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Is It Worth Suing for a Dog Bite in Ohio?

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April 21, 2022 by babinlaw Posted in

Were you or your child attacked and suffered a dog bite injury? Even in the case of minor injuries, Ohio law allows you to sue the dog owner and receive compensation for your economic and non-economic damages. An experienced Ohio dog bite lawyer from Babin Law will help you understand whether you have a case and how much money you may be able to receive in compensation.

From the very beginning, it is worth knowing that Ohio does not have the one-bite law. Other US states rely on this principle to limit the ability to file a bite claim or bite lawsuit if the dog has never bitten anyone before or has never shown signs of aggression. So, if a dog owner tries to tell a bite victim in Ohio that they don’t have a case because this was the first incident, this is not a valid claim.

You Don’t Necessarily Have to Suffer a Bite Wound to Sue

The bite statute in Ohio is even more comprehensive and in favor of dog attack victims. This means that an injured person who was not involved in a bite incident still has the right to sue. Maybe the dog chased you and you fell down and hurt yourself. Maybe you were riding a bicycle and you were knocked off it by an aggressive dog.

In each of these circumstances, an experienced dog bite lawyer in Columbus knows that you might have a valid case and you may file a claim or a personal injury lawsuit. The average cost if medical expenses even for slight injuries can be high and you have the right to recover it from the negligent pet owner. In case of severe injuries, your family’s finances may be crippled for months while you recover. It is always worthwhile consulting with a dog bite attorney in Columbus, Ohio after an incident involving a dog.

The Legal Basis for Filing a Claim for Bite Damages

The Ohio Revised Code Section 955.28 (B) holds a dog owner liable if their pet causes:

  • death
  • physical injury
  • property damage
  • loss to person or property

Dog bite attack victims can take legal action in this situation in two different ways:

Workerss Compensation

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a massive increase in online shopping and home deliveries of various products, from electronics and cosmetics to everyday groceries. This means that couriers, delivery staff, and postal workers are at a high risk of encountering an aggressive dog and suffering a bite injury. In this specific situation, they will file a workers’ compensation claim with their employer and their medical care expenses and other losses will be paid through this specific insurance plan.

In specific circumstances, postal workers and couriers may also pursue the pet owner. In order to know if you have a case, you should contact an experienced Ohio dog bite lawyer.

Strict Liability

Strict liability means that a dog owner or keeper is liable for the bite wound or other injuries caused by their pet. In most cases, the bite claim is paid by insurance companies, if the dog owners have dog bite coverage included in their homeowners’ insurance policies or renters’ insurance policy.

If the insurance settlement does not cover your losses or the pet owner does not have insurance, you may pursue them in court in a dog bite lawsuit.

Common Law Negligence

In this specific situation, you have to prove negligence. A dog owner could be considered negligent if they:

  • failed to control the dog
  • did not restrict the animal (keep it in an enclosure or on a leash)
  • did not warn you that the dog is present on their property

An experienced dog bite lawyer in Columbus will look into the matter, explain your legal options and give you their professional recommendation.

Exceptions to the Bite Statute in Ohio

There are circumstances stipulated by the law when a dog owner cannot be held liable for a bite injury. These situations occur when:

  • the bite victim was trespassing on the property
  • the victim was acting with criminal intent (breaking into a person’s home)
  • if the victim was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog

There is also an exception to this set of specific circumstances. If a child trespasses on a property and approaches a dog, its owner or keeper is liable for the injuries caused by the animal.

Who Can You Sue for a Dog Bite?

Now that you know your rights concerning obtaining financial compensation after a dog bite attack, you are now wondering who is liable for your damages. The first person that comes to mind is the pet owners. However, as an Ohio dog bite lawyer will explain to you, there are other persons who may be liable for your injuries and economic losses.

For example, let us assume that you are in a park and the dog owner gives the leash to a friend to go and buy an ice cream or soft drink. Since the animal was entrusted by the owner, the friend becomes the keeper of the dog in the eyes of the law. If the dog suddenly attacks you, the keeper is equally liable for your injuries.

Also, if a dog is kept in the common areas of a rental property, the landlord is deemed to have control over the dog. Thus, in case of a bite attack, the landlord is liable. However, if the attack occurs inside a tenant’s apartment, the landlord cannot be held liable, as he had no control over that private area of the property.

Hire an Experienced Dog Bite Attorney in Columbus, Ohio to Protect Your Rights

At Babin Law, we offer representation and counseling from a team of experienced personal injury attorneys in Ohio. If we are able to take on your case, we will do everything we can to pursue fair compensation on your behalf.

We encourage you to get in touch with us as soon as possible after the dog bite incident. The statute of limitations in Ohio is two years after the date of the attack and you may need months of medical care, which will result in high medical costs. An experienced attorney at Babin Law can give you a free case review and explain your legal rights: 833-SURVIVORS!