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Pit Bull Attack & Dog Bite Injury Lawsuits

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.7 million dog-bite incidents occur in the United States each year. Of those attacks, 800,000 victims will seek medical attention, about half of which are children. Around 386,000 victims will need emergency medical treatment. These injuries are estimated to cost the nation more than $100 million annually.

It is estimated that up to thirty fatalities occur every year due to dog attacks. According to a CDC report on dog-bite fatalities, pit bulls are responsible for more deaths than any other breed.

report published in the April 2011 issue of Annals of Surgery revealed that “attacks by pit bulls are associated with a higher risk of death than are attacks by other breeds of dogs.” The authors concluded that, “Strict regulation of pit bulls may substantially reduce the U.S. mortality rates related to dog bites.”

The Proven Danger of Pit Bulls

Pit bulls have earned their reputation as vicious dogs. They were originally bred for hunting and attacking large animals like wild boar, for herding livestock and for pit fighting.

The term “pit bull” actually encompasses three distinct, related breeds: the American pit bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, and the Staffordshire bull terrier.

Pit bulls make up only 6 percent of the dog population, but they’re responsible for 68 percent of dog attacks, according to research compiled by Merritt Clifton, editor of Animals 24-7, an animal-news organization working in animal-cruelty prevention.

Aggressive Dog Breeds

Most of the vicious dogs in the Ohio are of the same breeds. The following dog breeds have a higher-than-average reported attack rate:

•    Pit bull
•    Rottweiler
•    Bull Terrier
•    German Shepherd
•    Cocker Spaniel
•    Great Dane
•    Chow-chow
•    Collie
•    Saint Bernard
•    Doberman Pinscher
•    Huskies
•    Malamute

Child Dog Bite Risk

Children, specifically aged 5 to 9 years old, are most likely to receive medical attention for dog bites. Anybody, however, can be a risk when a dangerous dog is present. Among children and adults, having a dog in a household is associated with a higher likelihood of being bitten than not owning a dog.

As the number of dangerous dogs in the home increases, so does the likelihood of being attacked and bitten.

Dog Attack Injuries

Thousands of dog bite victims each year need some kind of reconstructive surgery. A five-year study published in 2009 in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal, found that almost 51 percent of the attacks were from pit bulls.

Many of the victims are adolescents, under the age of twelve. The initial physical pit bull injury can also worsen with time. Almost 1 out of 5 dog bites becomes infected. Over 60 different kinds of bacteria have been found in dog mouths, which may cause a few dangerous diseases, including the following:

•    Rabies—although getting rabies from a dog in the United States is rare, the virus affects the brain and can be fatal.
•    Pasteurella—this bacteria is seen in over 50 percent of infected dog bite wounds. It can cause serious disease in people with a weak immune system.
•    MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus)—dog bites can cause this type of Staph infection that is resistant to a certain group of antibiotics. MRSA can spread to the bloodstream or lungs and cause life-threatening infections.
•    Tetanus—this dangerous toxin causes rigid paralysis in people and can be a problem in deep bite wounds.

Pit Bull Lawsuits

Most homeowner’s insurance compensates victims for dog bites. According to insurance statistics, dog bites account for a large percentage of American homeowner’s claims.

Attack and pit bull injury victims, and Ohio lawyers, often choose to file suit or settle out of court with the responsible parties. Below are recent examples of dog attacks that will likely result in legal action:

  • In June, 2016, a California man was killed in a pit bull attack. Neighbors said they were surprised about the attack because the dog was usually friendly, which raises alarm about any dangerous breed of dog that appears docile, but is always a deadly risk.
  • In August, 2016, a Georgia woman was attacked and killed in her boyfriend’s home by pit bull, which had no known history of viciousness or aggression.
  • In August, 2016, police arrested the owner of two pit bulls that mauled a 60-year-old woman only feet from her front door. The woman, who was walking her dog, suffered pit bull injury but survived the attack.
  • In 2019, a Michigan boy was killed in a pit bull attack.

Dog Owners & Pit Bull Injury

In Ohio, state law classifies all pit bulls as “vicious.” Dog owners have a legal responsibility to control their animals from biting and attacking. Owners, with knowledge of a dog’s dangerous nature, can be found negligent if the dog injures a person. Depending on the circumstance of the attack, some owners can be found liable regardless of whether the owner knew the dog was dangerous.

Other parties may also be legally responsible for the behavior of a dangerous dog. For example, a landlord may be held responsible if the pit bull injury or attack occurs on their property.

Ohio law holds dog owners responsible for every attack. Victims of pit bull injury in Ohio may be entitled to compensation from the owner for incurred medical costs, and possibly pain and suffering damages.

Victims in Ohio have 6 years from the date of the bite or attack to make a claim. Victims Should contact an experienced attorney for the necessary legal assistance, and to consider pit bull lawsuits to recover compensation.


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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.

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A Voice for Those who have suffered

Why are these cases important?

