What to do when a dog bites your child

It's every parent's worst nightmare to learn that your child has been attacked by a dog - or even worse, to witness that attack. The horrific injuries may leave lifelong physical and emotional scars.

The steps you take in the wake of such an attack can make a big difference in your child's future. First and foremost, of course, get medical treatment. Your child's well-being is your No. 1 priority.

Understanding your legal rights

Eventually, you should also consider pursuing a legal claim.

Why?

Put simply, dog bites are incredibly expensive. When your child is hurt, you understandably aren't thinking about the price tag. Yet, when the medical bills start piling up - and you still face a long road of surgeries, skin grafts, rehabilitation and therapy for the immense trauma your child has suffered - you may find yourself facing financial worries.

Your family shouldn't have to shoulder the cost of harm caused by someone else's dog. Fortunately, through a personal injury claim, you can pursue compensation for the full financial toll of the dog bite - including pain and suffering.

Who is liable?

Ohio law imposes strict liability on dog owners for any harm their pet causes. Unless your child was criminally trespassing or tormenting the dog at the time of the bite, the dog's owner is financially responsible. This is true whether the bite took place in the dog owner's home, at your own home, in the street, at a park or any other location.

But what if the owner is neighbor, relative or friend? It's understandable to feel hesitant about filing a claim. However, in all likelihood, their homeowner's insurance policy will foot the bill. Your right to seek compensation won't spell their financial ruin.

Choosing the right path forward

Dealing with the aftermath of a dog attack is stressful enough. The last thing you need is the confusion of sorting through major legal decisions on your own.

Fortunately, the right attorney can guide you through this important process, walking you through your options and helping you choose a path that makes the most sense for your family.

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