Columbus Dog Bite Lawyer

Were you injured because someone’s dog bit you in Columbus, OH? Our team at Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers can help you fight to recover full financial compensation from the dog’s owner. An experienced Columbus dog bite lawyer can help you fight to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

We put more than 71 years of combined experience behind every case we handle. We’ve won hundreds of millions of dollars in life-changing settlements and verdicts for clients like you.

Although dogs make wonderful companions, dog bite injuries can be severe. If you were bitten by a dog, don’t hesitate to contact our law offices in Columbus, Ohio, at (614) 587-8423 to arrange a free consultation today.

Why Should I Call Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers for Legal Help After a Dog Bite in Columbus?

Owning a pet is a huge responsibility. Dog owners are tasked with feeding, walking, and caring for their animals. In Ohio, they’re also responsible when their dog injures someone else. 

If you were seriously injured, recovering full compensation can be one of the most important things you do. Still, the insurance company probably won’t hand over a full settlement without a fight. Our experienced Columbus personal injury attorneys are here to fight for the maximum compensation available.

At Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers, we’ve earned an AV-Preeminent rating from the trusted Martindale Hubbell lawyer ranking service. Our lawyers have also been listed by Super Lawyers in recognition of our effective legal services.

Hire us, and you’ll have a lawyer to:

  • Gather any evidence to support your claim
  • Identify all parties who can be liable under Ohio dog bite laws
  • Protect you when the dog’s owner claims you provoked the dog
  • Assess your case value
  • Negotiate on your behalf for a full settlement

You’ve already suffered enough. Our Columbus personal injury lawyers are here to handle the legal issues. Just call our law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation and we’ll get started.

How Common Are Dog Bites in Ohio?

One recent study analyzed that data and concluded that it’s likely that at least 10 million Americans were bitten by dogs in 2022 alone. 

Every day, about 1,000 Americans visit emergency rooms with dog bite injuries.

These injuries can be both dangerous and expensive to treat. According to data published by the Insurance Information Institute, Ohio ranked 5th among states when it comes to dog bite insurance payouts. In 2023, insurance companies in Ohio paid out about $34.6 million in dog bite injury claims.

Ohio Dog Bite Laws: An Overview

Ohio is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites. You don’t have to prove negligence to recover damages for your dog bite injuries. Similarly, there isn’t a “one bite rule” where the dog gets a free pass for its first bite. 

Dog owners are liable for injuries even if they were careful and had no idea that their dog had vicious or aggressive tendencies.

Does the Dog’s Owner Have Defenses to the Strict Liability Law?

Yes. Several defenses are built into Ohio’s dog bite laws.

Those defenses include:

  • The dog bit someone who was committing, or attempting to commit, criminal trespass or another criminal offense, other than a minor misdemeanor
  • The victim was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog on the owner’s property

In other words, the dog’s owner may avoid liability if you were trespassing or if you provoked the dog to bite or attack. 

Some exceptions to these defenses exist. For example, someone who enters the owner’s property to engage in door-to-door sales is not classified as a trespasser. Owners may also have a duty to prevent injuries to young children when it’s reasonable to believe they might wander onto the premises.

Who Can Be Liable for My Dog Bite Injuries in Ohio?

Under Ohio law, the dog’s “owner, keeper or harborer” can be liable for damages. 

Generally speaking, a “harborer” is someone who has control over the place where the dog lives, while a “keeper” is someone with temporary control over the animal.

So, potentially responsible parties may include:

  • The dog’s owner
  • Dog walkers
  • Pet sitters
  • Veterinarians and veterinary assistants
  • Dog groomers
  • “Doggie daycare” operators
  • Employers of someone paid to care for the animal

Any person who was supposed to have control over the dog at the time of the attack can potentially be liable for your damages.

What Is My Columbus Dog Bite Case Worth?

Even if you’ve already proven that someone else is responsible for your injuries, it’s important to understand how much your personal injury case is worth. Without that knowledge, you risk taking a lowball insurance settlement.

The value of your case depends primarily on:

  • The nature of your injuries
  • Whether your injuries will heal quickly or result in long-term disability
  • The cost of your medical care
  • Whether you lose income during recovery, and how much
  • Whether the injuries will impact your future earnings
  • Damage to your quality of life
  • The physical and mental trauma of the ordeal

Our lawyers offer free case evaluations, so call today to arrange a time to discuss your case.

What Types of Damages Are Available to Dog Bite Victims in Columbus?

Your settlement or verdict should compensate for all of the financial and non-financial losses you have experienced due to the dog bite injury. These are called economic damages and non-economic damages, respectively.

Examples of the types of compensation you may deserve include:

  • Current medical bills
  • Future medical expenses
  • Counseling and specialized therapies
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Rehabilitation 
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Physical disfigurement and scarring
  • Emotional distress
  • PTSD
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Loss of consortium

Punitive damages don’t compensate for your specific losses, but instead punish the defendant for their actions. Punitive damages are rare. They’re only available when it’s clear that the defendant’s acts were intentional or especially shocking–such as in cases where the dog’s owner trained the dog to bite.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer in Ohio?

Your attorneys’ fees depend entirely on how much money we recover in your case. We work on a contingency fee basis. Once your case is resolved, you pay us a percentage of your settlement or verdict. If we don’t obtain compensation for you, you pay us nothing in attorney’s fees.

We’ll discuss your payment obligations before you hire us. That way, you’ll know the exact percentage that you’ll pay once we recover compensation in your case. Of course, if we don’t recover any compensation at all, you won’t pay a dime.

Can I Recover Compensation if I Share Fault for a Dog Bite Injury?

Ohio’s comparative negligence law provides that victims lose their right to compensation if they’re at least 51% responsible for their own injuries. This theory can be relevant in cases where there is evidence that you provoked the dog to bite, but the dog’s owner was also negligent in some way.

If you hire our lawyers, we’ll respond to allegations of shared fault on your behalf effectively. Our goal is to put as much money into your pocket as possible.

Our Lawyers in Columbus Will Fight To Recover Compensation for All of Your Dog Bite Injuries

It can be difficult to know how your body will respond when a dog bites you. Dogs without proper vaccinations can cause serious internal injuries. When a large dog knocks a smaller victim to the ground, a wide range of injuries become possible.

At Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers, we often represent clients who have suffered:

  • Puncture wounds and lacerations
  • Facial injuries
  • Trauma to the eyes
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Organ damage
  • Sepsis and shock
  • Amputations, typically caused by infections
  • Permanent disfigurement or scarring
  • Paralysis
  • Catastrophic injuries
  • Wrongful death of a loved one

If you were bitten by a dog, seek medical attention for your injuries. You should also report the dog bite to animal control. Once you’ve been treated, call our Columbus dog bite attorneys to learn more about your legal right to compensation.

How Much Time Do I Have To File a Lawsuit After Suffering a Dog Bite Injury in Ohio?

Dog bite victims have two years from the date of the attack to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you wait too long, you lose your right to damages.

Most dog bite injury claims are resolved through insurance. Homeowners and renters insurance policies cover these types of injuries. That doesn’t mean you can wait longer to take legal action. In fact, most policies will require that you file a claim for compensation much sooner than two years.

It’s always best to consult a lawyer to discuss your case details sooner rather than later. We offer free consultations, so give us a call today.

Call a Columbus Dog Bite Lawyer To Schedule a Free Case Review Today

You’re much more likely to recover full compensation for your injuries with an experienced Columbus dog bite lawyer by your side. Without quality legal representation, you risk taking much less than you deserve. To learn more about your legal options, call Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.