If you or a loved one have been injured in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area as a result of a dog bite, it’s time to call Cleveland’s Injury Lawyer™, Nicholas M. Dodosh at 844-CLE-LAW1 (844-253-5291). Mr. Dodosh is a Cleveland, Ohio dog bite lawyer and personal injury attorney who is here to help get you the justice you deserve.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that there are 4.7 million dog bites in the United States every year. Approximately 800,000 dog bite victims require medical attention every year, and half of these are children. Of those requiring medical treatment, 386,000 are rushed to an emergency room, and about 16 die.
In Ohio, dog bites are “strict liability” offenses. This means that, with limited exceptions, the owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog is automatically liable in damages for any injury, death, or loss that is caused by their dog. There are only three exceptions to the rule of automatic owner liability, which are:
- If the bite victim was committing or attempting to commit criminal trespass or another criminal offense (other than a minor misdemeanor) on the property of the owner, keeper, or harborer,
- If the bite victim was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense (other than a minor misdemeanor) against any person, or
- If the bite victim was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog on the owner’s, keeper’s, or harborer’s property.
In sum, this means that unless the dog bite victim was doing something wrong such as committing a crime or antagonizing the dog, the dog owner is automatically liable for the dog bite.
Injuries and damages resulting from a dog bite can often be severe. Dogs have rounded teeth, and the pressure exerted by their jaws can cause significant damage to the tissues under the skin, including muscles, tendons, blood vessels, nerves, and even bones. Over 30,000 dog bite victims undergo reconstructive surgery every year, which brings along with it even more pain, suffering, and emotional distress.
This is why in addition to compensation for physical injuries, Ohio dog bite victims are entitled to compensation for mental trauma and psychological damage as well. Dog bite victims (particularly children, but adults as well) often become terrified of dogs, have recurring nightmares, or even develop anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder after a dog attack. These are often so severe that they require psychological care. If the victim comes to learn that the dog had not been vaccinated for rabies, the victim may spend days full of anxiety and emotional distress as they wait for lab results. All of these mental, emotional, and psychological injuries deserve proper compensation as well. This is why it is so important to contact an attorney and make sure that you or your loved one receive all of the appropriate medical treatment and not be rushed into settling the claim.