Despite the reputation as lovable family companions, domesticated dogs are sometimes prone to overly aggressive behavior when they think they need to protect themselves, their owner, or their owner’s property. No matter what leads to a dog biting an individual, the consequences of the attacks are often severe and, in extreme situations, can even be life-threatening.
State law is generally friendly to individuals looking to file suit against a dog’s owner for injuries sustained by a bite. However, quirks and kinks in this kind of case may require a personal injury attorney’s assistance to efficiently navigate. If someone else’s dog bit you and you want to explore your options for civil recovery, a conversation with a Lakewood dog bite lawyer is likely in your best interests.
Whether it comes from a massive dog or a small one, a dog bite strong enough to puncture the skin can result in substantial physical harm. The mouths of dogs often contain bacteria that can lead to dangerous and painful infections in humans, and the jaws of larger animals are often strong enough to tear through muscles, sever tendons, and even shatter bones.
Any injury from a dog attack that necessitates professional medical care may serve as grounds for civil litigation. With the help of a knowledgeable Lakewood attorney, it may be possible to recover for economic damages, such as medical expenses, lost work wages, and personal property loss after a dog attack. However, an individual might also be eligible to collect non-economic damages for the physical pain, emotional and psychological trauma, and long-term effects that permanent scarring and disabilities bring.
Ohio is one of many states that holds dog owners strictly liable for the actions of their pets in most circumstances. Under Ohio Revised Code §955.28, the person who owns or is responsible for controlling a dog bears financial liability for any injuries the dog causes to another person regardless of if the dog had any history of aggressive behavior. However, this strict liability does not apply if the injured person provoked the dog into attacking him or her by teasing or tormenting the animal, or if the person was trespassing, attempting to trespass, or committing another criminal offense not considered a minor misdemeanor at the time of the attack.
There are further exceptions to the trespassing exception. For instance, dog owners have an implicit responsibility to keep children from wandering on their property and potentially putting themselves at risk of a bite injury.
Regardless of the circumstances leading to the bite, O.R.C. §2305.10 grants injured individuals a maximum of two years after being bitten to bring a lawsuit to formally start the process of pursuing civil compensation. A dog attack lawyer in Lakewood will clarify what rules may apply in an individual’s particular situation.
Unlike other states, victims of dog bites in Ohio generally do not have to prove negligence to hold a dog owner financially liable for their injuries. However, there are still some ways in which these cases can become procedurally complicated, and fighting for maximum compensation can be challenging even under the best of circumstances without guidance from seasoned legal counsel.
By working with a Lakewood dog bite lawyer, you can give yourself the best possible chances of securing a favorable final result. Call Tittle & Perlmuter today for a consultation regarding your case.