You may want to go to the doctor as soon as possible for a dog bite. Dog bite injuries that break the skin may require urgent treatment. A doctor can:
- Assess the wound
- Clean the wound to prevent further harm
- Create the first step in a treatment plan, if needed
- Document the wounds for your legal case
If the wounds include torn flesh, are on the face or hands, continue to bleed, or if the victim is a child, you may want to immediately call an ambulance or go to the emergency department. These wounds may be more difficult to treat or include additional damage to underlying structures.
Even Minor Dog Bites May Require Medical Cleaning and Assessment
All dog bites that break the skin require medical assessment and cleaning. While not all wounds require a visit to the emergency department, visiting a walk-in clinic, urgent care, or your family doctor within a few hours is a good idea.
A dog’s mouth is full of bacteria, and this bacteria can transfer into the wound during a bite. This means that even minor wounds may quickly become infected and cause additional harm. Infections could lead to:
- Severe, systemic illness
- Loss of limb
- Loss of life
You May Be Able to Recover Compensation for Your Treatment Costs
If a negligent dog owner allowed your dog bite to occur, they may owe you compensation for your injuries. Your personal injury case may cover the costs of your medical care, whether that entails a quick visit for a cleaning and an assessment or if you require extensive surgical repairs, hospitalization, and plastic surgery.
A lawyer from our firm who is familiar with Ohio’s dog bite laws can help you file an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.
Types of Treatment
In addition to the initial treatment by a doctor, some victims of dog bites may require:
- Long-term treatment
- Future procedures
- Ongoing care and support
- Physical therapy
- Psychological counseling
How Do You Pursue Compensation for Your Injuries?
Under Ohio law, a dog’s owner may be liable for the losses a victim incurs due to a bite. Per Ohio Revised Code (ORC) §955.28, victims can hold them responsible through an insurance settlement or sue them in civil court.
In many cases, homeowner’s insurance policies cover dog bite injuries. This may make it possible for the victim’s attorney to negotiate a settlement agreement and avoid trial.
The Deadline to Sue after a Dog Bite
If you need to begin a lawsuit in your Ohio dog bite case, you likely have up to two years to file a personal injury lawsuit under ORC §2305.10. However, many dog bite victims are children, and there may be exceptions to this statute of limitations for minors.
Generally, victims’ families have two years to file wrongful death lawsuits in civil court as well. This is codified under ORC §2125.02.
Speak to an Attorney Today about Your Case
At the Fitch Law Firm LLC, we provide complimentary consultations for dog bite victims and their families. Let our team review the basis of your case and determine your rights and legal options. After you go to the doctor and receive treatment for your dog bite injuries, call us at (614) 545-3930 for your free consultation.