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Cincinnati and Covington Dog Bite Lawyers
Dog attacks can cause severe physical injuries, not to mention emotional trauma and psychological damage. Dog owners have a responsibility to control their pets, especially if they’ve shown aggressive or dangerous behavior in the past. Irresponsible dog owners should and can be held accountable for dog bite incidents. If you or a loved one were attacked by a dangerous dog, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries through a personal injury lawsuit.
For more information about how to pursue a dog bite claim, contact the Ohio and Kentucky dog bite lawyers at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm today. Our dog bite attorneys can help you explore your legal options after a serious injury. Call us toll-free at (800) 698-4054 or complete our online intake form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced dog bite attorney from our firm today.
Dog Bite Statistics
According to the CDC, dogs bite more than 4.7 million people every year. However, many incidents likely go unreported because the bites aren’t severe enough to require medical attention. Some other key statistics for dog bite injuries are listed below.
- Approximately 800,000 individuals require medical attention for dog bites every year
- Children aged 5-9 have the highest rate of dog attacks
- The most common victims are children, elder adults, and postal workers
- Nearly 18% of dog bites become infected
Common Aggressive Breeds
When it comes to an aggressive or dangerous dog, sometimes it’s more about the owner than it is about the breed. According to an Applied Animal Behavior Science study, Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Jack Russell Terriers are the most aggressive breeds towards both strangers and their owners. Because these dogs are small, their attacks don’t commonly cause severe injuries. A Pit Bull attack, on the other hand, can cause extreme damage simply due to its bite strength. Many people consider German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Pit Bulls to be aggressive dogs due to their size and protective nature.
Can You Sue for a Dog Bite?
Dog bite injuries can result in lifelong impairment and expensive medical treatment. That’s why, if you were bitten by a dog without provocation, you deserve to recover fair compensation for your injuries.
Dog bite victims are often unaware that they have legal options available. However, under Ohio and Kentucky law, a dog owner should take precautions such as keeping their pet on a leash or in an enclosed yard. When owners don’t secure their pets and it leads to dog bites, they can and should be held responsible for the injuries their pet causes.
Some states have legislation in place known as the “one bite rule.” The specific laws for Kentucky and Ohio are outlined below.
“One Bite” Rule
Dog owners are liable for dog injuries if the owner knew (or should have known) that the dog is dangerous. Sixteen states currently have a one-bite law, but Kentucky and Ohio are not part of this number. The one bite law means that a dog owner gets one “free” bite that they aren’t responsible for. Any attack after this, however, is the direct responsibility of the owner since they’re now aware that their dog can cause harm. This law used to be the common law in every state, but animal attacks became much more widespread, especially among certain breeds. Many states have since replaced this with a statute of strict liability.
In civil law, there are two standards of liability: strict liability and negligence. In most personal injury cases, victims have to prove that the liable party was negligent in some way. This means that you and your legal team don’t have to fight to prove negligence in a dog injury claim. Under strict liability, a dog’s owner is liable for the injuries a dog bite victim suffers after a dog attack whether they were negligent or not.
Kentucky Dog Laws
Kentucky follows a strict liability statute for dog bite injuries. This means that owners are strictly liable for all dog bite incidents, even if they had no prior reason to believe their dog would ever attack someone.
Kentucky also follows a doctrine of comparative negligence. This means that if the injured party contributed to their injuries at all, the court can reduce the amount of the compensation award. If, for example, someone willfully approaches a snarling dog and is bitten, they can be found 25% at fault for their injuries. As a result, the court will reduce the compensation amount by 25% to account for comparative negligence.
Ohio Dog Laws
Ohio law also follows strict liability for dog bite injuries. Ohio has strict laws when it comes to reporting dog bites. Any dog bite should be reported within 24 hours to the local health commissioner where the attack occurred. In Ohio, injured victims can recover compensation under both strict liability and common law negligence. Pursuing a dog bite claim under common negligence can also result in a punitive damage award if the owner was grossly negligent.
Injuries from Dog Attack
Dogs bite for any number of reasons. If they feel threatened or scared, they can lash out at anyone nearby. Sometimes the dog may feel ill or uncomfortable, and this could be a reason for them to bite as well.
Common dog bite injuries include:
- Puncture wounds
- Cuts and bruises
- Tearing wounds
- Crushed or broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Facial wounds
- Loss of limb
- Mauling injuries
Complications from Dog Bites
One in five dog bites needs medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A dog’s mouth is full of harmful bacteria that can cause infections and diseases. Some of the most common diseases transmitted by a dog bite include:
Puncture wounds can drive this bacteria deep into the wound. Serious infections can lead to the loss of a limb and even death. Even wounds without infection can lead to permanent scarring and disfigurement. In many cases, a victim requires reconstructive surgery after a severe animal attack. The injury can even result in catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord damage and traumatic brain injuries.
