Approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, with 20 percent of those people requiring medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you suffered a dog bite that required medical treatment, you may be able to pursue legal action against the dog’s owner.
In Ohio, a dog owner is defined as anyone who owns or harbors a dog. Harboring a dog means that a person is in a position to control the dog. Common examples of dog harborers are dog sitters or dog walkers.
Ohio law allows victims of dog bites to pursue claims on a negligence or strict liability basis.
Strict liability claims are based on Ohio Revised Code Section 955.28(B), which says that a dog owner is liable for injuries caused by his or her dog if:
- Injuries were caused by the dog’s behavior
- The injured party was not committing a crime
- The injured party did not trespass on another’s property
- The injured party did not provoke the dog
In a negligence claim, victims have to show that the owner of the dog did not take reasonable steps to control the dog and prevent it from biting other people.
What To Do After A Dog Bite
You should always seek medical attention after a severe dog bite, as you could have a variety of injuries, from scratches, bruises and lacerations to broken bones and nerve damage. It is rare to catch rabies from a dog bite, but you should always have dog bites examined by medical professionals to make sure.
The hospital will often report the dog bite to the health commissioner after or during your visit. However, if they have not done so, you should report it to help prevent others from being harmed.
After receiving medical treatment, contact our Cincinnati dog bite lawyers for a free legal consultation. We may be able to pursue compensation through the owner’s homeowner’s insurance or from the owner.
When we review your claim, there is no obligation to pursue legal action and we do not charge legal fees unless you receive fair compensation.