Can You Sue if Someone’s Dog Bit You in Ohio?
Posted in: Dog Bite
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If a dog bit you, you may have the right to recover your medical expenses, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, disfigurement, and possibly punitive damages. Many dog bites are covered under the owner’s insurance. However, if an insurance settlement is impossible, you may need to file a lawsuit.
Call us now at 1-800-HURT-NOW to learn what the Ohio dog bite lawyers at KNR can do to help.
Following a dog bite, there are certain steps you should take to protect your health and legal rights.
If your injury was minor, a third-party claim with the dog owner’s insurance company may cover all of your damages. However, if your injury was serious, the homeowner’s insurance company may not be able to provide you with fair and full compensation. In this case, it is in your best interest to pursue a lawsuit to recover the compensation you are owed.
Animal behaviorists offers six levels or dog bite severity when diagnosing aggression:
Rather than attempting to resolve your dog bite attack case on your own, you should consult a highly skilled Ohio dog bite attorney. That way, you can focus on healing while ensuring your rights are protected.
Since the majority of dog bite claims involve the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy, a dog bite attorney can handle all communications with the insurance company so that you receive the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.
With legal representation by your side, you can avoid low insurance settlements and ensure that the insurance company does not take advantage of your rights.
Our statewide practice is designed to make going through an dog bite injury claim more convenient and accessible for victims. With 12 Ohio locations, KNR is a call or click away.
*KNR also serves Ohio’s rural counties & conducts consultations via Zoom.
To gain compensation under this theory, you and your attorney will need to provide evidence to the court that:
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If you were invited to someone’s home and bit by a dog, you should know that dog bites are almost always covered by homeowners insurance policies. Through a third-party claim with the dog owner’s homeowner insurance company, you may recover economic and non-economic damages.
Dog bite damages include:
Homeowners’ insurance policies often cover dog bites. If you were bitten by a person’s dog, an experienced Ohio dog bite lawyer from Kisling, Nestico & Redick can help you file a third-party claim with the dog owner’s insurer.
There are a number of ways to prove that the animal previously bit or tried to bite another person. You and your attorney may find a record of the bite filed with your county or the dog may be registered as dangerous. You may also be able to gather witness testimony from individuals who have been hurt by the dog or witnessed its vicious behavior.
Proving whether or not the owner had knowledge of the behavior may be difficult. If there was a formal complaint against the animal or it was registered as dangerous, there is a strong possibility the owner knew it tried to bite someone or did bite someone in the past. You may also be able to obtain testimony from witnesses who place the owner at the scene of the dog’s previous attack or aggressive behavior.
This one-bite rule does not give a dog its first bite free and leaves you unable to recover compensation. It is simply an additional legal theory under which a person may be able to recover if the dog is known to be aggressive or vicious.
If your situation does not apply to this common law doctrine – if you were the first bite – then you can seek compensation under Ohio’s dog bite statute.
Additionally, under the one bite rule, you may be able to gain punitive damages. These damages are not to compensate you for your injury but instead are to punish the defendant for wrongful conduct.
You may be able to gain this additional recovery if you can show the defendant acted maliciously in allowing or ordering the dog to attack you.
You may ask for economic and non-economic damages through an insurance claim. Economic damages include your medical expenses and lost wages if you were out of work for a time. Non-economic damages may include physical and emotional pain, suffering, and scarring from the injury.
A homeowner’s policy may be all you need if you suffered a minor injury. However, if you were seriously injured, the policy limit may prohibit insurance from being able to fully compensate you. In this case, a lawsuit may be in your best interests.
For example, if you are bitten by a dog while it’s out for a walk or in a home, to gain compensation under Ohio’s statute, you need to prove:
When a child is unsupervised around a dog, the injuries are likely to be more serious because an adult is not present to intervene. Many dog attacks are even at the house of a neighbor, friend, or relative.
Insurance companies often suggest a dog was provoked into biting a child, but simply petting a dog does not constitute provocation. If your child is bitten, it’s best to consult a lawyer about what happened to assess your legal rights.
Our client was bitten by her neighbor’s dog on her left forearm resulting in a severe laceration which…
What Makes KNR Special?
At Kisling, Nestico & Redick, our personal injury attorneys have years of experience and tremendous resources to help individuals like you recover compensation following a dog bite. Following an investigation into the attack, we can provide you with advice on how to best recover compensation, including whether an insurance claim or lawsuit is appropriate and who can be named as a defendant.
We understand the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of a dog bite can stay with you a significant period of time, which is why we make it our mission to help you recover the most compensation possible for your injuries and move forward with your life.