dog, you may be able to avoid the accident altogether. According to Doggone Safe, dogs tend to provide the following warning signs before a bite:
- A dog gets up and moves away, or simply turns his head away, from a child
- A dog looks at you with a pleading expression, and you can see the whites of his eyes
- A dog yawns or licks his chops when a child is approaching or interacting with him
- A dog starts suddenly scratching, biting, or licking himself
Some of these signs are subtle and may not seem to warn of anything. If you don’t know to watch for them, you may very well approach the dog to comfort him. This is often when dog bites occur.
If you are bitten by a dog there are simple steps that you should take after the attack.
- Seek medical attention. Immediately after an attack you should get treatment for your injuries. Dog bites can be very dangerous as they are high risk for infection. It is also important that you save all paperwork related to the treatment of your dog bite.
- Document details of the attack. Take down the location the attack occurred and the dog owner/home owner’s name and contact information. You should also ask the dog owner/homeowner if they have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance and obtain the policy information. If a witness or witnesses were present you should also obtain their names and contact information. This information in addition to your treatment paperwork will be useful when seeking to file a legal claim.
- Contact local authorities. A police report is an official document that will describe what happened during the attack. This will provide evidence for your case when you decide to file a legal claim. You must also file a report with the local health commissioner where the attack occurred within 24 hours after the incident. If you have not filed a report, the treating physician is required to file a report. Veterinarians who treat dogs involved in a bite or attack are also required to report the attack.
- Get help from a dog bite attorney. If you’ve been bitten by a dog it is likely that you will have medical bills to pay from the treatment you’ve received. You are entitled to seek compensation from harm caused by the dog. Contact Rinehardt Injury Attorneys for a free consultation and to discuss your rights.
Yes. You should report a dog attack to the dog warden if it results in injury. Dog Wardens respond to calls for dog abuse, stray dogs running at large, abandonment, neglect and any other violation of Ohio’s dog laws. (Ohio R.C. 955 et seq.).
If you’re attacked by a dog in Mansfield, contact the following agencies and report the bite:
Richland County Public Health: (419) 774-4500
Richland County Dog Shelter: (419) 774-5892
Animal Care & Control: 614-525-3400
Columbus Health Department: 614-645-6134
Franklin County Public Health: 614-525-3160
In most cases, the owner of the dog is legally responsible for bites and other injuries caused by their animal. There are certain instances when another individual may also be liable. This includes if the dog owner was younger than 18 years of age, a person other than the owner had care or control over the animal, or the landlord had knowledge of the dog being aggressive and dangerous but did nothing about it.
Every dog bite injury case is unique, but damages that may be available for victims to recover usually include:
- Medical bills and hospital fees
- Loss of wages
- Therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Pain and suffering
Dog Bite Statistics
In most cases, dogs bite humans when they’re protecting a possession or resting place; protecting their owner; they’re frightened, grumpy, injured, startled, or sick; the dog is still in training; they get overly excited, or they thought the human they bit was their prey.
With so many small details that can lead to a dog getting worked up and ultimately biting a human, it may not be surprising how often dog bites can occur. What often does surprise people, however, is the severity of the injury that dog bites can inflict. A 2010 study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found:
- 316,200 emergency visits in 2008 involved a dog bite
- The average cost of a dog bite-related hospital stay was $18,200 (approximately 50% higher than the average injury-related hospital stay)
- Nearly 75% of dog bite-related visits were for patients 44 and younger
- There were three times as many dog bite-related hospital stays in rural areas than there were in urban areas
If a dog has bitten you, it’s important to know that you have options beyond simply getting mad at the owner who could have prevented it. By seeking the help of experienced attorneys, you can learn about the options available to you and make an informed decision that’s in your best interests. Contact Rinehardt Injury Attorneys for a consultation today.
Rinehardt Injury Attorneys is the answer to your personal injury. Our team of attorneys and case managers have represented clients in in Columbus and throughout central and north central Ohio for years. We treat every new client as if they were part of our family by providing clear communication, building a strong relationship, and using our experience to provide legal guidance that’s in their best interests. We offer free consultations with no obligation, so don’t hesitate to contact our team about your legal matter.