Strict Liability in Ohio When Your Dog Bites Someone

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Do you own or rent a home in the State of Ohio? Do you also own a dog?

If you answered “yes” to both questions, then you’ll want to read this article. We’ll discuss whether or not you can be held strictly liable if your dog bites another person.

Ohio Law & Dog Bite Liability

Did you know that dog bites account for more than $300 million in homeowners’ liability claims each year, which represents about one fourth of all claims? In the State of Ohio, owners and keepers of dogs are strictly liable for any damages caused by the animal on the owner’s property or in a public place.

In fact, Ohio Revised Code § 955.11 eliminates the requirement of showing that the owner knew of the dog’s vicious propensities. In other words, a dog owner is liable whether or not the owner knew of the animal’s vicious propensities or even had reason to believe that the dog would act viciously. Ohio no longer requires that the victim prove that the owner had knowledge of the animal’s viciousness, that the dog was vicious, or that the owner kept the dog in a negligent way.

The only possible defense available to a dog owner include cases where the injured party trespassed on the owner’s property, engaged in criminal conduct, or teased, tormented, or abused the dog on the owner’s property.

Tips for Victims of Dog Bites

If you have been injured by someone’s dog, there are some important steps you should follow. Here are some tips if you have been a victim of a dog bite in the State of Ohio:

  1. Obtain as many witness names and addresses as possible
  2. Gather as much information as you can about the owner’s homeowners’ insurance
  3. Take pictures of all your injuries
  4. Obtain medical treatment as quickly as possible
  5. Jot down as many notes about the incident as possible

When taking notes about the attack, be sure to be as specific as possible. Describe the situation in detail and explain how the animal acted toward you.

Here to Help in the State of Ohio

Navigating Ohio’s laws relating to dog bite liability can quickly get confusing. If you have been injured or are the owner of a dog, feel free to contact The Law Office of Tom Somos, LLC. We will listen to your situation and help you develop a plan for your next steps.

Contact us to ask your questions or to schedule an appointment.

Ask Tom a Legal Question »

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