Dog Bite Lawyer Cleveland: Tim Misny
If you or a family member has been severely injured by a dog bite, call Tim Misny now!
Half of all U.S. households have dogs, which means there are 70-80 million dogs in this country. It is not surprising to learn that nearly 5 million people suffer dog bites every year.
Ohio Dog Bite Law
Under Ohio law, Cleveland dog bite lawyers recognize the liability for dog bites is primarily governed by a “strict liability” standard. This means that dog owners are held responsible for any injuries caused by their dogs, regardless of the dog’s past behavior or the owner’s knowledge of its aggressive tendencies. The law applies to both public and private property, as long as the victim was lawfully present. It is important to note that Ohio does not enforce a “one-bite rule,” which means in a dog attack the owner can be held liable for a dog bite even if it is the first incident. However, there are certain exceptions to this strict liability, such as if the victim was trespassing or provoking the dog at the time of the incident. Additionally, if someone other than the owner is in possession and control of the dog at the time of the bite, they may also be held liable for the resulting injuries.
Under Ohio law, a dog owner is held liable if their dog bites someone regardless of the dog’s prior history. That is why if you or someone you love was catastrophically injured as the result of a dog bite, you need to call me right away.
As a Cleveland dog bite lawyer, I can help you navigate the complicated legal process, so you can be rightfully compensated for your injuries. The severity of your dog bite injury will become very important in determining your damages.
Common Injuries Resulting From Dog Bites
A dog bite can cause a bone fracture by exerting significant force on the affected area, leading to a break or crack in the bone. Complications such as infection, nerve damage, or injury to surrounding tissues may arise from the bone fracture caused by a dog attack. The healing process typically involves immobilization of the affected limb, realignment if necessary, and gradual bone repair through the formation of new tissue. Physical therapy may be necessary to restore strength and function where the dog bite occurred.
Infections resulting from a bite occur when bacteria from the dog’s mouth enter the wound, leading to potential complications such as cellulitis or abscess formation. These infections can cause pain, redness, swelling, and may spread to surrounding tissues. Treatment typically involves cleaning the wound thoroughly, administering antibiotics, and, in a severe dog bite case, surgical drainage of abscesses.
The force of the bite can cause possible joint dislocation, leading to the misalignment of bones within a joint. This can result in pain, limited range of motion, joint instability, and potential damage to ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. Dog bite victims may need treatment such as a manual reduction to realign the joint, immobilization with a splint or cast, and physical therapy to regain strength and mobility. In some extreme cases, surgical intervention to repair or reconstruct damaged structures.
An animal attack can lead to crushing injuries. Dog bites involve the compression of tissues, blood vessels, and bones, leading to significant pain, swelling, tissue damage, and impaired function. Complications can include severe bleeding, nerve or vascular damage, and potential infection. Treatment often requires emergency medical attention, wound irrigation, debridement if necessary, and fracture stabilization. Some dog bite wounds require reconstructive surgery to repair damaged structures and promote healing.
Lacerations caused by bites result in deep cuts or tears in the skin, muscles, tendons, or other structures. These wounds are at high risk of infection due to the introduction of bacteria from the dog’s mouth. Treatment involves thorough cleaning, irrigation, and sometimes surgical repair with sutures or staples. Antibiotics may be prescribed, and tetanus vaccination is often administered if needed.
A severe consequence of a bite may be an amputation, if the force is sufficient enough to sever a body part. This traumatic injury leads to permanent loss of function, extensive bleeding, and significant physical and psychological trauma. Immediate medical attention is necessary to control the bleeding. Surgical intervention to remove any remaining tissue, wound closure, and subsequent rehabilitation with prosthetics or adaptive devices could be used as well.
A dangerous dog may cause severe scarring as a result of a deep or complex bite. This may result in disfigurement and potential functional impairment. Treatment may involve wound closure techniques to minimize tension on the wound edges. Use of dressings and scar management therapies such as silicone gel or sheet are required. In some cases, you may need surgical procedures such as a scar revision, or skin graft to improve the appearance and function of the affected area.
Bruising and Contusions
Bruising and contusions can occur as a result of the impact from a dog bite, leading to discoloration, tenderness, and pain in the affected area. While generally less severe than other complications, this can still cause a great deal of discomfort and may indicate underlying tissue damage. As a result of the bruising and contusions, healing typically involves rest, cold compresses, elevation, and over-the-counter pain medications. The bruises gradually fade over time as the body absorbs the accumulated blood.
While some of these injuries seem minor, others can cause life-long physical and psychological problems. Dog bite injuries can be permanent and devastating. As a highly experienced dog bite attorney, I will help you recover compensation for both past and future medical damages, emotional trauma, pain and suffering. Call me today. We’ll file a claim against the dog’s owner, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Damages For Dog Bites
Medical Expenses: This includes compensation for all current and future medical costs related to the bite, such as emergency room treatment, surgeries, medications, follow-up appointments, physical therapy, and any other medical treatments. It is necessary to cover the financial burden of medical care and ensure your recovery.
