Dogs can be great companions, with more than 36 percent of U.S. households owning one or more dogs. However, dogs can bite for any number of reasons, sometimes leading to serious injuries and infections that require extensive medical care. Knowing the risk factors for dog bites and the potential effects of a bite can help you stay safe when around familiar and unknown dogs alike.
If you have suffered a dog bite injury, a Cincinnati dog bite lawyer at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy is here to help. We can review your situation and discuss the legal options available to you during a free, no obligation consultation.
Reasons Why Dogs Bite
All dogs can bite, regardless of age, size and gender. While a dog may look friendly and cute, when provoked any dog may attack.
A dog bites as a reaction to stressful situations and threats, defending itself or its territory. Dogs may bite to defend their puppies, food or even toys.
Dogs that are ill may bite because they do not want to be bothered. A sick or injured dog may bite to keep you away.
Some dogs bite or nip when playing. Playing tug or wrestling with a dog can make the dog overly excited, increasing the chances of a bite.
Types Of Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can result in numerous types of injuries, each of which can range in severity. These include:
- Broken bones
- Puncture wounds
- Eye injuries
- Facial injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Tissue damage
- Nerve damage
- Psychological effects
Dog Bite Infections And Diseases
Dog bites also spread bacteria that can lead to an infection – a dog’s mouth can hold more than 60 different types of bacteria. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 18 percent of dog bites result in infections.
The types of infections and diseases you can acquire from a dog bite include:
- Rabies – Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of an infected dog when it bites. The most serious disease that can be caught from a dog bite, rabies is almost always deadly once a person starts displaying symptoms. Rabies can be prevented through vaccination.
- Tetanus – Tetanus is spread through a bacteria called Clostridium tetani in deep bite wounds. It is a toxin that leads to rigid paralysis in victims.
- Capnocytophaga – This bacterium can spread to a person through a dog bite as well as scratches or close contact with the animal. Those with weakened immune systems are at risk of illness from this bacterium.
- MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a staph infection that can be spread by dogs even when the animal does not show symptoms. MRSA causes lung, skin and urinary tract infections, and may spread to the lungs or bloodstream leading to life-threatening infections.
- Pasteurella – This type of bacteria is found in more than half of infected dog bites. It causes a red and painful infection at the bite site. In those with weakened immune systems, Pasteurella can cause difficult movement as well as swollen glands and joints.
Let Us Help You File A Dog Bite Claim
In Ohio, dog bite victims have up to two years after the bite incident to file a claim in court seeking damages. Ohio law states a dog’s owner or keeper is liable for injuries caused by the dog if:
- The injury was caused by the dog’s behavior
- The victim was not trespassing
- The victim was not attempting to or committing a crime
- The victim did not provoke the dog through abuse, teasing or tormenting
The Cincinnati personal injury attorneys of O’Connor, Acciani & Levy aid dog bite victims in recovering compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We can assist you in filing a dog bite claim to pursue the maximized compensation you deserve.
Request a free, no obligation consultation to find out your legal options. We require no upfront fees and payment is only due if we recover compensation for you.