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Owners aren’t always liable when their dog attacks a human

by | Jul 15, 2020 | Dog Bites

If a dog has recently bitten or attacked you or a member of your family, you may want to take legal action against the dog’s owner. Unfortunately, under Ohio dog bite statutes, there may be certain limitations on your rights.

Financial compensation is often important for those suffering the effects of a dog bite or attack. Depending on the circumstances, you may have to file an insurance claim against the owner’s homeowner’s or rental insurance policy rather than pursue a civil lawsuit after a dog bite or attack in Ohio.

Dog owners have an obligation to the public

Most dogs are harmless and friendly animals, but some can be dangerous. The laws in Ohio establish strict liability for a dog bite or attack. If a dog injures a person, the owner may be liable for the damages suffered by the injured party. They may have to pay compensation for medical bills, lost wages and even future medical costs, especially if the victim will require ongoing medical and other treatment for an extended period.

Certain factors can limit a dog owner’s responsibilities after an attack. If the victim knowingly trespassed on someone else’s property, the dog’s owner likely isn’t liable for injuries a dog causes while defending its owner’s property. The same is true of a dog bite that occurred while the victim was committing a crime or intentionally provoking the dog.

Victims can often secure compensation via an insurance claim, but there may be limits on the amount of compensation. Additionally, certain types of dogs may not be covered by the policy. When costs exceed insurance coverage or there is no insurance available, victims may need to bring civil action against the animal’s owner.


Nathan J. Stuckey