Ohio dog owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs and can be held strictly liable for all injuries caused by their animals. A strict liability standard means that all you need to prove is that the defendant is the owner of the dog, the dog committed the act complained of, and that the act was the cause of all of your injuries and damages.
Le’s take a closer look at what this means for you.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
It is critical in a dog bite case that you obtain immediate medical care and treatment. (If your own dog was injured, it’s important to get your dog immediately to the veterinarian.) Provide a thorough history to all of the treating physicians (and/or veterinarians), describing all of the injuries in detail and what those injuries feel like. Describe the frequency and the extent of the pain for each of your injuries. Let them know whether the injuries and pain are constant or come and go.
Report the Incident
It is also important that you immediately report the claim to the police and your local animal control center (in addition to your treating physicians or veterinarians). It is critical that you ask the owner of the dog if they have insurance that would cover you (or your dog) for any losses that were sustained as a result of the dog bite incident. Explain to the dog owner that it would be easier to resolve any outstanding bills through their insurance company, rather than dealing with the incident independently.
Inquire About Insurance
It’s a good idea to remind the investigating police officer or animal control investigator to ask the dog owner to verify if insurance is available to cover your losses. Oftentimes, the investigating police officers and local animal control investigators fail to inquire whether the dog owner has insurance. You need to remind them to obtain all of the necessary insurance information.
Keep a Diary
Continuously take diary notes that document the following items:
- a narrative of moments before the dog bite incident
- the impact of the dog bite incident to you or your dog
- details of all of the injuries and damages sustained
- thorough outline of all discussions between you, the investigating officer, and the owner of the dog
- all of the unsafe things that the owner of the dog did
Continue to keep a diary that documents injuries, limitations, and restrictions. Be as detailed as possible. Ensure that you keep all treating physicians or veterinarians apprised by giving them a thorough history of all of the injuries since the dog biting incident.
Are You a Victim of a Dog Bite Incident?
Do you live in Ohio and need help dealing with a dog bite incident? Feel free to reach out to our firm for help.