People are bitten by dogs every day and the injuries can be severe. You are probably in a lot of pain and dealing with expensive medical bills. At KNR, our Canton dog bite lawyers understand this is a difficult time and what it takes to secure the compensation you need.
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The Center For Disease Control (CDC) reports approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the US each year. About one in five of these bites require medical care. Statistically, this means a dog bites one out of every 69 people, a surprisingly serious risk for the average American.
Dog liability laws vary from state to state, but the Ohio Revised Code Section 955.28(B) maintains a dog owner or keeper is liable for any injury their dog causes if the dog’s behavior caused the injury, the victim was not trespassing, and the injured person did not provoke the dog by teasing, tormenting, or abusing it. Dog liability laws apply to dog bite injuries as well as those caused by other dog behaviors, such as injuries sustained from being knocked down (but not bitten) by a dog. Under these circumstances, you may also file an Ohio dog bite lawsuit. The injured person may be eligible to receive punitive damages through a dog liability lawsuit.
If you have experienced a dog bite injury, whether a dog has bitten you, a dog bit another dog and you got involved, you witnessed a dog attack, or you have questions about dog bite liability insurance, reach out to our dog bite attorneys in Canton, Ohio at (330) 488-1234. You can also contact us via our online contact form to schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer.
Primary Causes of Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs typically bite as a reaction to something stressful or surprising. They may be attempting to protect something: a food, toy, territory, an owner, or themselves. Or they could bite because they are not feeling well.
Dogs also nip and bite during play, which can be dangerous for people despite an animal’s non-malicious intent. Dogs also interact with other dogs and pets in unpredictable ways. You may find yourself in the midst of a dog fight if strange dogs encounter each other in the park or on the street.
It’s important for owners to keep dogs contained to avoid potential injuries from unknown interactions. You should avoid interacting with dogs unless the owner is present, the dog is contained, and you know it has been vaccinated. If you do encounter strange dog behavior, take extra precautions to avoid alarming or provoking it.
Risks of Dog Bite Injuries
Dogs can not only cause injury from their bites, but they can also spread bacteria. The CDC estimates up to 18 percent of dog bites ultimately become infected, and dogs are known to carry over 60 different types of bacteria. The following diseases are the most common dog bite-induced ones:
- Rabies: A virus that affects the brain and can be fatal if extreme symptoms are experienced. It is spread through the bit and saliva of an infected animal. It is a disease that is preventable through vaccination.
- MRSA: A type of staph infection that is resistant to many antibiotics and can cause skin and lung infections as well as UTIs. If it spreads to the bloodstream, MRSA can become a life-threatening infection.
- Tetanus: A toxin derived from bacteria which causes rigid paralysis if caused by deep wounds.
- Pasteurella: A bacteria identified in more than 50 percent of infected dog bite wounds, causing a painful infection and swollen glands near the wound but affecting weakened immune systems more seriously.
What to Do If You’re Bitten By A Dog
The CDC offers guidance for what to do in an emergency situation if you are attacked by a dog. First, put anything you’re carrying between you and the dog as a deterrent. If the dog knocks you over, curl into a ball, tucking your head close to your body with your hands over your ears and neck. After you’ve evaded the dog, get to a safe place and wash any wounds with warm water and apply antiseptic cream. For more serious injuries, apply pressure to stop the bleeding and use a bandage. For extreme dog bite injuries, the CDC advises contacting a healthcare provider.
Your wound may be serious if:
- There is uncontrolled bleeding
- You lose limb function
- You experience extreme pain
- There is muscle or bone exposure
- The wound becomes red, painful, warm, or swollen
- You develop a fever
- You’re unsure whether the dog has been vaccinated against rabies
- It’s been more than 5 years since your last tetanus shot
These symptoms may indicate more serious injuries and should be immediately addressed as soon as possible.
Treatment for Dog Bite Injuries
Canton is home to a number of leading health care facilities that can treat dog bite injury victims. Mercy Medical Center in Canton, as well as Aultman Hospital just south of the city, both specialize in trauma and emergency care. In addition to seeking medical care for your dog bite injuries, you may also consider contacting a local animal control agency as well as filing a police report, particularly if you don’t know the dog, are unfamiliar with its vaccination history, or if the dog appears sick or is behaving erratically. The Stark County Sheriff’s Department has a dog warden department and may be able to assist with your dog liability questions in the Canton, Ohio area.
Compensation for Dog Bite Injuries
Medical treatment and rehab related to dog bites can be long-term and costly. You may wish to file a personal injury lawsuit and/or claim workers’ compensation, especially if you require medical care.
A dog bite injury lawsuit can let you recover your:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
KNR has helped numerous Canton dog bite victims get compensation for their long-term needs. Let us guide you through the legal process, help you get treatment, negotiate with the insurance company, and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Our Canton Dog Bite Attorneys Can Help
The skilled legal team at Kisling, Nestico & Redick can help you recover after a traumatic dog bite in Canton, Ohio.
We have 11 locations throughout Ohio and a long history of fighting for people like you. If you have questions, speak to an experienced dog bite attorney today.