Did a dog bite you? The aftermath can be scary and confusing. Victims might be in pain, scared about infections from the dog, and unsure of how to pay for medical treatment and other damages. Knowing your legal options after a dog bite in Upper Arlington, Ohio, is important.
If you’re a dog bite victim, call Bressman Law for legal help – (614) 538-1116. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about your legal pathways for financial recovery.
Liability for Dog Bites in Ohio
In most dog bite cases in Ohio, the dog’s owner is almost always liable. In fact, as far as Ohio law goes, a dog owner will be liable for any damages or injury the dog caused, as long as the victim was not trespassing, committing a crime or provoking the dog. However, statutory law (the law that’s written in Ohio code) and common law are slightly different in Ohio.
For a free legal consultation with a dog bites attorney in Upper Arlington, call (614) 538-1116
Statutory Law vs. Common Law in Dog Bite Claims
Statutory law relies on the strict liability detailed in Ohio’s code mentioned above – a dog owner is liable for all damages caused by the dog. In a strict liability case, you will not have to prove the dog owner’s negligence in order to recover compensation. However, while you will not have to prove negligence, a lawsuit filed under statutory law is not eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages are damages awarded when the owner of the dog acted with gross and reckless negligence.
The second way to pursue damages for a dog bite is through common law, or a negligence-based lawsuit. In common law, you will have to prove the owner of the dog knew or should have known that the dog was dangerous, and therefore acted negligently in preventing the dog from biting you. You may be able to prove this if the dog has a history of aggressive behavior; this is the “one-bite” rule. If a dog bit someone in the past, then the owner will be liable for any subsequent bites/attacks. Punitive damages are available through a common law suit.
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Damages Available in a Dog Bite Lawsuit
Regardless of whether you file a lawsuit under statutory or case law in Ohio, the same damages are usually awarded (with the exception of punitive damages). These damages include economic and noneconomic damages, ranging from the total cost of medical expenses and financial losses due to injuries to damages for mental anguish and pain and suffering. Remember that under case law, you will be awarded damages only if you can prove the negligence of the dog owner (or the person who “harbored” the dog).
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Statute of Limitations for Injury Claims in Ohio
All personal injury lawsuits, including dog bite claims, must be filed within a specified amount of time in Ohio. According to the Revised Code of Ohio Section 2305.10, this time limit is two years. If you fail to file your claim within two years of the date the dog bite occurred, you won’t be able to file your case. To make sure you recover damages, seek legal counsel and file your claim as soon as possible.
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Consult a Dog Bite Lawyer at Bressman Law Today
The lawyers at Bressman Law can help file a case under statutory law or common law if a dog bit you in Upper Arlington. We can guide you through the process, whichever path you take. To get in touch with us today, pick up the phone and dial (614) 538-1116 now. You also can fill out the form on our contact page to set up your consultation.