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Cincinnati Dog Bite Lawyers
Even an otherwise friendly, well-trained dog can bite and cause severe injuries. In fact, dog bites are a common source of personal injury claims, and the victims of dog bite injuries are often young children who are unable to defend themselves.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries from a dog bite or dog attack, the Cincinnati injury lawyers at Young, Reverman & Mazzei are here to help. Please call us today at 800-721-1678 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation.
Our attorneys represent clients from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton regions, as well as from the Lawrenceburg, Indiana, and Florence, Kentucky, areas.
Why Do Dogs Bite?
Most dogs are not inherently aggressive, but even well-socialized dogs may respond with aggression in certain situations. Dogs often bite because they are:
- Defending their territory, possessions such as toys or food, family members or puppies
- Sick or injured
Some dogs may also accidentally bite during play without realizing they are being rough. Although some dog breeds have a reputation for being more aggressive than others, it’s important to remember that any breed and any size of dog can bite and cause serious injuries.
In most cases, a dog’s owner is liable for any harm the dog causes. However, this differs somewhat by state and based on the circumstances surrounding the bite.
Dog Bites in Ohio
Ohio has strict liability statutes that hold owners accountable for damage caused by their dogs in most cases.
Ohio law holds a dog’s owner responsible for any injuries provided the victim was not trespassing, committing a crime, or provoking the dog. Ohio also holds owners responsible for any attacks on solicitors, whether or not the solicitor has permits for door-to-door sales. The statute outlines specific duties that must be followed after a dog bite has been reported, including a quarantine period while an investigation is held.
If you suffered injuries due to a dog bite in Ohio, you have two years from the date of the dog bite to file a claim seeking compensation.
Dog Bites in Indiana
Indiana’s statute regarding dog bites states that all dog attack incidents must be investigated. However, this statute only applies to police officers, mail carriers and anyone carrying out their duties under state law, federal law or U.S. postal regulations. It states that owners will be held liable for any injuries the victim sustained during the attack, but it must also be demonstrated that the victim did not provoke or antagonize the dog, and that the injury victim was there on duty.
While this particular statute does not apply to the general public, Indiana also has a “one-bite” rule that enables people bitten by dogs to sue the dog’s owner for injuries related to the bite. Damages related to dog bites may include medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Dog owners can also be charged in crimes associated with dog bites in which the dog’s owner demonstrated clear negligence, either through failure to restrain the dog or lack of care for the dog.
Dog Bites in Kentucky
Kentucky has several laws regarding dog bites and is a strict liability state, meaning that the dog’s owner is responsible for all damages related to a dog bite. The injured party has one year from the date of the bite to submit their claim under Kentucky’s dog bite statute.
This statue applies not just to people injured by a dog, but also covers damages to livestock and personal property caused by a dog. Although Kentucky is also considered a strict liability state, its laws do not contain exceptions for situations such as trespassing. The law outlines only that the owner is liable for any damages their dog has inflicted, but Kentucky also has a “pure comparative negligence” law that states a percentage of the damages a dog’s owner would pay is reduced by an amount equal to the percentage of fault given to the victim.
What to Do If You’re Attacked By a Dog
If you’ve been bitten by a dog, taking the following steps can help protect your ability to recover compensation for medical costs and other damages:
- Seek immediate medical attention. It is important to have a medical professional assess the wound and determine how extensive the injury is, especially if the dog is unknown to you. Most dog bites do not require a tetanus or rabies shot, but your physician may recommend one if the dog does not have vaccination records or has not been found.
- Report the bite by calling local law enforcement or 911.
- Record the details of the attack, including the circumstances in which the bite occurred. Note the dog’s demeanor, the location of the attack, whether the dog’s owner was present, and any other details you believe are important.
- If possible, get the names and contact information for any witnesses, as well as the dog owner’s contact information. If you are unable to find the owner due to the dog being loose or a stray, make sure to notify law enforcement.
- Contact a personal injury who can assess your situation and help protect your rights to pursue compensation.
How a Dog Bite Attorney Can Help
Many homeowners’ insurance policies cover dog bite claims. However, the first offer from an insurance company usually does not reflect the full value of your claim.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you seek damages for:
- Current and future medical costs
- Lost wages if you required time away from work
- Pain and suffering
If you or a loved one was harmed in a dog attack, the Cincinnati injury lawyers may be able to help you seek the financial peace of mind you need to restore your life and move forward. We offer free consultations to help you understand your legal options, and we work on a contingent-fee basis, which means you don’t pay for our services unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
We welcome clients from the greater Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio, areas. We are also proud to represent clients from Campbell County, Boone County and Kenton County in Kentucky, and Dearborn County in Indiana. Please see our locations page for a complete list of our offices and directions.