Dog Bite Fatalities
In severe cases, dog bites can result in a tragic death. Children are more likely to sustain life-threatening injuries from dog attacks. This is for many reasons. For one, a child’s head and neck are much closer to a dog’s level than a full-grown adult would be, and injuries to the head and neck are often fatal.
According to statistics, dog attacks result in approximately 40 fatalities per year, and nearly half of these victims are under 6 years old. Pit Bulls and Rottweilers were involved in 76 percent of the reported dog-related deaths in 2018.
How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim?
As with all personal injury cases, there is a deadline to file a claim for compensation after a dog bite. The statute of limitations prevents people from filing lawsuits for injuries that are years old, as evidence can degrade, wounds heal, and eyewitnesses can forget what they saw. Working with an experienced dog bite injury attorney can help you meet the rigid deadlines in your dog bite case.
After a dog bite, report the incident to the homeowner and seek medical attention immediately. Prompt reporting of the injury is even a legal requirement in some states. The time limit for filing a dog bite claim for compensation varies by state.
Ohio Statute of Limitations
In Ohio, dog bite victims have six years from the date of the bite to file a dog bite claim. Special exceptions apply if the injured victim is a child. Waiting too long to file a dog bite claim can result in you losing the ability to recover compensation for your injuries. Many homeowner’s insurance companies will fight claims that aren’t filed promptly.
After a dog bite, you can work to secure your ability to recover compensation by contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer from TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm.
Kentucky Statute of Limitations
The statute of limitations in Kentucky is one year. This means that injured victims have only one year to file a claim for compensation after a dog bite injury. After this deadline expires, victims are barred from recovering compensation for the injury. However, a victim’s injuries could require surgery and extensive recovery periods. This is when working with a skilled dog bite lawyer can be extremely helpful. Working with our team at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm can ensure that you meet these strict deadlines and recover the compensation you deserve.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Dog Bite Claim?
Even though millions of people suffer from dog bite injuries every year, less than 1% of victims receive compensation for their injuries. Dog bite litigation can get complicated, especially if you’re trying to represent yourself. At TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm, our dog bite attorneys are ready to help you with every aspect of your case.
Liability in a Dog Bite Claim
Neither Ohio nor Kentucky law follows the one bite rule, but proving liability can still be a difficult and overwhelming process. Dog owners will try to use the defense that you provoked their dog in some way. Our experienced Ohio dog bite attorneys will perform a full investigation to prove liability and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Sources of Recovery in Dog Bite Cases
Getting compensation for your injuries can make you feel conflicted, especially if the dog belongs to a close friend, neighbor, or even family member. Even if the dog belongs to someone you know, you still deserve compensation for your injuries. Medical treatment is expensive, and time away from work can cause financial distress for you and your family. With the help of the experienced team at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm, we can help you fight for compensation without destroying the relationship you may have with the pet owner. Keep in mind that in most cases, compensation comes from insurance companies and not the individual dog owner.
How Much Can You Get From a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Most dog bite claims are settled outside of court, so an average settlement amount isn’t readily available. However, in most cases, personal injury lawsuits usually settle for around three times the cost of economic damages.
The details of the case are essential when it comes to compensation for dog bite victims. A bite that results in a few stitches may not be eligible for the same amount as a bite that results in an infection and a limb amputation. For more information regarding your specific case, contact a dog bite lawyer at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm.
Compensation After Dog Bite Attacks
At TLF, we know that the true cost of a dog bite case reaches much farther than just the medical bills. After filing a dog bite claim, we fight to recover compensation for:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Funeral and burial expenses, if the injuries result in a wrongful death
- And more
Reasons Why A Dog Bite Claim Can Be Denied
Even though Ohio and Kentucky are both states with strict liability laws concerning dog bites, your dog bite claim can still be denied. If you were on the dog owner’s property without permission, you cannot pursue compensation for your injuries.
In other cases, an insurance company may deny the claim because the breed is not covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy. Some insurance companies refuse to provide premises liability insurance for certain aggressive breeds. If the insurance company denies your claim, working with experienced Kentucky dog bite lawyers from TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm can help you recover compensation directly from the owner.
Dog Bite Injury Lawyers in Cincinnati, OH and Covington, KY
Having a once sweet and friendly pet turn on you can be traumatic. The injuries from a dog attack can be severe, especially if it is a child’s injury. The damages for a dog bite injury are more than just medical bills–you deserve compensation for all aspects of your injury. With the help of a qualified Cincinnati and Covington personal injury lawyer at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm, you can rest easy knowing that your case is in our capable hands.
Contact our offices today for a free case evaluation. You can always expect the best from our experienced team. Our Kentucky office is located in Covington and can be reached at (859) 578-9130. Our Cincinnati, OH office can be reached at (513) 651-4130.
You Pay No Fees Unless We Win!
We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.