Dog Bites

Dogs are not supposed to bite people, but unfortunately, they still do. When a person in Ohio is bitten by a dog, they may have certain legal rights.

If you have been injured by a dog bite, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. There are several ways you may be able to recover compensation for your dog bite injuries under Ohio law. The experienced attorneys at Perantinides & Nolan, Co., L.P.A. in Ohio can assist you if you decide to take legal action against a responsible party for the dog bite injuries you have sustained.

Understanding Ohio’s Dog Bite Laws

Ohio Revised Code section 955.28 states that the owners and harborers of dogs that bite people can be held strictly liable for the injuries caused by the dog. A “harborer” is typically considered to be the person who has possession or control of a dog.

Landlords are generally not considered to be “Harborers” under Ohio law, but CAN be held liable if their tenant’s dog bits someone in a common area such as a sidewalk, parking lot, foyer, or hallway, or if the dog bite occurred in an area shared by both the landlord and the tenant.

Owners of dogs that bite people may be able to avoid liability if it is shown that the bitten person was a trespasser on the Owner/Harborer’s property or was teasing or torturing the dog at the time they were bitten.

You and your attorney will have to prove to obtain compensation under the Ohio statute:

  • The defendant owned or harbored the dog at the time of the incident.
  • The victim sustained injuries from the dog bite.
  • The injured party did not commit a crime, trespass, or did not annoy the dog.
  • The defendant knew of the dog’s viciousness, and the dog was kept negligently after the keeper knew of its viciousness.

Strict Liability in Dog Bite Cases

When you want to file a lawsuit in Ohio against an owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog based upon injuries you have sustained from a dog bite, Ohio law provides a number of different theories of recovery including strict liability and negligence. The attorneys at Perantinides & Nolan, Co., L.P.A. can advise you as to the best course for you.

Is a landlord considered a “Harborer”?

Landlords are generally NOT considered a “harborer” of a tenant’s dog in the following circumstances:

  • A landlord can be liable if the tenant’s dog attacks someone in a common area or an area shared by both the landlord and the tenant.
  • Common areas include sidewalks, parking lots, foyers, and hallways.

If you are bitten by a dog, what should you do?

If a dog bites you, you should take the following 5 steps after the dog attack.

1. Be sure to seek immediate medical attention and keep all information you obtain from your medical care.

You should be treated for your injuries immediately after an attack. Dog bites have a high risk for infection and can be quite harmful. It is also crucial to retain all documentation about your dog bite treatment.

2. Write down the details of the dog bite, including the location of the bite and the contact information for the dog’s owner or harborer.

You should also note any witnesses to the bite and photograph all of your injuries. Note the details of the dog bite, including the location the bite occurred and the name and contact information of the dog owner/harborer. You may also want to ask the dog’s owner/harborer if they have homeowner’s insurance, and if so, the name of the insurance company.

Write down the names and addresses and phone numbers of any person who witnessed the bite. This information will be helpful when attempting to submit a legal claim in addition to your treatment documents.

3. Contact the police to file a police report.

Contact the authorities and obtain a police report.

4. Contact your local health commissioner within 24 hours to file a report.

You should also make a report within 24 hours of the occurrence with the local health commissioner.

5. Contact an Attorney

Get assistance from an attorney as soon as possible to pursue full recovery for your dog bite injuries. If you have been bitten by a dog, you have probably incurred medical expenses to pay for your treatment. You have the right to seek compensation for your dog bite injuries and losses.

Recovering compensation in a Dog Bite Injury Claim

The responsibility of owning a dog must be taken seriously. An attorney who is experienced in handling claims related to dog bites can assist you in obtaining the maximum amount of compensation available, which may include:

  • Medical expenses and bills – both past and future
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering, including lifetime phobias
  • Permanent scarring

Contact a Dog Bite Injury Attorney at Perantinides & Nolan, Co., L.P.A.

Dogs that are not properly controlled can be dangerous. Pet owners are primarily responsible for keeping their pets under control. Our personal injury attorneys can assist you or a loved one who has been injured by a dog. We are skilled in establishing liability and evaluating all of your losses and damages connected with your dog bite injuries, as our case results demonstrate.

Contact our dog bite injury attorneys in Akron, Ohio to discuss your case.