In general, a landlord is not liable for a tenant’s dog in Ohio, even if that dog bites someone. A dog’s owner is usually strictly liable for any injuries caused by their dog. When the dog’s owner owns the property where the attack took place, their homeowner’s insurance will often pay to cover medical bills and other damages.
If the dog’s owner, however, is a renter, they may not have renter’s insurance that will cover this type of incident. This leads many dog bite victims to ask if they can hold the landlord liable for a tenant’s dog in Ohio.
There May Be Exceptions to a Landlord Not Being Liable for a Tenant’s Dog
- Own the dog
- Keep the dog
- Harbor the dog
While there is no question whether a landlord owns the tenant’s dog, there may be questions about whether they harbor them. Case law in Ohio shows a landlord may be liable for injuries that occur during an attack if:
- The dog was in a common area
- The landlord was keeping the dog at the time
- The landlord knew about previous vicious behavior but did not take action
The Dog Was in a Common Area
If the dog bite occurred in a common area, the landlord might be liable. Ohio case law has refined the definition of “harboring” a dog, protecting landlords when bites occur inside private residences but keeping the possibility of holding them liable when the attack occurs in hallways, yards, parking areas, and other common spaces.
The Landlord Was Keeping the Dog
If the landlord was in direct control of the dog at the time of the attack, they might be liable. When a landlord lives with an animal and takes responsibility for it, they may be liable if it bites someone while under their control. This is common when someone owns a house and has a roommate/tenant renting a room.
The Landlord Knew the Dog Was Vicious
If the landlord knows the dog has a history of vicious behavior and allows the dog to remain on the property, Ohio case law shows they may be liable after a bite incident.
For a free legal consultation, call (614) 538-1116
Pursuing Compensation After an Ohio Dog Bite Injury
David Bressman and the team from Bressman Law can help you understand your options for pursuing compensation if you or your child suffered injuries in an Ohio dog bite attack. We can generally file an insurance claim or civil suit and hold the dog’s owner liable. We can also review your case to determine if the landlord or another party might be liable based on the facts of your case.
Reach out to our team today at (614) 538-1116. We offer free case evaluations and can help you understand your right to pursue compensation after a Central Ohio dog bite injury.
Building a Case Against the Liable Party
When we take on a dog bite case, we need to launch an investigation and collect all available evidence. This is the only way we can negotiate a fair settlement or win a payout in court. As soon as we go to work on your case, you can expect us to:
- Answer your questions and address your concerns about your case
- Manage all communication related to your case
- Protect your right to pursue compensation
- Offer regular status updates and be available to you at any time
- Represent your best interests throughout the process
Then, we will launch our investigation which may include:
- Requesting copies of the police report and from any other responding agency
- Interviewing witnesses
- Surveying and photographing the scene of the attack
- Reviewing any photographs you have of the attack or your injuries
- Searching for prior complaints about the dog in question
- Identifying any additional liable parties
- Working with medical experts for information about your prognosis, ongoing and future care, and other information
- Collecting documentation of your expenses and losses
- Building a strong argument for compensation
Recovering Compensation for Your Injuries
If we can negotiate a settlement or get a verdict in your favor at trial, you may be able to recover damages that include:
- Medical treatment and related costs
- Ongoing care costs
- Expenses related to future care, including plastic surgery
- Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
- Repair or replacement of any damaged property
- Pain and suffering damages
- Mental anguish
Talk to an Ohio Dog Bite Attorney About Your Case Today
Bressman Law can help you pursue the payout you deserve based on the facts of your Ohio dog bite case. Let us look over your case for free. A dog bite lawyer can explain your legal options, help you identify all potentially liable parties, and take legal action on your behalf. Call us today at (614) 538-1116 for your free consultation with a member of our team.