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A dog injured you: Who is liable?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2022 | Personal Injury |

Dogs make good pets, companions, helpers and alarm systems. Most people would never imagine that their loyal friends would attack a person. However, even domesticated ones may bite in certain situations.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, over 45 million individuals sustain bite wounds from dogs each year, and one in five of those end up needing medical aid. Medical bills and lost wages during recovery can pile up easily after a dog assault incident, but there is legal recourse to help cover these costs.

Who is liable?

In Ohio, dog owners bear responsibility if their canines bite another individual. This applies even if the dog never bit or displayed aggression toward people prior to the incident.

Is proof of negligence mandatory?

There is no need to prove negligence to pursue compensation. The plaintiff must prove that the dog bit him or her and that the defendant bears responsibility for controlling or handling the said dog.

Are there exceptions?

There are three circumstances in which the dog owner is not liable for a dog bite. The first two are if the victim was in the middle of trespassing or violating the law when the dog bit him or her. The owner is also in the clear if the bitten person taunted or abused the dog, essentially provoking the attack prior to its occurrence.

Individuals in Ohio who suffer dog bites may obtain damages to cover their medical costs, pain and suffering and lost wages among other losses. They may do so by filing a claim with the owner’s homeowners’ insurance company or, if the insurer does not have dog bite coverage, filing a lawsuit.