Ohio Dog Bite Statute vs Ordinary Negligence

Anyone injured from a dog bite incident can file a claim to recover damages under the Ohio Dog Bite Statute or Ohio’s ordinary negligence standards.

Let’s take a closer look at the Ohio Dog Bite Statute and how victims can document and recover damages.

Ohio Dog Bite Statute

Under Ohio’s Dog Bite statute, a dog owner or keeper is liable for any injury caused by the dog’s behavior as long as the injured person did not provoke the dog by teasing, tormenting, or abusing it.

The advantage with filing a claim under the dog bite statute is that the statute does not require an injured person to prove that the dog owner acted negligently. Claimants who elect to file under a negligence claim must prove that the dog owner failed to act with reasonable care in controlling the dog or preventing the dog bite from occurring and that failure of care resulted in injuries.

In Ohio, you have two years to file a lawsuit. This two-year statute of limitations begins to run on the date the dog bite incident occurred.


All injured dog bite victims can recover the following damages pursuant to Ohio law. Injured victims can recover all of their medical bills for the medical care and treatment that they received relating to the dog bite. The nature and extent of all of your injuries are considered and how your injuries affect your physical health. Ohio law also considers physical impairments that include a partial or complete loss of function or use of your body, whether it is temporary or permanent. You can recover all of your medical bills, prescription bills, and lost earnings. In addition to these damages, you are entitled to general damages that includes your pain and suffering for anxiety that includes your mental distress, frustration, embarrassment, or indignity caused by your injuries. Anxiety also includes any worries that you have concerning your injury and pain, including worries about future pain.

In addition to pain and suffering for your anxiety and stress, the nature and extent of your injuries are considered, your limitations and restrictions, loss of enjoyment of life, and a claim for permanent injuries.

Loss of enjoyment of life includes activities that you have enjoyed doing that were partially or fully reduced and your inability to perform usual activities. This category includes any inability to perform your usual work and household activities, including caring for your family and doing your ordinary household functions, such as mowing the lawn or doing your yardwork.

In order to claim a permanent injury and be entitled to future medical expenses, a treating physician must render an opinion to a reasonable degree of medical probability that your injuries are permanent and a direct or proximate result of the dog bite incident. In the event your treating physician renders an opinion that your injuries are permanent, you can recover all future medical expenses.

Questions about the Ohio Dog Bite Statute?

If you need more information about navigating the aftermath of a dog bite in Ohio, feel free to contact our office with questions.

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