While traveling through Dayton, OH on vacation, my 6 yr old daugther was clawed in the face by a relatives Scottish terrier. Her lip was ripped open, which required stitches. She does not need reconstructive surgery for her face, but she has now devloped a fear of dogs (any size) that was not apparent before the incident. The homeowner has filed the claim with their insurance, however, is she entitled to compensation for having something like this happen? She has had a few medical appointments since the incident (which has now been 6 months), but her personality has definetly changed since this event. Do we need to contact a lawyer? A police report was not filed, but we do have pictures of the incident...
I would strongly suggest contacting an attorney. Your daughter is entitled to compensation as the result of the dog attack.
Your daughter can seek two forms of compensation - economic damages (the cost of her medical care) and non-economic damages (a monetary amount designed to compensate her for her pain, suffering, and mental harm).
Economic damages are available under a 'strict liability' theory. Non-economic damages are available, but the plaintiff must show the viciousness of the dog and the defendant's knowledge of the dog's viciousness.
For an overview of Ohio's dog-attack legislation, you can read my legal guide here: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/ohio-dog-b...
Recovery is POSSIBLE, however, this may be fact specific. The child is 6, a Scottish terrier is what 20 pounds and maybe a foot high. To be clawed in the face, it may become a question of fact...was the child playing with the dog, at face level with the dog...what factually happened. You say she was "attacked". Was there witnesses to the entire event ? Is it possible she was teasing the dog. The dog did not bite her, this may have been a mere accident. Does the dog have a history ? I do not know what factually happened.
Understand this may still be handled under strict liability and you may automatically get recovery how ever I would not anticipate much more then your medical bills being paid here, and possibly a few dollars for pain and suffering. You are speaking a lot about the now fear of dogs and how her behavior has changed. I question if that is really a "harm" or "injury" or if it is even recoverable.
I would still consult an attorney as i imagine the relative has homeowners insurance. You should recover something, but I would substantially lower your expectations as to how much that will be. Based on my experience, depending on who the insurance company is, I would estimate $1500 recovery, with counsel taking 1/3 of that.
Yes, the homeowner insurance will cover. 1/3 of all homeowners claims are from dog bites. Make sure you retain a personal injury lawyer will a low fee, less than 30%, so you are left with the lion's share of the settlement. You can read about dog bite cases on my website as well as the section on scarring for more information.
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