Is There Compensation For Dog Bite Injuries?

April 19, 2017 | By O'Connor Acciani & Levy
Is There Compensation For Dog Bite Injuries?

Dog bites and attacks are all too common in Ohio, particularly for employees of the United States Postal Service (USPS). Last week, in recognition of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, the USPS released its annual rankings of the top 30 worst cities for dog attacks, and four Ohio cities made the list. Cleveland was ranked third with 60 dog attacks in 2016, while Columbus came in 14th with 39 attacks, Cincinnati ranked 24th with 24 attacks and Akron was tied for 27th with 21 attacks. Nationwide, there were 6,755 dog attacks on postal workers in 2016, an increase of more than 200 attacks over 2015, according to the USPS' report. Postal workers are not the only ones who get attacked by dogs. There are approximately 4.5 million dog bite victims in the U.S. each year. Dog bites and attacks can cause a variety of severe injuries, from cuts and scratches to life-threatening infections, broken bones, concussions and psychological trauma. Children and the elderly have a much higher risk of suffering severe injuries because they are more frail than able-bodied adults.

Dog Bite Compemsation

If victims can prove that the owner of the dog is liable for the attack under Ohio dog bite laws, they may be able to recover various forms of compensation to cover the physical, financial and emotional damages they have experienced, such as:
  • Past, current and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost or diminished earning capacity
  • Emotional suffering, including anxiety, depression and other psychological issues
  • Physical pain from your injuries
  • Permanent disability or disfigurement
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Long-term care
  • Other out-of-pocket costs, such as the cost of hiring someone to do household chores you can no longer do yourself
  • Mobility aids, like crutches, wheelchairs and canes
If you lost a loved one to a dog bite or attack, his or her personal representative may be able to pursue an Ohio wrongful death claim to recover the following forms of compensation:
  • Reasonable funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of support of the deceased
  • Loss of services of the deceased
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of care, assistance, protection, guidance, counsel and education
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Mental anguish

Is There A Limit On Compensation?

There is no limit to the amount of economic compensation you can recover in a dog bite claim, including a wrongful death claim. Economic compensation refers to damages that have a specific monetary value attached, such as lost wages, medical expenses and other out-of-pocket costs. However, Ohio does have a cap on non-economic compensation. This includes pain and suffering and other damages that do not have a specific monetary value attached to them. If you are filing a wrongful death action, the cap applies to noneconomic damages experienced by the victim of the dog attack prior to his or her death. The cap is $250,000 or three times the amount of economic damages, whichever amount is larger. If there is more than one plaintiff, each one can recover a maximum of $350,000. There is also a cap of $500,000 in cases with more than one plaintiff. However, the cap will be removed if the victim suffered any of the following injuries:
  • Severe or permanent physical deformity
  • Loss of the use of a limb
  • Loss of an organ
  • Permanent physical injury that prevents the victim from caring for himself or herself and performing life-sustaining activities
The dog attack lawyers at O'Connor, Acciani & Levy can help you recover all of the compensation you deserve. We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation and do not charge attorney's fees unless there is a favorable resolution of your case.