In Ohio, you could only recover damages for a dog bite if the dog owner knew or had reason to know the dog was vicious; and you could prove the dog owner was negligent in his or her care of the dog. In other words, a dog would essentially have “one free bite” since bringing a claim for a dog bite would only be successful if he or she could prove the dog had been dangerous in the past.
Ohio law makers acknowledged the flawed logic of the common law rule and enacted a new law that makes a dog owner strictly liable for any harm caused by his or her dog. This means that dog bite victims no longer have to prove negligence or intent to harm in order to recover damages. There is only one exception to the rule: a dog owner may not be liable for a dog bite if the injured victim was teasing or tormenting the dog, or trespassing or committing a criminal offense on the owner’s property at the time of the bite.
If you or someone you love was bitten by a dog in Ohio, you will, more likely than not, be able to recover damages for your injuries.
While dog bite cases can be very simplistic due to the strict liability law, it is incredibly important to consult an experienced personal injury lawyer because not having an attorney can significantly decrease your recovery. An attorney with knowledge of these types of cases will understand there are different theories by which you can bring a claim.
By way of illustration, if you were bitten by a dog who had never been dangerous before, it makes the most sense to pursue the claim under the strict liability statute. However, if your attorney can prove that the dog had been violent in the past, he or she may choose to pursue the case under common law, and thus, may be able to recover punitive damages, as well as regular damages.
You need to call me at 1 (877) 944-4373 to discuss your dog bite, as there are other nuances to the law that you may not realize that I can use to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injury.
For example, it isn’t just the dog owner that may be liable. It is possible to recover damages from the owner, keeper, or harborer, as any of these individuals may have been in the position to control the dog, and thus, prevent your injury from occurring. Keepers and harborers may include dog sitters, landlords, and dog walkers.
After a dog bite, you need to report your dog bite immediately to the health commissioner for your district. It is important for the dog to be quarantined in order to determine whether the dog has any diseases, such as rabies, that could open you up to more health risks. Depending on the circumstances of the bite, it may be necessary to contact law enforcement.
Call 877.944.4373 to set up a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. We can meet at any time or place that is convenient for you. I have the experience and resources to fight for you and help you recover damages for your injuries. As your personal injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.