According to a recent report posted by DogsBite.org, more than 35 breeds of dogs contributed to 433 deaths over a 13-year period in the United States. Not surprisingly, however, 66% of these deaths were caused by pit bulls. Rottweilers were next, representing 10%.
Are these national trends consistent in the State of Ohio? The data is somewhat fragmented, but let’s look at a few reports to gain a better understanding of dog bites by breed in Ohio.
Ohio Dog Bite Statistics
Turning to Ohio, we see similar trends when it comes to specific dog breeds.
A few years ago, Bryan Wagner, Chief Environmental Specialist for the Franklin County Environmental Court testified that in Franklin County, there were 126 dog bites reported in 2009, 38% of which were attributed to pit bulls. In December 2009, the Toledo Lucas County Health Department revealed that there were 380 total biting incidents, 65% of which were attributed to pit bulls.
In June 2011, The Dayton and Montgomery County Public Health Department posted animal bite statistics from June 2010 to June 2011. There were 736 dog biting incidents, and 16% (117 bites) were attributed to pit bulls. A lab mix attributed for 46 bites (also posted on DogsBite.org).
What to Do When You’re a Victim
If you have been bitten by a dog in the State of Ohio, you have two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit against the responsible owner. You must do the following things immediately:
1) Contact the police and the animal control shelter and file incident reports. It is essential that the police and animal control center gather as much information about the dog owner’s insurance, particularly their homeowners insurance information (including insurance carrier, policy number and address information);
2) Gather as much information as you can about the owner of the dog. Obtain for yourself all of the owner’s insurance information (including insurance carrier, policy number and address information);
3) Take pictures of all of your injuries;
4) Obtain medical treatment as soon as possible. It is important, when you are at the emergency room, that you describe to the doctor in detail all of your injures from top to bottom, describing the pain that you are feeling, describing all of your concerns, and describing all of your anxiety and stress;
5) Immediately report the incident to the dog owner’s homeowners insurance company. Provide them with the date of the incident and describe to them exactly what happened and all of your resulting injuries;
6) Do not agree to do any interviews with the adjusters of the homeowners insurance company without discussing your claim thoroughly with an experienced attorney;
7) Make sure that you continue to follow up with your family doctor. Continue to provide them a thorough history of your injuries, limitations and restrictions and how the incident impacted you;
8) Keep a detailed diary that thoroughly outlines all of your injuries, limitations and restrictions.