Dog Bite Attorneys in Sandusky
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Were you attacked and bitten by a dog owned by a stranger or even a friend? Ohio’s dog bite laws likely allow you to file a claim against that dog’s owner in pursuit of fair compensation.
When filing a dog bite claim, the dog’s owner will likely be represented by their homeowner’s insurance company since policies generally mention animal attacks on the property. While this does mean you will have a greater chance of getting more compensation in a successful claim than compared to filing against an individual and their limited bank accounts, it also means the opposition will be trained legal professionals who do nothing all day but challenge claimants and plaintiffs. Be ready for anything by letting Murray & Murray represent you. Our Sandusky dog bite injury lawyers are always standing by to take the good fight to insurance companies on behalf of the wrongfully injured, just as our law firm has been for more than 85 years.
Want to know how to file a dog bite injury claim? Call (419) 664-3711 for our assistance.
Strict Liability for Dog Bite Injuries
Ohio is not a “one bite” state, which generally excuses a dog owner from liability for the first time their dog bites someone if there was no reason to suspect the dog would act aggressively. Instead, Ohio allows dog bite claims to be filed on the grounds of “strict liability” or negligence. In a strict liability case, it is argued that a dog owner must constantly be aware of and in reasonable control of their pet to protect others from harm. If their dog bites, tackles, scratches, or otherwise hurts someone wrongfully, then the owner should expect to be met with a personal injury claim filed against them by the injured party.
Limitations to a Dog Owner’s Liability
The basic premise of Ohio’s dog bite statute is that a dog owner is liable for any injury caused by their dog’s behavior, even if the dog was not being outwardly aggressive. For example, a large happy dog like a Saint Bernard might jump up on a visitor to greet them, inadvertently knocking them over and causing an accident. Even though the dog was being friendly, someone was hurt by their behavior, and the dog owner could be held liable for not controlling their animal.
However, there are significant limitations that can come into play when filing a dog bite claim. Typically, the limitations and exceptions pertain to protecting a dog owner’s right to defend themselves, their family, and their property from criminal acts.
A dog’s aggressive behavior may be excused if they bite or attack someone who was:
- Committing or trying to commit a crime, especially if that crime involved violence.
- Trespassing, especially if there is clear intent to commit a crime on the property.
- Provoking the dog intentionally or trying to hurt it.
What Damages Can You Seek in a Dog Bite Claim?
Medical treatments to alleviate a dog bite can be extensive if the wound is severe. Emergency medical care may be needed to stop the bleeding and perform reconstructive surgery, for example. Hospitalization may be recommended to monitor the patient and ensure no infection develops.
It is important to not overlook the nonphysical harm caused by a dog attack. Many people who have suffered severe dog bites at the jaws of overly aggressive animals understandably become afraid of all dogs, even friendly family pets they have known for years. The anxiety caused whenever seeing a dog, on a leash or not, should be accounted for in a claim and listed as noneconomic damage.
Furthermore, Ohio actually allows dog bite injury plaintiffs to demand punitive damages in some cases. Punitive damages are additional noneconomic damages used to punish the defendant for inexcusable negligence. For example, if a dog owner allowed their large bullmastiff with a history of aggression to walk around the neighborhood unsupervised and without a leash, then they could likely be ordered to pay punitive damages if that dog bit someone.
Discuss Your Case with Leading Local Lawyers
You deserve time to rest and recuperate after being bitten by an aggressive and uncontrolled dog. Leave all the casework up to Murray & Murray and our Sandusky dog bite attorneys. We can use our extensive legal experience to pinpoint liability on the correct party and seek full compensation for your injuries. When we accept a case, we work on it as if we were representing ourselves, which means exploring every possible avenue for a solution, even if we have to challenge and change the law in the process.
Contact our law firm now if you want to work with a winning team for your dog bite claim.