Ohio Laws on Dog Bites

Post by: Eric Jones | Posted Date: July 15th, 2014 | Categories: Columbus Personal Injury Lawyer


If you or a loved one has been hurt badly by a dog, review Ohio laws on dog bites to determine whether you should file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner. If the dog bite caused an injury and you had to get medical care for it, you should definitely discuss the incident with an Ohio dog bite attorney.

Dog bite injuries fall under tort law, which covers other personal injury cases, such as slip and fall accidents and auto accidents. Like other states, Ohio has a statute of limitations for dog bites. If a dog in Ohio bites you, you must file a lawsuit within two years of the incident in order to obtain compensation for damages stemming from the bite. The courts in Ohio will not hear a case that has been filed after the statute of limitations has expired.

Ohio’s Dog Bite Statute

According to Ohio’s dog bite statute, a dog owner is held responsible if the dog’s behavior caused the injury, the injured person wasn’t trying to commit a crime, the injured person wasn’t trespassing, and the injured person didn’t provoke the attack by teasing or tormenting the dog. The statute applies to injuries caused by dog bites and other dog behaviors. For example, if a dog jumps on you, knocks you over, and injures you, you could file a lawsuit against the dog owner under Ohio’s dog bite statute.

According to Ohio law, you may file a lawsuit against a dog owner based on strict liability or negligence. Filing a lawsuit based on negligence requires the injured person to prove that the dog’s owner acted in a negligent manner. For example, a dog owner could be considered negligent if he or she didn’t act reasonably in order to prevent the bite from occurring. In Ohio, an injured person may even receive punitive damages if he or she can prove that the dog’s owner acted negligently. An injured person who files a lawsuit based on strict liability doesn’t have to prove that the dog’s owner acted negligently, but he or she cannot receive punitive damages. If the dog has no history of biting or of exhibiting vicious behavior, then you are probably better off filing a lawsuit based on strict liability because it can be difficult to prove that a dog owner’s conduct was negligent.

You are entitled to receive full compensation for your injuries, whether you file a lawsuit based on negligence or strict liability. The compensation for dog bite victims may include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages encompass lost wages, medical bills, and related expenses. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and scarring.

A dog owner is not the only person you can pursue for compensation in a dog bite lawsuit. Harborers and keepers may also be held accountable for dog bites because they are responsible for controlling the dogs under their care. Harborers and keepers may include dog sitters, landlords, and dog walkers in some instances.

What to Do Immediately After a Dog Bite

After a dog bites you and injures you, seek medical attention immediately and determine who owns the dog. Health officials will watch the dog under quarantine for 10 days to determine whether it has rabies. If the dog was a stray and animal control officers weren’t able to catch it, you may be required to undergo rabies treatments.

If you choose to file a lawsuit against the dog’s owner, a dog bite attorney in Columbus, Ohio can help you assess the details of your case and identify its strengths and weaknesses. An experienced Columbus dog bite attorney will be knowledgeable about dog bite laws, know how to document your injuries, and help prove that the dog owner is responsible for compensating you for your injuries. Contact Jones Law Group to schedule a free consultation and find out how we can help.



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