Cleveland Dog Bite Lawyer

Injured By A Dog Bite In Cleveland? Let Our “Powerhouse” Lawyers Bite Back!

They say dog is “man’s best friend.” However, according to the CDC, approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year. Children and men are the most likely victims of these incidents. A dog attack can be a traumatic event that could leave serious injury and permanent scarring. If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury as a result of a canine attack, the dog’s owner should be held accountable – our accident lawyers can do just that. Our experienced Cleveland dog bite lawyers will go to work for you.

Common Types of Dog Bite Injuries in Cleveland

According to the CDC, individuals are most likely to suffer bites to their arm, hand, leg, foot, head, or neck. Common injuries as a result of dog attacks are the following:

  • Cuts, bruises and scratches
  • Puncture wounds
  • Tearing (avulsion)
  • Dislocations
  • Fractures
  • Amputations
  • Scarring
  • Crushing (head/skull injuries).

In fact, injuries from dog bites can be so severe that individuals must undergo reconstructive surgery. The CDC reports these types of injuries to occur in around 27,000 victims every year. Consequently, a victim may even require multiple surgical procedures over a number of years. At Tittle & Perlmuter, our Cleveland attorneys have experience in handling all of the above types of dog bite claims.

Understanding Ohio’s Dog Bite Laws

In most personal injury cases, you must prove that a defendant did something careless or reckless in order to hold them legally responsible for your injuries. However, the rules are different for dog attack injury claims. This is because the state of Ohio has strict liability for dog bites injuries. Under Section 955.28 of the Ohio Revised Code, dog owners are liable for any injuries caused by their animal, even if the animal never acted in an aggressive manner towards humans before.

In addition, Ohio also has special legal rules governing ‘dangerous dogs’. If any animal has displayed aggression towards humans in the past, that dog’s owner must take extra safety precautions to protect the health and safety of the public. If you or a family member was injured by a dangerous dog, or injured due to a dog owner’s negligent conduct, you may have a common law claim against the dog owner.

Victims Must Be Ready for Dog Owner Defenses

While Ohio dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their canine, these defendants do have some affirmative legal defenses available to them. In American law, an affirmative defense is one that, if proven to be true, will mitigate civil or criminal liability. In Ohio dog attack injury cases, dog owners and their insurance companies typically rely on one of the following three affirmative legal defenses:

  • Provocation: As a general matter, Ohio disallows financial recovery for victims who provoked the animal into attacking them. In real world scenarios, defining provocation can often prove to be extremely challenging. If you are a dog bite victim in Northeast Ohio, and you have been accused of provoking the attack, you should speak to an experienced Cleveland personal injury attorney immediately.
  • Trespassing: With limited exceptions, Ohio also tends to disallow recovery for victims who were trespassing at the time of the attack. Once again, trespassing is not always easy to define. For example, a victim who was technically not allowed on certain property may not have been trespassing for the purposes of Ohio’s dog bite laws if they did not know that they were committing the violation.
  • Criminal conduct: If you were committing a crime at the time of the dog attack, you may be prohibited from recovering compensation. This could include breaking and entering, committed a physically violent act against another person, or one of many other crimes. If a dog attacks under those scenarios, the owner may be excused from legal responsibility.

Compensation Available to Dog Bite Victims in Cleveland

If you were injured by a dog, you deserve full and fair compensation for your injuries. In many cases, dog bite injury claims are brought against the homeowners’ policy of the responsible dog owner. Though, these claims can be also be brought against dog owners directly, against rental companies, against landlords, and against other Cleveland businesses and property owners. To maximize your financial recovery, you must be able to prove the value of your damages. At Tittle & Perlmuter, our top-rated Cleveland dog attack lawyers can help you get the full and fair personal injury settlement offer you deserve. This could include compensation for:

  • Emergency room fees;
  • Surgical operations;
  • Ongoing medical costs;
  • Rehabilitative care;
  • Lost wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional trauma;
  • Disfigurement & scarring; and
  • Wrongful death.

Filing an Animal Attack Claim

Dog bite law in Cleveland and the state of Ohio is somewhat complex with two specific claims that may be available – a statutory claim and/or a common law claim. Because of this, it is important you hire an experienced attorney with a history of success prosecuting these types of cases. Our attorneys have the experience in handling dog bites cases and, in handling your case, will leave no stone unturned by evaluating the following:

  • Whether the dog has a history of bites or aggressive behavior;
  • The location of the attack;
  • If warning signs were posted;
  • Determining if the owner was in compliance with Ohio law;
  • Whether the owner has a homeowner or renter insurance policy that may provide coverage; and
  • If a landlord has knowledge that a tenant has a dangerous dog on the premises.

In addition, an attorney’s investigation is key in helping reduce any allegations that you may share fault in the bite. Our Cleveland lawyers are well versed in investigating canine attack claims, as well as the history of success in prosecuting these claims.

Hiring a Cleveland Dog Bite Attorney

You may be entitled to compensation for present and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, as well as permanent scarring related to a serious dog bite. Call us for a free consultation today. We will respond quickly and schedule an appointment. If you’ve been seriously injured or are having trouble with mobility, we will even come to you!

Don’t wait to act! Our Cleveland dog bite lawyers have the deep expertise, unbridled passion and history of success necessary to get you the compensation you deserve. From the very first moment you pick up the phone and call us, let us guide you through the entire process, fight for you, and do everything in our power to win your case. You pay NOTHING if we don’t win –so call now!

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