Ohio attorneys representing you in animal negligence cases
In the case of a dog bite, an injury may occur if you are bitten either by a neighbor’s dog or a dog owned by someone you do not know. The dog that bites you may be roaming free or on a leash. You may be petting the dog or keeping your distance. Whatever the situation, it’s in your best interests to talk with an attorney and discuss your legal rights.
The personal injury attorneys at Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co. offer compassionate and experienced representation to dog bite victims.
Is a dog owner liable for dog bites in Ohio?
Dog bites are a serious matter. No one should be bitten by a dog. If someone’s dog bites you or your child, you may have the right to recover damages for injury. A dog bite can puncture or tear your skin, transmit rabies and cause other problems— not to mention cause pain and suffering.
Several legal theories permit dog bite victims to recover damages for personal injury. The state of Ohio has a strict liability dog bite statute. This law makes owners liable for their dogs even if it’s the first time they’ve bitten someone.
Under the Ohio dog bite statute, a person who owns a dog is liable for any injury, death or loss to person or property caused by the dog, unless the loss occurred while the person who suffered the injury, death or loss was:
- Trespassing or committing a criminal offense on the property of the owner. If the dog is defending the owner’s property from unlawful intrusion, then the bite can be argued as self-defense. Remember, this is criminal offenses only, or trespassing. If you are an invited guest at the owner’s house, then you are in no way trespassing.
- Committing a criminal offense on another person. For instance, if you were mugging the dog’s owner or assaulting another person, then the dog is considered to be acting in accordance with his or her training.
- Teasing, tormenting or abusing the dog on the owner’s property. This defense has been a slippery one at times. What constitutes “teasing” a dog? If you are playing catch with a dog, or tug-of-war, and you trick the dog, is that teasing? Thankfully, in most cases, judges and juries have been reasonable in ascertaining when a line is crossed into malicious teasing.
Negligence laws also apply to dog bites. As a dog bite victim, you can recover damages even if strict liability under legal statutes is not available. Negligence is when the dog owner fails to exercise ordinary care that a reasonable prudent and careful person would exercise in similar circumstances. Negligence in a dog bite case also requires that you prove the owner knew that the dog was a biter. If there have been previous records of other people being bitten by this dog – hospital records, for example – then that is admissible evidence to prove the owner’s negligence.
Contact us to schedule a free initial consultation, so we can analyze your case and explain the personal injury claim process.
Contact one of our Cincinnati, OH dog bite attorneys today for a free consultation
Millions of people are bitten by dogs every year. At the law firm of Clements, Taylor, Butkovich & Cohen, L.P.A., Co., we are ready to help if a dog or other animal has bitten you. Our attorneys have been AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and can be reached online or by phone at 513.721.6500. We offer evening and weekend appointments, as needed.