While dogs are often referred as being “man’s best friend,” they can still be unpredictable. Canines unfamiliar or uncomfortable with strangers may attack when they feel threatened, and the results can be extremely damaging.
A large percentage of the victims of dog bites in the United States are children, and injuries in these cases can result in extensive reconstructive plastic surgery or other costly medical bills. Many victims express hesitation about pursuing legal action out of fear of upsetting or imposing financial hardships on the dog owners (who are often friends, family, or neighbors), but compensation for dog bite cases is typically covered by the dog owner’s home insurance policy.
Lawyer for Dog Bites in Cincinnati, Ohio
Were you or your child recently bitten by a dog or another pet? It will be in your best interest to make sure that you have legal representation before you make any kind of statement to the dog owner’s insurance company.
The Cincinnati personal injury attorneys at Steiden Law Offices fight to get full and fair compensation for clients all over Butler County, Clermont County, Hamilton County, and Warren County in Ohio as well as Boone County, Kenton County, and Campbell County in Kentucky. Call (513) 888-8888 right now to take advantage of a free consultation that will let our lawyers review your case and help you understand your legal options.
Kentucky Dog Attacks Information Center
- Are owners liable for attacks by their dogs under state laws in Ohio and Kentucky?
- What kinds of injuries do victims suffer in these cases?
- Where can I find more information about dog bites in the Cincinnati area?
Ohio and Kentucky are both statutory strict liability states when it comes to dog bites, meaning that owners are legally liable to victims bitten by their dogs. Strict liability means that a victim is not required to prove that a dog owner acted negligently or had intent to harm the victim.
Ohio Revised Code § 955.28(B) states:
The owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog is liable in damages for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog, unless the injury, death, or loss was caused to the person or property of an individual who, at the time, was committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the property of the owner, keeper, or harborer, or was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense against any person, or was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog on the owner's, keeper's, or harborer's property.
Kentucky Revised Statute § 258.235(4) establishes, “Any owner whose dog is found to have caused damage to a person, livestock, or other property shall be responsible for that damage.” Kentucky, however, remains a pure comparative fault state, meaning that a victim’s own negligence can impact the percentage of damages he or she can recover.
While the Kentucky dog bite law does not address the same exceptions addressed in Ohio’s, the Court of Appeals ruled in 1967 that trespassers cannot recover damages in dog bite cases. In Dykes v. Alexander, 411 S.W.2d 47 (Ky.App. 1967), a 5-year-old boy was bitten by a dog after he and his 3-year-old sister entered the fenced-in back yard of the dog owners without their knowledge.
The Court of Appeals wrote:
In the case at bar it appears that the appellant being under seven years of age cannot be guilty of contributory negligence. Lehman v. Patterson (1944), 298 Ky. 360, 182 S.W.2d 897.
Ordinarily trespassing children occupy the same position as trespassing adults, except for special responsibility in case of attractive nuisances. The court has recognized that this is a harsh rule as applied to infants, but the rule still applies. Louisville & Nashville Railroad Co. v. Spence's Adm'r. (1955), Ky., 282 S.W.2d 826;Chesser v. Louisville Country Club (1960), Ky., 339 S.W.2d 194.
In the case at bar there was no showing that the dog had ever previously bitten anyone or that the dog was vicious or that either of the appellees had knowledge of same. The dog was where he had a right to be and certainly the owner in keeping a dog not thought to be vicious in his fenced-in back yard was not keeping him at his peril so as to be liable to a trespasser to whom he owed no duty. The evidence was that appellees did not know the appellant was on their premises. For an annotation of cases involving injury by dog, see 66 A.L.R.2d 916 (1959).
The potential injuries that can result from a dog attack can be quite severe and may have lifelong effects on victims. Even when a dog owner has an insurance policy that can cover the many medical bills associated with treatment and recovery for a victim, this does not mean that an insurance company will offer to pay what is truly deserved.
Insurers make their money on getting victims to accept the lowest possible settlement amounts. It is critical to avoid speaking with any insurance agents if you do not have an attorney, as any number of seemingly innocent statements can be used against the victim later on to demonstrate contributory fault or injuries not being as serious as the victim claims.
Steiden Law Offices can act on behalf of victims in conversations with insurance company representatives and negotiate for a settlement that gets the victims all of the compensation they need and deserve. We handle dog bite cases that have resulted in such injuries as:
- Broken blood vessels and bones;
- Broken bones or fractures;
- Crush injuries;
- Eye injuries;
- Head or Neck Injuries;
- Infections such as rabies, capnocytophaga, pasteurella, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), tetanus;
- Nerve Damage;
- Puncture wounds;
- Scars; or
- Sprain or strain injuries
Hamilton County Public Health (HCPH) | Dog Bites/Rabies — Visit this section of the HCPH website to learn more about rabies concerns after dog bites. Learn more about what rabies is, how people get it, and what to do if you think you’ve been exposed to rabies. You can also find information about rabies vaccines, reporting animal bites, and preventing animal bites.
Hamilton County Public Health
250 William Howard Taft, 2nd Floor
Cincinnati, OH 45219
Preventing Dog Bites | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — The CDC estimates that approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States, and almost one in every of five bites becomes infected. On this section of the CDC site, you can learn more about preventing dog bites, what to do if you are approached by an unfamiliar dog that you do not want to interact with, and what do if you are bitten. You can also find information about possible diseases that stem from dog bites.
Steiden Law Offices | Cincinnati Dog Bite Lawyer
If you or your child sustained serious injuries after a dog bite in the Cincinnati area, you will want to be sure that you retain legal counsel so you can recover as much compensation as possible to cover your medical bills, pain and suffering, and other considerations. Steiden Law Offices represents dog attack victims on a contingency fee basis so there is no fee for our services unless the victim receives a monetary award.
Our Cincinnati personal injury attorneys help people in communities throughout Campbell County, Boone County, and Kenton County in Kentucky in addition to Warren County, Butler County, Clermont County, and Hamilton County in Ohio. We can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of you case when you call (513) 888-8888 or fill out an online contact form to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.