Dog bite cases can be serious. Many times they result in substantial scarring and deformity. Seven out of ten victims of a fatal dog bite are children.
An owner of an animal is responsible for the actions of that animal and can be held strictly liable for all injuries caused by the animal. As a victim, you will need to prove that Defendant was the owner of the animal, that the animal committed the act complained of and that the act was the cause of your injuries and damages. The owner is strictly liable for all damages caused by his animal.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at your rights as a dog bite victim in Columbus, Ohio.
Ohio Law & Dog Bites
Under Ohio law, you are entitled to be paid fully for all of your medical bills, prescription bills and lost wages. In addition, you are entitled to be paid for your general damages that include pain and suffering (which is the anxiety and stress that you went through after the dog bite incident). Ohio law allows you to recover money for your restrictions and limitations, your inability to enjoy activities and entitles you to be paid for future medical care and treatment in the event that any injuries are chronic or permanent.
Documenting Your Injury
It is critical that you take photographs of all of your injuries, physical scars and disfigurements. If you are able to, take photographs at the scene of the dog-biting incident and of the dog involved. Write down all of the names, telephone numbers and addresses of all of the eyewitnesses. Immediately report the incident to the police and contact your local animal control center. Provide them with a thorough report of how the incident occurred and outline in detail all of the unsafe things that the owner of the animal did that violated your safety. Outline for the officer and animal control investigator whether or not the animal was on a leash and was under the control of its owner. Further, outline in detail how the animal attacked you and describe all of your injuries, limitations and restrictions.
Provide all of your treating doctors, therapists and specialists with a thorough medical history. Going from top to bottom, list for your medical provider all of your injuries and describe what it feels like inside your body. Use descriptive words to describe what the injuries feel like. For example, it is not enough to say, “I have neck pain.” Be more thorough and tell your doctor that you have neck pain that is, for example, “aching and radiating with a warm sensation,” as opposed to just neck pain. Tell them about the intensity of the pain. How long does the pain last? How intense is the pain? Does the pain come and go or is it constant? Describe the frequency and extent of the pain for each of your injuries.
Dealing with Insurance Adjusters
A thorough history is important because the insurance adjuster is not going to blindly take your word. The adjuster will consider all of the records from your treating doctor, specialist or therapist. It is up to you to give them a thorough history relating to your injuries and the extent and duration of the pain. From the outside you may look great, and the adjuster is left wondering if you are really injured. By providing your doctors, specialists and therapists with a thorough medical history, they will help describe for the adjuster the extent of your pain and the nature and extent of your injuries.
Help for Dog Bite Victims in Columbus
With these tips, you’re on your way toward beginning the case as smoothly as possible. If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite incident, let us help. The Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC has assisted many people like yourself through this process before, and we are at your service.