Dog attacks are terrifying experiences that are often caused by negligent owners who failed to restrain their pets or provide adequate warning that their dogs were dangerous.
If you have been injured by a dog bite or attack, contact the Columbus dog bite lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy. Our experienced accident attorneys have the knowledge needed to aggressively pursue maximum compensation for your injuries. We also do not charge legal fees unless we are successful in our pursuit of a favorable settlement or verdict.
Injuries from Dog Bites and Attacks
Dog attacks put victims at risk for many serious injuries, including:
- Nerve damage
- Head and neck injuries
- Mental trauma
- Broken bones
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Cuts and bruises
- Rabies and other dangerous infections
- Tissue damage
- Injuries to the face
Injuries like rabies and head and neck injuries are life-threatening. However, while other injuries probably will not result in your death, they could be life-changing and require expensive, ongoing treatment.
Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you should contact our Columbus dog bite attorneys to discuss the attack and review your legal options. Your injuries are not your fault and you could be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered, whether they are physical, psychological or financial.
Steps to Take After a Canine Attack
If you are attacked by a dog, your first priority is to seek medical treatment. No matter the injury, immediate treatment will dramatically improve your odds of making a full recovery.
The next step to take, if you are physically able to do it, is to collect evidence related to the attack. This includes:
- Contact information of witnesses and the owner of the dog
- Pictures of the scene of the attack
- The police report on the attack
- Pictures and medical documentation of all of your injuries
After gathering all of the evidence that you can, contact our dog attack lawyers in Columbus to discuss what happened. It costs you nothing to review the situation and find out if you have grounds to file a legal claim.
If you have a valid claim, our dog attack attorneys will begin a thorough investigation to build the strongest case possible. If we are unable to obtain fair compensation, we are prepared to take your case to trial to fight for justice.
Establishing Liability in a Dog Bite Claim
In Ohio, dog owners, keepers or harborers can be held liable for damages if their dogs attack other people. It is usually pretty easy to establish who is the owner of the dog. However, defining a keeper or harborer of a dog can be more difficult.
According to precedent, a keeper is someone who is physically in charge of the dog. For example, a keeper could be someone who was asked to hold a dog’s leash. A harborer of a dog is someone who owns or controls the premises where the dog lives and silently agrees to the dog’s presence. For instance, living with someone who owns a dog could make you a harborer of the animal.
However, owners, keepers and harborers cannot be held liable for a dog attack in cases where the victim was trespassing, committing a crime on the owner’s property or provoking the dog. Provoking the dog could include things like:
- Trying to pet the dog when it is eating
- Poking the dog or pulling its tail
- Yelling at the dog
- Hitting the dog
- Trying to take a bone or toy away from the dog
The owner, keeper or harborer of the dog could also be held liable if he or she knew that the dog was vicious and did not sufficiently restrain it to prevent it from attacking other people. However, victims must prove that the owner knew that the dog had the propensity to bite people for no reason.
The defendant’s insurance company will try its best to prove that the victim provoked the attack or that the dog had not shown a propensity to bite people without cause. That is why you need an experienced Columbus dog bite attorney who knows how to counter these arguments.
The dog bite lawyers at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy have many years of experience negotiating with insurance companies for fair compensation for victims of negligence. We come to the negotiating table with extensive knowledge of the relevant laws and we will not settle for any compensation that is less than what you deserve.
Our Columbus Dog Bite Attorneys are Ready to Help
If you were attacked by a dog, there is a good chance that the owner or person in charge of the dog knew that the animal was dangerous or did not properly restrain it. That is why you need to consult a Columbus dog bite lawyer to discuss what happened. You could be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, psychological counseling and other damages.
While compensation cannot change what happened, it can provide financial stability and give you the best opportunity to make a full recovery from your injuries, if a full recovery is possible. Our personal injury attorneys have been fighting for the rights of injury victims for more than 30 years. We have recovered tens of millions in compensation for our clients.