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What to do after being attacked by a dog

The Cleveland area has its fair share of dog owners. While many of them do everything possible to keep their animals from doing harm to others, you happened to stumble across a dog whose owner failed to keep it on a leash. The dog attacked you and left you with injuries that required medical care. Is the owner responsible for your losses?

According to state laws, yes, you may hold the animal owner accountable. If he or she fails to cover your expenses, you may file a civil claim in an effort to seek compensation for your losses.

After the attack

Right after the attack, the best thing you can do for yourself is to seek medical attention and then get information about the animal. Infection is common following a dog bite, but early treatment can help prevent that.

After receiving treatment, report the dog to the Division of Kennels. They will investigate the case and remove the dog from the owner's care if they deem doing so appropriate. When you call to report, they will want to know:

  • The name of the animal's owner, keeper or harborer
  • The address where the animal resides
  • The type of dog
  • The date of the attack

The more information you can provide about the attack the better.


In Ohio, there is no need to prove that the animal's owner, keeper or harborer knew the dog was dangerous. You must establish only a couple of elements in order to seek damages. These elements are:

  • The dog caused injury
  • The victim suffered losses

You can file legal claims against the dog's owner or any other person who was in charge of the animal at the time of the attack. Victims have up to two years to file lawsuits in dog bite cases.

Recoverable damages

The damages associated with a dog bite can be physical, financial and emotional in nature. You may seek compensation for all your documented losses, such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Mental anguish

There is no standard amount awarded in dog bite cases. Compensation varies from case to case.

A dog attack can be a traumatic experience. It can leave you scarred physically and psychologically. The monetary losses associated with such an event can also be significant. If a dog attacked you, you may take steps to recover your losses through legal means.

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