Personal Injury Attorney Serving Clients in Covington, Kentucky and the Surrounding Areas
Who was it that said a dog is man’s best friend? Did you know that thousands of people are injured in dog bite accidents in Kentucky each year? While many people think that only dangerous dogs are prone to attack, all breeds can cause bite injuries. If you or a loved one has suffered a dog bite injury, consult with a dog bite injury attorney.
Dickman Law Office has decades of experience handling dog bite accident cases. For over 25 years, we’ve helped injury victims in Northern Kentucky area obtain meaningful compensation. We are knowledgeable about applicable state dog bite liability laws and have a well-earned reputation for providing our clients with aggressive legal representation.
Dog Bite Injuries
Depending on the size and type of animal involved, a dog bite can lead to significant, painful injuries, including:
- Puncture wounds
- Facial disfigurement/scarring
- Torn tissue or muscle
- Nerve damage
- Infections/diseases (rabies, tetanus, Pasteurella, etc.)
- Trauma/emotional distress
In some cases, dog bite injuries may result in fatalities. Small children are at a greater risk of being attacked and are often left with facial injuries as well as emotional trauma. Moreover, a victim who is knocked down by a dog may sustain broken bones, head and back injuries, and other serious injuries.
Kentucky Dog Bite Laws
Unlike other states that rely on a “one-bite rule,” Kentucky is a strict liability state for purposes of dog bite injuries. This means that a dog’s owner can be held liable even if he or she did not know the dog would bite, if the animal had never shown aggressive tendencies previously, or if the owner used reasonable care to control the dog or prevent the dog bite from occurring.
In short, having a valid claim requires showing that (1) the injury was caused by a dog bite and (2) the dog bite victim was in a public place, or lawfully in a private place. Additionally, Kentucky’s dog bite law applies to other injuries caused by a dog, such as being knocked over.
Defenses Against Dog Bite Claims in Kentucky
Unlike other states that specify defenses, such as the dog owner not being liable if the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing, the law in Kentucky is silent on this issue. The law simply states that a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by his or her dog. It is worth noting, however, that the courts have ruled that the state’s comparative negligence law applies to dog bite claims. This means that the damages awarded in a dog bite accident will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the victim.
Ohio Dog Bite Law
Like Kentucky, Ohio is also a strict liability dog bite state, but there are some differences. First, a dog’s owner is liable for your injuries even if the dog has never shown signs of being dangerous. Unlike Kentucky, however, the dog’s owner may not be liable in Ohio if the victim was:
- Teasing, abusing or otherwise provoking the dog on the owner’s property
- Trespassing or committing a crime on the dog owner’s property
- Committing a crime against the owner or another person
In addition, the laws in the greater Cincinnati area and other cities in Ohio treat certain breeds of dogs, such as Rottweilers, differently, while pit bulls are restricted or banned entirely. These breeds place greater liability on the owner because they are known to be dangerous.
Damages You Can Recover in a Dog Bite Lawsuit
If your dog bite lawsuit prevails, you may be awarded compensatory damages, such as:
- Lost wages
- Medical Bills
- Pain and Suffering
- Property damage
- Loss of consortium — harm to relationships with your spouse or loved ones
You may also be awarded punitive damages if the dog’s owner intentionally caused the dog to attack you. Such damages are designed to punish a dog owner’s misconduct and to deter other dog owners from intentionally causing a dog bite injury.
Although many dog bite injuries are covered under the pet owner’s homeowners insurance, some insurers refuse to cover certain breeds that are known to be dangerous, such as pitbulls or Rottweilers. At the same time, insurance companies often seek to settle injury claims for as little money as possible. This is why it is essential to have an experienced dog bite injury attorney by your side.
Covington Dog Bite Personal Injury Attorney
At Dickman Law Office, we know that being injured in a dog bite accident can be a horrible experience. In addition to pain, suffering, and emotional trauma, many victims are left with significant medical expenses. Facial injuries can be especially painful, and may lead to disfigurement that requires extensive surgery. Those who have been severely injured may be unable to work for an extended period of time, which can become a financial burden for the entire family. Our legal team is prepared to lift that burden by fighting for your right to just compensation.
We will use our legal knowledge and established relationships with a number of insurers to settle your claim expeditiously. Our guiding principle is to always put the best interest of our clients first and to provide them with caring, efficient service. In addition, we handle all dog bite accident claims on a contingency basis. This means that you will not pay any attorney fees until we win your case. If you or a loved one has been injured in a dog bite accident in Kentucky or the Greater Cincinnati area, call Dickman Law Office today or complete the contact form on our website.