I’ve Been Bitten By a Dog – What Should I Do?

November 14, 2012

Dog Bites

Ohio dog bite lawyerAmericans love their pets, especially dogs.  In 2011, there were approximately 78.2 million owned dogs in the United States – 39% of U.S. households contained at least one dog.  Most owners (60%) own one dog, while 28% of owners kept two dogs.  Owning and keeping dogs comes with the inherent risk that you or someone else might be bitten by a dog.  If you or a loved one/child are unfortunate enough to have been bitten by someone else’s dog, what should you do?

At the outset of your dog attack, panic may set in.  Dog bites can be particularly painful and the circumstances leading up to a dog bite can be extremely frightening.  The best practice is to remain calm and remove yourself from wherever the dog is located.

The next key is to evaluate your dog bite injury.  At this point, your adrenaline is probably pumping pretty well.  It is important to take a moment and determine the extent of your injury.  If the dog simply scratched you, or didn’t leave any mark at all, consider yourself lucky.  If the bite penetrated your skin, or there is any amount of blood, you should tend to the wound.  In either event, whether you consider it serious or not, you should seek medical attention immediately.  If there is any evidence the dog bite may have pierced skin, you have a chance for infection or worse.  Best practice is to go see an emergency room doctor directly after the dog bite incident to make sure you didn’t catch anything from the dog.

After you’ve had your injuries evaluated by a medical professional, you should call the animal warden for the Ohio county or city where you were bitten.  These numbers can generally be found in a phone book, or on the internet.  Here are a few numbers for dog wardens in northeast Ohio:

Summit County (330) 643-2181;

Cuyahoga County (216) 664-3069;

Stark County (330) 451-2343

The need to contact an Ohio dog warden is two-fold.  First, it is important to make sure the animal is up to date on its rabies vaccinations.  The dog warden will be able to determine that, and will take steps necessary to quarantine the dog to assure no one else is bitten.  Second, the dog warden will make a report and pass it on to the county board of health.  This level of documentation is crucial if you are thinking about pursing a claim against the dog owner or the dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance company.

Finally, you should take down the dog owner’s information and homeowner’s insurance company.  In this respect, a dog bite is a lot like a car accident.  Exchanging accurate information will ensure that all injuries and damages are compensated for.  If you determine that you have been severely injured and are thinking about filing a claim, you may want to consider employing a dog bite or personal injury attorney.  Insurance adjusters that deal with dog bites are virtually the same as those who deal with car accidents – they may be difficult and frustrating to deal with.  While Ohio law allows for 6 years to file a dog-bite claim, it is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know has become the victim of a dog bite, contact the Ohio law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP for a free consultation with an attorney experienced with dog bite cases in Ohio.  Please call 1-888-321-0274 or send a message from our website to schedule a time to talk. Here’s the link to our website: dogbitesohio.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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