The Richards Firm loves animals, especially dogs. Even the most conscientious of dog owners make mistakes that allow dogs to attack people. Ohio law provides for common law and statutory claims against owners, harborers, and keepers of dogs when they attack.
The Ohio Revised Code § 955.28 provides that the owner, harborer, or keeper is strictly liable for damages caused by a dog attack that causes any injury, death, or loss to a person or property. While Ohio courts have interpreted the statute to not apply when the victim was an owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog, contact The Richards Firm today to discuss the nuances of Ohio court decisions relative to the statute.
Ohio law also permits a dog bite victim to recover compensation on the ground of negligence, which is defined as a lack of ordinary care or the absence of care a reasonably prudent and careful person would exercise under similar circumstances. Under common law, a dog bite victim must prove that the defendant harbored the dog with knowledge of its vicious propensities. The victim must show that the defendant owned or harbored the dog, the dog was vicious, the defendant knew of those vicious tendencies, and the defendant was negligent in keeping the dog. In short, a dog bite victim must satisfy more requirements to prevail under a common law theory of liability.
In many dog bite cases, a dog owner’s homeowners’ insurance will be implicated by a dog attack. While you may have difficulty determining what your next step should be after a dog attack, you should consider contacting the local police and/or animal control department. You should also seek medical treatment as soon as possible. You might think that the consequences of such a bite could be minor but those wounds can develop into an infection if not properly treated and monitored. Keeping all evidence associated with the attack, such as pictures of the area and any clothing that was torn or damaged in the attack can prove important when you file an injury claim. It may be difficult to deal with the owner of the dog who may be refusing liability or acting as though you are blowing the situation out of proportion.
Because of the complex issues involved in a dog bite case, you need to ensure that you have a lawyer at your side to assist you with pursuing compensation. Call The Richards Firm today to hire a strong advocate to fight for your rights when attacked. Rhys has handled numerous dog bite claims under a myriad of circumstances. He is prepared to address your needs while advocating for you. Call today for a free case consultation.