Dogs are often friendly, loyal and affectionate. When threatened—or when they believe they’re protecting their property—they can also be vicious. Ohio’s dog bite laws generally hold the owner responsible for any damage their dogs cause. However, the law is different for trespassers.
Even if you were accidentally trespassing, you may not be able to sue a dog owner for a dog bite injury.
Ohio dog bite statutes
According to Ohio Revised Code Section 955.28(B), “The owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog is liable in damages for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog, unless the injury… was caused to the person or property of an individual who, at the time, was committing or attempting to commit criminal trespass or another criminal offense other than a minor misdemeanor on the property…”
In other words, a person controlling a dog is responsible for any damage they cause, unless the bite victim was trespassing or committing a crime on the property. Barring minor misdemeanors, the owner would not be liable for their dog biting a trespasser.
One exception is if the victim were only on the owner’s property for the purpose of door-to-door solicitations, such as political canvassing. As long as the victim wasn’t committing a crime or “teasing, tormenting or abusing” the dog, the owner will still be held liable for damages.
Do you have a case?
Dog bites can cause far more damage than most people realize. More than 800,000 people seek treatment for dog bites each year. While simple puncture wounds are common, some dogs can leave permanent nerve damage, scarring and more. Medical bills may soar into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some victims need to take time off work to recover. Some may experience lasting pain for the rest of their lives.
If you were bitten by a dog while trespassing, call the Law Offices of Tim Misny. Even if you were trespassing, you may be able to recover compensation for your injuries. There may be defenses available, which will allow you to pursue compensation. The only way to determine whether you have a case is to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer.
While dogs can be delightful companions, they can also cause serious damage. The Ohio statute of limitations for dog bite cases is two years—call for assistance as soon as possible.
Talk to an experienced Ohio personal injury lawyer today
Have you been injured by someone else’s dog? If you have a case, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me at 877.483.2298 to discuss your options.