After dog attacks, many people do not report their dog bites. If you do not file a dog bite lawsuit, you may be unable to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses. Even worse, the dog might bite again. Protect your rights – and others – by filing a dog bite lawsuit, and if you are unsure about legal action, keep reading to learn more about the law and your legal options.
Common Reasons that Victims Don't Report Dog Bites or Take Legal Action
Many people do not report dog bites or take legal action simply because they do not have enough information. In Ohio, you should report dog bites to the health commissioner nearest you. For example, if you were bitten in Columbus, you would report the bite to Columbus Public Health at (614) 645-7417. Keep in mind that failure to report animal bites in Ohio is against the law.
When it comes to filing dog bite lawsuits, many people do not want to take legal action against friends, family members, or neighbors. Fortunately, dog bites are usually covered by homeowner’s insurance, so you can recover compensation for medical bills and missed wages without suing someone you care for directly. At the end of the day, you are filing a dog bite lawsuit against an insurance company – not against the dog’s owner.
Finally, some people do not report dog bites or take legal action because they are concerned for the animal’s welfare. Unless the dog in question is extremely dangerous, the court will not put the animal down. In most cases, the dog that bites you will be required to quarantine, get some shots, and then go home. After facing consequences for bad dog ownership, the owner may even take better care of their pet. For example, if a dog bites you while chained up outside a restaurant, and you take legal action, the owners may think twice about chaining their dog in the future.
Ohio Is a Strict Liability State
In Ohio, dog owners are liable for any harm that their dogs cause. If a dog bites you or knocks you down, you will not have to prove that the owner acted negligently. Similarly, it does not matter whether the dog has bitten someone before.
As long as you were not trespassing on the dog owner’s property, committing a crime, or “teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog,” you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses.
Dog owners should control their animals. If they fail to do so, anyone who gets hurt as a result has grounds for a dog bite lawsuit. Taking legal action is your right, and you should not let it go to the wayside, especially when Ohio’s laws are so favorable for victims.
Who Pays for Dog Bite Lawsuits?
As we mentioned earlier, insurance companies usually pay for dog bite lawsuits. Although the dog owner is personally responsible for damages in a dog bite lawsuit, most dog owners also have insurance policies that will cover dog bite incidents.
For example, if your neighbor’s dog bites you at a potluck, they will be responsible for the damages. Nevertheless, your neighbor likely has homeowner’s insurance, so you can file a claim against their homeowner’s insurance policy.
What Can I Get from Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit?
Suffering a dog attack is scary, stressful, and can leave you with serious physical and psychological injuries. If you file a dog bite lawsuit, you can recover compensation to help you cope. For example, a successful settlement or verdict can help you deal with:
- Medical bills
- Missed wages
- Mental health therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- And more
Maybe you loved dogs before, but now you flinch every time a dog walks by. The money you recover in a dog bite lawsuit can help you overcome your fears. If you had to take time off work because you couldn’t type with a dog-bitten hand, a successful dog bite lawsuit could replace the paychecks you missed.
The aftermath of a dog attack often costs thousands of dollars, and the average payout for a dog bite claim is $51,000. Think of how this money could help you recover.
Do Not Cede Your Rights
Often, people do not realize how much a dog bite has affected them until it is too late. For instance, a bite may not seem like a big deal until it gets infected. If you wait too long to file a dog bite lawsuit, you will lose your right to legal action – and thousands of dollars (see above).
You will also miss out on an opportunity to keep your community safe.
Many people don’t file dog bite lawsuits after suffering a dog bite. Do not be one of them. Instead, call Rourke and Blumenthal LLC and get the representation you deserve. Our compassionate attorneys will honor your wishes and help you get the results you need. We have over 150 years of combined experience handling cases like yours, and we are ready to address your unique situation.
Ready for a free consultation? Call us at (614) 321-3212 or send us a message online to schedule yours today.