For many Ohio residents, dogs are loyal and loving companions and are often considered members of the family. However, it is important to remember that even the friendliest dog can become aggressive in certain circumstances. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs bite more than 4.5 million people each year, including over 2.25 million children.
Filing a claim for damages
If you or your child has suffered a dog bite injury, you may file a personal injury claim against the owner of the dog. The dog owner may be liable for damages under the legal theories of strict liability and negligence.
Under Section 925.28 of the Ohio Revised Code, dog owners are strictly liable for injuries caused by their dogs. In other words, even if there is no proof that the dog owner acted irresponsibly or negligently, they will still be held liable for injuries caused by the dog. However, if the victim provoked the dog or was trespassing at the time of the incident, they may not be able to recover damages.
Dog bite injury victims can recover additional damages if they can establish that the dog owner acted negligently, and that the owner’s negligence caused the dog to attack the victim. Some common forms of dog owner negligence include:
- Failure to keep the dog confined (behind a locked gate or inside the house)
- Failure to supervise
- Failure to put the dog on a leash
- Failure to take precautions based on the dangerous propensities of the breed
- Failure to take precautions based on the dog’s history of aggressive behavior
Dog bite injuries can result in costly medical treatments, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. A personal injury attorney can help you collect and present evidence to prove the dog owner should be held liable for these damages.