Serious injuries and accidents often result through no fault of the injured party, yet the injured victim suffers from life altering physical, mental and financial losses. Such economic and human losses can have devastating financial consequences on individuals and families if not properly compensated. Tort law allows those individuals to seek just legal recourse through personal injury lawsuits.


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Questions about Pit Bull Injury Cases

What is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Any kind of negligence by an individual or company that causes injury or harm can lead to filing a personal injury lawsuit. The amount a plaintiff is entitled to depends on several factors, particularly how egregious the act and how serious the injury.

Personal injury attorneys generally only will take cases on a confidential and contingency fee basis, which means your lawyer will only get paid if he or she is able to reach a settlement or positive verdict. The Lyon Firm will review your case for free and assess what compensation any plaintiff can expect through litigation.

Personal Injury cases can range from minor auto accidents to complex lawsuits filed against large corporations. The Lyon Firm has handled both with equal care. Severe injury requires legal action on occasion, no matter if the injury is the result of a vehicle accident, a dog bite, a boating accident, workplace injury, defective consumer products, medical malpractice, or toxic exposure.

What is the Process?

Pre-Suit Investigation and Negotiations: Personal injury lawsuits are unique and require a thorough investigation before a lawsuit is filed. An initial investigation involves gathering all relevant medical records, accident reports, and interviews with available witnesses.  Preservation letters are drafted to notify the defendant of the case. The duty to preserve electronic evidence is critical in most cases to prevent spoliation.

Filing a Lawsuit in Cincinnati: If pre-suit negotiations are unsuccessful, then a lawsuit must be filed to preserve the statute of limitations.  Filing a lawsuit early in the process is often necessary to begin gathering evidence while the witnesses memories are fresh and documents remain available.

Once suit is filed by your personal injury lawyer, the court will set a case management schedule and the parties will begin exchanging information in the formal process of discovery. Depositions will be taken to preserve testimony for trial and to understand what certain witnesses are likely to say at trial.

Proving Negligence, Causation and Damages: In addition to lay witness testimony and other documentary evidence, personal injury claims rely upon medical and scientific evidence to prove negligence, causation and damages. The chosen expert in a case must have a reliable and sound basis in science and in the facts of the case or his opinion may not be admissible under the rules of evidence.

In the areas of Toxic and Environmental Torts, the admission of expert testimony may be scrutinized harder than in other areas simply because the subject may not have been as widely tested and may rest on novel scientific theories.

Are there any limits to what I can recover?

Each state will vary. Under Ohio law, an injured party may recover damages related to medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, loss of enjoyment of life, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, and punitive damages. The numerical limits are as such:

  1. Non-Catastrophic Injury:   The non-economic award is limited to $250,000 per plaintiff, or three times the economic loss, up to $350,000 per plaintiff. A maximum of $500,000 for each “occurrence.”
  2. Catastrophic Injury: No limits.

The Lyon Firm may be able to file injury claims and recover rightful compensation for clients for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost earnings and long-term disability.

Why should I hire The Lyon Firm?

Our Firm will help you find the answers.  The Firm has the experience, resources and dedication to take on difficult and emotional cases and help our clients obtain the justice for the wrong they have suffered. 

Experience:  Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Lawyer. The Lyon Firm has 17 years of experience and success representing individuals and plaintiffs in all fifty states, and in a variety of complex civil litigation matters.   Personal Injury lawsuits can be complex and require industry experts to determine the root cause of an accident or injury.  Mr. Lyon has worked with experts nationwide to assist individuals understand why an injury occurred and what can be done to improve their lives in the future. Some cases may go to a jury trial, though many others can be settled out of court.

Resources/Dedication: Mr. Lyon has worked with experts in the fields of accident reconstruction, biomechanics, epidemiology, metallurgy, pharmacology, toxicology, human factors, workplace safety, life care planning, economics, and virtually every medical discipline in successfully representing Plaintiffs across numerous areas of law. The Lyon Firm is dedicated to building the strongest cases possible for clients and their critical interests.

Results:  Mr. Lyon has obtained numerous seven and six figure results.

Our Victories

The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against negligent individuals or companies to obtain just compensation under the law. 



(Brown County, Kentucky):   The Lyon Firm was second chair a case involving a driver texting and driving when he crossed the median, killing a father of four. The case was resolved once discovery confirmed the cell phone records proved the texting-related incident. The settlement will pay for the surviving childrens’ education. The driver was likely facing additional criminal charges at the time of the settlement.



(Cincinnati, Ohio):  The Lyon Firm was lead counsel in a $495,000 settlement. This case involved a motorcycle operator who sustained fractures of the calcaneus, talus, medial cuneiform, tarsal bones, and tarsometatarsal when a car ignored its driving lane and crossed into his right-of-way. Settlement provided repayment of medical bills of $20,000 and funds for future education to re-enter the work force in a less physically-demanding job.