Pain and Suffering: This category seeks compensation for physical and emotional pain caused by the dog bite. It includes the physical discomfort, trauma, anxiety, and distress experienced as a result of the incident. The compensation acknowledges and provides relief for your suffering.
Lost Wages: If the dog attack leads to missed work or the inability to work in the future, we will claim compensation for lost wages. This covers the income you would have earned had you not been injured, helping to mitigate the financial impact of the dog bite. Even if the injury seemed minor, if you missed work, you should file a dog bite claim.
Rehabilitation and Therapy: In cases where the bite results in long-term physical or psychological effects, compensation may be sought for rehabilitation and therapy services. This includes costs for physical rehabilitation, occupational therapy, psychological counseling, or other necessary therapies to aid in your recovery and adjustment.
Scarring and Disfigurement: Animal attacks can cause significant scarring or disfigurement. You should seek compensation to address the permanent physical changes and potential impact on self-esteem or quality of life. This can cover the costs of cosmetic treatments, scar revision surgeries, or psychological support related to the visible effects of the bite.
Property Damage: In some instances, a dog bite can result in damage to personal property, such as torn clothing, broken glasses, or other belongings. Compensation should be sought to repair or replace the damaged property.
Wrongful Death: In tragic cases where a dog bite results in the loss of life, the victim’s family or estate may pursue a wrongful death claim. Damages in this context can cover funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional toll resulting from the untimely death.
I’ve been a personal injury lawyer for over 40 years, representing the people of Cleveland. If a dog attacks, and you’ve suffered serious injuries and have ongoing medical costs, you need to call me, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Dog Breeds Most Associated With Biting
While it is important to note that aggression can be influenced by factors beyond breed, some dog breeds have been historically associated with biting incidents. However, it is crucial to remember that individual dogs’ behavior can vary greatly and not all dogs of these breeds are aggressive. The following are seven dog breeds that have been mentioned in discussions relating to dog bites:
Pit Bull Terrier: Pit Bulls are a group of breeds that include the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They are often labeled as aggressive due to their history of dogfighting and the unfortunate exploitation of their strength. Irresponsible breeding, lack of socialization, and mistreatment can contribute to aggression in some dogs.
Rottweiler: Rottweilers are large and robust working dogs. They were historically bred for guarding and herding livestock. If not properly trained and socialized, their protective instincts can lead to aggression towards unfamiliar people or animals, leading to dog bite cases.
German Shepherd: Intelligent, versatile dogs, German Shepherds have been widely used in various working roles such as police and military work. Their strong protective instincts, if not properly managed, can manifest as aggression towards perceived threats.
Siberian Husky: Huskies are known for their endurance and sled-pulling abilities. While generally friendly and gentle, improper training, lack of mental and physical stimulation, or isolation can contribute to behavioral issues such as aggression in some Huskies.
Alaskan Malamute: Large and powerful dogs, Alaskan Malamutes were bred for heavy work and sled pulling. They possess a strong prey drive and territorial instincts, which, when combined with inadequate training or socialization, can result in aggressive behavior.
Doberman Pinscher: Dobermans are highly intelligent and loyal dogs that were initially bred for protection and guard work. If not properly trained, socialized, or given outlets for their energy, they can exhibit aggression towards perceived threats.
Great Dane: Great Danes are gentle giants known for their friendly nature. However, they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or if they are not adequately trained and socialized during their formative years.
What To Do If You Or Someone You Know Has Been Bitten
Remove oneself from immediate danger: Move away from the dog to ensure personal safety and prevent further bites or injuries.
Assess the severity of the bite: Evaluate the wound to determine its severity. Superficial bites may require basic first aid, while deep or extensive wounds may require immediate medical attention.
Clean the wound: Rinse the bite wound gently with clean water and mild soap to remove any dirt, bacteria, or debris. Thorough cleaning helps reduce the risk of infection.
Apply pressure to control bleeding: If the wound is bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or sterile bandage to control the bleeding. Elevating the affected limb can also help minimize bleeding.
Seek medical attention: Depending on the severity of the bite, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional. They can assess the wound, provide appropriate medical treatment, and determine if further interventions such as stitches, antibiotics, or tetanus vaccination are necessary.
Gather information: Try to obtain information about the dog, including its owner’s contact details, if possible. This information can be crucial for reporting the incident or determining the dog’s vaccination status.
Report the incident: Contact local authorities, such as animal control or the police, to report the dog bite. This helps create a record of the incident and ensures that appropriate measures are taken to prevent future bites.
Follow medical advice and treatment: Follow the healthcare professional’s instructions for wound care, medications (if prescribed), and any necessary follow-up appointments. Adhering to the recommended treatment plan promotes proper healing and reduces the risk of complications.
Consider counseling or support: Dog bites can be traumatic experiences. Seek counseling or support from a mental health professional or support groups to help address any emotional or psychological distress associated with the incident.