Last updated on September 28th, 2023
More than 12,000 people are hospitalized yearly due to dog bites in this country. Over four million dog bites happen every year coast to coast. One-quarter of those bites result in infection. From 1993 to 2008, the rate of dog bite hospitalizations nationwide exploded by 86%. Infants and toddlers are dogs’ number one victims.
Around 1,000 people per day are admitted to the emergency room because of a dog attack. Between 2013 and 2022, the average cost of a dog bite case grew by more than 130%. With an average dog bite hospitalization costing almost $20,000, it’s no wonder. Sadly, this number is 50% higher than other hospitalizations due to being injured (vs. being sick).
Depending on the severity of your wounds, either call 911 and get an ambulance out to you or go to the emergency room (if you will need more than about five stitches or an MRI) or urgent care (if you just need an x-ray and a few stitches). Don’t downplay what happened. When the dog that attacks is your neighbor’s (presumably your friend), there is a tendency to downplay symptoms.
Put your safety ahead of anything else if you are bit by a neighbor’s dog. Even waiting just 24 hours to get treated can mean you’ve already been infected with something that leads to staph infections or worse. Follow your doctor’s aftercare instructions and, above all else, keep the wound(s) clean.
For public safety, Animal Control needs to investigate every dog bite incident. It’s crucial that you notify Animal Control as soon as you can, and your medical team will no doubt remind you of this. If your attack was very serious, the hospital should be able to report it for you. If you called 911 after the attack, the dispatcher no doubt notified Animal Control but always confirm it.
Animal Control will locate the dog, see if it’s licensed and vaccinated, and inspect the dog’s current health to see if it appears to be sick. They will create a report of the incident connected to the dog’s license and/or owner/address, etc. Ask to receive a copy of the report if they do not automatically give you one.
Ohio Revised Code section 955.28 ensures that irresponsible or negligent dog owners are, in legal terms, “liable” for your lost wages, medical bills, damaged property…even pain and suffering. If you were physically and/or emotionally injured in the dog attack, you have the right to financial compensation. It’s important, especially in the early stages, to proceed as if you’re going to need to prove everything in court. To help your lawyer build a strong case against the dog owner:
Ohio Revised Code section 955.261 states very clearly, from a legal perspective, what must be done after a dog bite. To summarize:
Did you know victims who have legal representation get settlements over three times bigger than those who handle their cases alone, according to the Insurance Research Council? This means dog bite lawyers are paying for themselves and still putting more money in your pocket, on average. Obviously, results vary on a case-by-case basis, but there is no reason not to shop around for a lawyer. You won’t pay anything at all for the lawyer’s services in the beginning or until you win compensation. The legal fees are taken from your settlement amount when your check comes in.
At Dyer, Garofalo, Mann, & Schultz, we are Ohio dog bite lawyers who will fight for the maximum compensation possible for you. Dog attacks are serious injuries that can be reduced in the future with our help. Contact us at 937-222-2222 to book your free legal consultation today. You can also use our web contact form as well.
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