By Colin Ray
During the summer, dogs tend to cause more injuries than in other months. Dogs may be humans’ best friend, but they also, at times, have a nasty tendency to bite, trip, and collide with others who are out. Even dogs who think they’re just giving a friendly nip can cause serious injuries, especially to children who are the same size as the dog. In Ohio, if a dog causes you injury, you are entitled to compensation.
Cleveland dog-bite attorney Colin Ray has handled many cases in which people have been injured by dogs. While bites are the most common form of injury, dogs can cause harm to people in lots of other ways, such as tripping joggers, causing bikes to crash, or even by feigning attacks or jumping onto people who don’t expect it. These undesirable behaviors cause individuals to sustain injury.
Under Ohio law, dog victims typically have two different ways to recover. They may pursue a strict-liability claim under the Ohio Revised Code, or, if the facts permit, may pursue an action at common law, or the history of decisions that have been handed down by courts since the state’s legal system was established.
A dog-bite victim does not need to choose—both types of claims can be brought at the same time. But the statute of limitations for a claim under the dog-bite statute is six years—much longer than that for most types of personal injury. Additionally, the statute of limitations for minors does not begin to run until the minor’s 18th birthday, which means a minor may timely bring a dog-bite case the day before his or her 24th birthday.
Dog-bite cases also present a number of technical legal issues that an experienced attorney can use to maximize the value of the claim. Investigation should be done on the history of the dog, and such investigation can lead to claims for punitive damages. The severity of the bite or harm caused by the dog can also lead to scar or permanent substantial deformity, which can result in negating the application of Ohio’s statutory non-economic damages caps. An experienced attorney should and must evaluate these aspects of a case in order to provide the highest level of service to a client.
A skilled attorney must also consider everyone who has contact with a vicious dog. In Ohio, owners, harborers, and keepers of dogs are responsible for harm caused by the dogs. Each of these terms have technical legal meanings, and Colin has experience in investigating and litigating whether they apply to people responsible for dogs, from pre-suit investigation all the way through the courts of appeals. Unlocking liability imposed on others can increase client benefits, by triggering insurance coverage through renters’, homeowners’, or other insurance policies.
If you’ve had an injury caused by a dog, you may call Cleveland dog bite attorney Colin Ray at 216-696-1422 for a free, no-obligation consultation of your legal options. Colin typically takes dog-bite cases on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that he does not get paid unless money is recovered. He is experienced in all aspects of dog-bite cases, from pre-suit negotiations to lawsuits to appeals. Colin loves dogs, including his family’s border collie mix, but will fight to secure justice for those who are injured by dogs.