There are more than 83 million pet dogs throughout the United States, most of which live in harmony with their human counterparts without issue. Sometimes, however, dogs display aggression, attacking or biting another party.
When a dog bites a person, that person could very well suffer injuries and damages, including disease or infection, medical bills, scarring, disfigurement, pain, fractured bone, psychological injury, and more depending upon the extent of attack. If you are bitten by a dog in Dayton or surrounding areas, our experienced Dayton dog bite lawyers are here to represent you.
Ohio statute section 955.28(B) states that the owner or harborer of a dog is liable for any damages to a person caused by that dog unless the victim:
As explained by the Ohio State Bar Association, the victim of the dog bite should immediately report the bite to the health commissioner, and then should speak to the dog’s owner about the victim’s medical expenses and losses. If the dog owner has homeowners’ insurance (and the bite occurred on the dog owner’s property), the homeowners’ insurance company will likely offer the victim a settlement for their economic and noneconomic damages. You cannot, however, recover punitive damages under statutory law.
Under case law, those who suffer a dog bite also have the right to bring forth a negligence based personal injury lawsuit against the owner of the dog. In order to bring forth a successful case, you will need to prove that the owner knew the dog to be dangerous, and therefore should have acted in a reasonable manner to prevent the bite from occurring. If you can hold the owner liable, and prove that they acted with malice, however, you can recover punitive damages.
Keep in mind that whether or not you file a case under statutory law or case/common law is up to you – you have the right to do either. In most cases, however, you are entitled to the same amount of recovery regardless of which course of action you take. Filing a suit under case law may make more sense if you believe that the dog owner/harborer acted with malicious intent.
At the Comunale Law Office, we know that being attacked by a dog is a terrifying experience. If you are in the process of recovering from your physical or psychological injuries and aren’t sure what steps you should take next to secure compensation, call our law offices today. We can advise you regarding case law vs. statutory law, the amount of damages that may be available to you, and represent you during your claim. Reach us today for a free consultation online or by phone.
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