If you were attacked by an aggressive canine, you could have grounds for filing a Columbus dog bite claim. During a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys, you could determine if you are eligible for legal recourse.
Our legal professionals can review your case to determine whether taking further action is the best option for your unique case and what damages you can expect. You can potentially receive compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, and medical bills among other damages.
Grounds for Filing a Canine Attack Claim
An individual injured by a dog in Columbus may be able to file a civil suit in light of their visitor status. According to Ohio Revised Code §955.28(B), dog owners become liable for injuries their pets inflict when:
- The injured party was not trespassing.
- The canine’s behavior resulted in severe injuries.
- The injured party was not engaged in criminal activities, such as breaking and entering.
- The injured party did not provoke the attack by teasing, injuring, or tormenting the dog.
Establishing Strict Liability and Pet Owner Negligence
When a Columbus-based plaintiff wants to file a dog bite insurance claim, they can do so according to strict liability or negligence laws. As per §955.28, a dog owner becomes liable if the canine causes injuries, fatalities, or property damage under strict liability. These cases do not require proving negligence, such as a lack of fencing or leashing on the owner’s part.
Based on Ohio case law, negligence claims require proving the owner acted without reasonable care to keep the dog from hurting others. For example, if the owner knew the dog had aggressive tendencies and failed to keep it fenced in, that individual could be liable for gross negligence if the canine attacks someone. Ohio residents can go to jail for up to six months for failing to contain a vicious dog.
No matter how the plaintiff intends to file the case, they must do so within two years according to Oh. Rev. Code §2305.10. Failure to file a claim before the legal deadline expires could bar you from recovering compensation.
Common Pet Owner Defenses
While some individuals injured by canines might be unable to file a claim if they visited the property illegally, exceptions are made for “anticipated trespassers.” Such persons include mail carriers, delivery workers, and assorted solicitors. Dog owners owe a duty of care to these people to avoid liability claims, such as by keeping their animals within fenced areas.
Owner defenses depend partly on whether the case is filed under strict liability or negligence. If the plaintiff files under strict liability, the owner might claim the individual was teasing or trying to harm the animal, prompting the aggression. Plaintiffs cannot collect damages in these cases, nor can they if they were attempting to vandalize, steal from, or otherwise commit a crime on the owner’s property before being bitten.
Negligence defenses commonly involve owners arguing the dog had no prior history of aggressive actions, nor was any violent behavior witnessed. If the dog has no previous record, the owner will likely not owe damages. Our team of lawyers have experience countering these common defense tactics and can help you when filing a dog bite claim in Columbus.
Speak with a Lawyer About Filing a Dog Bite Claim in Columbus Today
Bone fractures, nerve damage, muscle tears, lacerations, puncture wounds, rabies, and bacterial infections are among the most common injuries from dog attacks. If you are injured because of a canine attack and were not provoking the animal or engaging in illegal activities, filing a Columbus dog bite claim is likely in your best interest.
Contact our law firm today to schedule your free consultation and move forward with your case.