According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, with 20 percent of those bites requiring medical attention. That’s almost one million dog bites labeled as severe and requiring additional treatment. Furthermore, these bites can lead to additional diseases like rabies and tetanus in certain cases. Needless to say, dog bites are no joke and should be taken seriously. The law office of Kisling, Nestico & Redick are experts in handling personal injury lawsuits and can help get the care and compensation victims deserve.
A dog bite can be a legal matter that must be taken seriously. Data from the Insurance Information Institute shows that $675 million was paid in liability claims in 2018 as a direct result of dog bites or other dog-related injuries. This goes to show how important it is to get the right legal advice for a dog bite and take care of any hardship that may result.
How to Handle a Dog Bite in Cleveland
Because many personal injury laws, including those relating to dog bites, are different from state-to-state, it’s important to understand the laws regarding dog bites in Cleveland before attempting to make a claim.
According to Ohio statute 955.28, an owner, harborer, or keeper of a dog is generally liable for injuries caused by that animal. That person is also responsible for “death or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog.” The individual controlling the dog is therefore at fault in any instance where a dog bite becomes serious and the victim needs medical treatment or additional care.
Additionally, under the state’s common law doctrine, added compensation can be warranted if the dog has previously bitten another person or acted aggressively in the past. However, proving this in a court of law is not easy and may require collecting witness testimony from those who have experienced the dog’s aggressive behavior. Another option is to look up bite records which were previously filed in the court system. If you find that you were not the first victim of the dog in question and there was malicious intent, you may be entitled to punitive damages. These damages are used to punish the defendant for multiple acts of wrongdoing in the hopes of making them understand the severity of these harmful acts.
In the state of Ohio, the majority of dog bite cases are covered under homeowner’s insurance policies. This is the first place a victim can go to obtain the restitution and damages they deserve and may be all that is needed if the bite is less severe. However, more severe bites may warrant additional damages, so it is important to consult with an expert legal team.
It should go without saying that this law does not apply if the injury was inflicted upon someone who was committing an unlawful act, such as trespassing on private property, committing a crime, or abusing the dog in question.
KNR Knows Your Rights
A serious dog bite can start with serious injuries and scars and lead to missed time from work, psychological trauma, and other hardships. The team at Kisling, Nestico & Redick know that anyone bitten by a dog should get the care and compensation they deserve so that they can move forward with their life.
An experienced lawyer from Kisling, Nestico & Redick knows the drill when it comes to filing a third-party claim against the insurer representing the dog’s owner. Depending on the bite and severity, this claim may request both economic damages (like medical expenses and lost wages) and non-economic damages (like physical and emotional pain or scarring from the injury).
First, the legal team at KNR works to understand all of the details of the attack by conducting a thorough investigation. From there, the team can then provide guidance on the best next steps, whether that is filing an insurance claim or taking the incident to the legal system and filing a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.
It’s not easy to navigate the insurance and legal systems in Ohio, especially after being attacked and severely injured by a dog. That’s why it’s best to turn to experts who are trained in providing you with the best legal service and can help you recover the most compensation possible to help you move forward with your life.
Contact KNR today to get more information or a free legal consultation for any dog bite that you or a loved one may have recently experienced.
Follow Kisling, Nestico & Redick