The trauma of getting bitten by a dog can last long after the attack. If you were injured recently by a canine, it is crucial to understand negligence in Columbus dog bite cases. It can help you determine what kind of claim to file with the help of an experienced attorney.
Our team of lawyers who work on dog attack claims have a thorough understanding of Ohio’s negligence laws and will review your case in detail to determine if the canine’s owner is liable. You could be entitled to damages including pain and suffering, medical costs, lost wages, disability, and emotional distress.
Negligence Laws Regarding Canine Attacks in Ohio
Ohio once abided by the “one bite rule,” which absolves the owner from liability if the dog has no prior record of aggressive behavior. However, that rule made it difficult for plaintiffs to claim damages, so the state now applies negligence laws to dog bite cases. If a plaintiff claims damages on grounds of pet owner negligence, they must prove the owner did not exercise a reasonable duty of care.
A canine owner who does not contain the animal on their property with fencing or leashes, for example, could be held liable if the dog attacks someone walking by. Even if the dog has no previous record of violence, the owner can still be at-fault because they did not take steps to keep their property secure.
Claimants can also request punitive damages, or damages designed to penalize the defendant for negligent or malicious actions, in negligence-based dog bite cases. However, the plaintiff and their legal representative must prove the defendant’s actions were particularly horrific, such as intentionally setting a violent canine on an innocent individual, to win these damages.
Common Defenses in Negligence Dog Bite Claims
Owners accused of negligence in Columbus dog violence cases often cite the following defenses:
- The dog had never bitten anyone before
- The plaintiff was trespassing and therefore not owed a duty of care
- The owner had never witnessed any kind of aggressive behavior in the canine previously
Trespassing defenses do not apply to individuals recognized as “anticipated trespassers,” such as salespersons, delivery workers, and mail carriers. These individuals are owed a duty of care and the dog owner is liable if they are attacked by a canine that was not provoked. However, if they did provoke the animal, they are unlikely to recoup losses. Our team can develop a claim that counters a pet owner’s defense.
Strict Liability Factors
In addition to negligence, plaintiffs can claim damages in Columbus canine bite cases on the grounds of strict liability. Under strict liability, proving negligence is not required, as per Ohio Revised Code Section 955.28(B). Instead, the plaintiff and their lawyer must show that the dog’s actions caused serious injuries. They must also show that the plaintiff was not trespassing or committing other crimes, such as vandalizing the property, and was not harassing the dog. If the dog bit the plaintiff because of the person’s illegal activities or provoking actions, the owner is not liable.
Contact a Columbus Attorney Today About Your Dog Attack
By working with our experienced attorneys to further understand negligence in Columbus dog bite cases, as well as strict liability laws, you can be in a better position for a positive resolution to your case. But you must act quickly. You only have two years from the date of the incident to file a claim in Ohio. Doing so after the two-year deadline typically renders the case inadmissible by the court.
Contact our law firm now to request a free consultation and determine how to proceed with your case.