How Dog Bite Liability Works in Ohio

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Americans own about 70 to 80 million dogs. With all of these dogs comes a risk of dog bites. Under Ohio’s dog bite liability laws, injured victims can hold the dog’s owner liable for any injuries sustained.

For help filing a liability claim, call David Bressman: 877-538-1116.

What do Ohio’s dog liability laws say?

Ohio’s laws are very victim-friendly. Pursuant to ORC § 955.28, dog owners are liable for every bite, every time (In many states, dog owners have a “one-bite” rule that essentially allows dogs to bite someone once before the owner can be liable.)

With Ohio’s strict liability laws, you do not need to prove the owner was negligent. You merely need to that the owner, keeper, or harborer had control over the dog when the dog attacked and that the dog bit you.

In some cases, Ohio’s dog bite law also allows victims to hold the owner liable if the dog “chases, threatens, harasses, injures a person, or approaches a person with a menacing fusion or apparent attitude of attack.”

Claims Based on Negligence

You can also bring a claim under Ohio negligence laws. Per ORC § 2315.19, negligence requires you the following elements:

  • You must show that the owner, harborer, or keeper owed you a duty of care. In this case, the owner, harborer, or keeper had a duty to act reasonably and prevent the dog from biting or attacking anyone.
  • You must prove that the owner, harborer, or keeper breached that duty. For example, if the owner let the dog off the leash, did not contain the dog in a fence, or trained the dog to attack, he or she may be liable.
  • You must show that the attack was the actual cause of your injuries. For example, I would not have been bitten if the owner did not allow her dog to bite me.
  • You must show that you sustained actual damages (e.g., medical bills, lost wages, mental anguish, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.)

You might be wondering why you would pursue a claim under grounds of negligence. Some victims prefer to file a claim under these grounds because it allows you to recover punitive damages. These may be recoverable in cases where the owner made the dog bite you.

What damages can I recover? 

If you are able to prove that the dog bit you and/or that the owner was negligent, you may be able to recover compensation for any of the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Counseling for mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder or depression (common after dog attacks)

The last thing you should be focusing on after a dog attack is recovering compensation. Let the personal injury attorneys at Bressman Law focus on filing your claim for you so you can focus on your rehabilitation.

Contact Bressman Law today at 877-538-1116.