Dog bites can cause serious harm. If a dog attacks, you might experience emotional trauma or have to go to the hospital, which can be expensive. In Ohio, a dog and animal bite lawyer can help you recover damages for your injuries and can tell you the best course of action for your situation.
Top Answers to frequently asked questions about dog and animal attacks
Must the dog have a history of violence for me to sue?
No. According to the Ohio Revised Code, owners are generally responsible when their dogs bite someone, even if it’s the dog’s first attack. The owner probably won’t be held responsible if you were teasing or tormenting the dog.
I was on my neighbor’s property and his dog bit me. Is my neighbor responsible?
Generally, yes. But he is not responsible if you were trespassing or committing a crime on his property when the dog bit you.
Does the dog’s owner have to witness the attack for me to sue?
No. The Ohio statute imposes strict liability, which means you can sue even if the dog escaped without the owner’s knowledge.
Is the owner the only person I can sue?
No. You can take action against anyone who had the authority to control the dog, such as a dog sitter or dog walker.
I was bitten by a stray dog. Can I sue?
Maybe. Dog bite law in Ohio imposes liability on the owner, keeper or harborer of a dog. If a dog without an owner lived on someone’s property, that property owner might be responsible.
I was bitten by a police dog. Can I sue?
Yes, if the police dog was off duty. In general, you can’t sue if the dog bit you while he was working.
How long do I have to sue?
In general, you have two years after the dog bite attack to start a legal claim. But you should speak with an animal bites attorney as soon as possible.
My injuries were caused by a different kind of animal. Do I have options?
Absolutely. In Ohio, you can sue the owner of any animal whose attack causes you injury.
What damages can I recover?
You can sue for different expenses and damages caused by a dog bite, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Permanent or temporary physical injury
- Emotional distress
You may be able to recover punitive damages, but only if you file a claim under “common,” or case law. A common law suit requires that you prove the owner was negligent and the dog must have a history of violence.
Speak with a dog bite lawyer about your attack to see what legal course of action is in your best interests.
Image provided by Eneas De Troya under the creative commons attribution 2.o generic license
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