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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Dog Bite in Ohio? Ohio Dog Bite Laws

In Ohio, dog bite laws allow victims to sue the dog owner for injuries caused by their animal. The dog's owner is often held liable in a dog bite case and will be sued for damages unless there are special circumstances surrounding the attack, such as victims who were trespassing on private property.


Victims of dog bites can receive huge settlement offers from the dog owner or insurance company if they can prove that they were bitten through no fault of their own.


Such dog bite cases need to be reported immediately to law enforcement officials. Also, the injured person bitten by the dog must file an Ohio dog bite lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires, otherwise, they will lose their chance to seek fair compensation,


However, dog bite injury cases can be very complicated, especially in cases where the dog's owner refuses to pay or accept liability. In such cases, dog bite victims need a strong dog bite attorney in Cincinnati OH to fight for their rights and help them walk away with the compensation they deserve.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is highly experienced when it comes to handling dog bite lawsuits in Ohio. After a dog bite accident, the injured person can call +1 513-224-5390 and schedule a free consultation. They can help with questions such as Can you sue for a dog bite in Ohio?


Common Injuries Caused by Dog Bites/Attacks

Common Injuries Caused by Dog Bites/Attacks


While the majority of dog bite wounds are a direct result of the victim being bitten by the dog, other dog bite-related injuries are caused by scratching or being knocked over by the dog. The following are some of the common injuries that victims can suffer:


  • Broken or punctured skin

  • Tissue damage

  • Broken bones

  • Nerve damage

  • Eye injuries

  • Scarring

  • Face injuries

  • Head and neck injuries

  • Concussion


Procedure for Reporting Dog Bites in Ohio


Ohio dog bite laws state that the injured person must report the dog bite case to the authorities within 24 hours of the incident happening.


If the victim is unable to do so, the doctor who is treating the victim is required to file the report on their behalf.


These reports can be made to the Public Health Commissioner's office or the Animal Care and Control Department.


However, not reporting a dog bite within 24 hours is a violation of Ohio's dog bite statute. This is because every dog bite incident in Ohio needs to be accompanied by a rabies exposure risk assessment and quarantining of the animal.


As such, failure to report the dog bite incident can be seen as an act of endangering the public, especially in cases where the dog ends up biting a second victim. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys will also answer questions like Do hospitals report dog bites in Ohio?


What Must be Included in an Ohio Dog Bite Incident Report?


When reporting dog bites to the authorities, the dog owner, victim, or attending doctor needs to provide important information in their report, such as:


  • Name, address, and contact details of the dog’s owner

  • Description of the dog, including breed, size, and color

  • A detailed description of how the dog bite occurred

  • The location where the dog attack happened

  • The dog’s rabies vaccination status (if known)


Statute of Limitations for Filing an Ohio Dog Bite Lawsuit


While the law entitles the person bitten by the dog to receive compensation from the liable parties, it also limits the time that they have to file their lawsuit.


In Ohio, the dog bite statute of limitations is six years from the date that the dog bite incident occurred.

Failure to file a lawsuit within those six years will result in the victim no longer being eligible to seek compensation from the dog owner.


However, Ohio law makes exceptions in dog bite cases involving minors. If the victim is below the age of 18, they will have six years from the day they turn 18 to file a lawsuit against the dog's owner.


What Needs to Be Done Before Filing a Dog Bite Claim?


When looking at the statute of limitations for a dog bite injury lawsuit, it seems as if victims have all the time in the world to file their claims.


However, the time can pass surprisingly fast. Also, the longer that victims wait, the more difficult it will be to gather evidence and track down the dog's owner or potential witnesses.


As such, the golden rule when filing a dog bite lawsuit is to take action as soon as possible. After being bitten by someone else's dog, victims need to do the following:


Seek Medical Treatment

All victims of Ohio dog bites are required to seek medical attention as soon as possible.


This is very important in cases where the dog's status is unknown in terms of rabies vaccinations, or the dog's behavior seems unusual before the attack. Rabies is fatal, so dog bite victims need to act fast.


Report the Dog Bite Case

Ohio dog bite law requires the victim or attending medical doctor to report the dog bite incident within 24 hours. This applies to every case, whether or not the bite was caused by a dangerous dog.


Gather Evidence

To hold the dog's owner liable for the injuries sustained by the victim, the case may have to be taken to court.


In such cases, victims and their legal counsel will require all the evidence they can find, including pictures and the doctor's report.


Hire an Ohio Dog Bite Lawyer

Success in a dog bite case largely depends on the level of skill and experience of the personal injury lawyer representing the victim. As such, victims need to hire the best legal representation they can find in Cincinnati, Ohio.


File the Dog Bite Lawsuit

As soon as the initial case evaluation is completed, the personal injury lawyer needs to act fast and file the lawsuit.


After that, the case can either be settled out of court by offering the victim fair compensation, or the jury can decide who the liable parties are and how much compensation the victim is owed.


Who Is Liable for Dog Bite Injuries? - Ohio's "Strict Liability" Dog-bite Statute


In Ohio, when a dog injures a victim, the owner is held responsible for the dog's behavior, the injuries to the victim, and other dog bite penalties that may be imposed. This is because Ohio is a strict liability state when it comes to dog bites.


This means the victim does not have the burden of having to prove that the dog's owner was negligent.

In states that use common law dog bite rules, the dog gets a free pass if the incident is the first time that the dog has attacked someone.


In other words, victims bitten in a common law jurisdiction are expected to show that it is not the first time that the dangerous dog has bitten someone.


However, in Ohio, the owner is held liable for damages for every dog bite incident, including the first one.


Potential Defenses Used by Dog Owners


It is common for the defendant to try and manipulate Ohio law to avoid being held liable for the dog bite injuries caused by their pets.


Many defense strategies are employed by defendants, such as:


  • Claiming that the victim was abusing, tormenting, or teasing the dog.

  • The victim was trespassing on private property.

  • The dog bite incident occurred while the victim was committing or attempting to commit a crime.


Possible Damages for the Dog Bite Victim

Possible Damages for the Dog Bite Victim


Victims of dog bites in Ohio can file a personal injury case and sue for a wide range of damages from the dog's owner, including:


Economic Damages

Economic damages cover the monetary losses that the victim has suffered, such as:


  • Medical bills

  • Property damage

  • Lost wages

  • Cost of rehabilitation and physical therapy

  • Future medical expenses


Non-economic Damages

After suffering a serious injury, dog bite victims are also entitled to receive non-economic damages that will compensate them for other losses whose monetary value is not easy to determine, such as pain and suffering or loss of companionship.


Punitive Damages

In cases where the judge or jury feels that the actions of the dog owner were particularly malicious, they can award further punitive damages on top of the economic and non-economic damages already imposed.


A good example is when the dog's owner purposefully urged their dog to attack the victim, or if they knew that they had dangerous dogs on the premises but did not do anything to prevent the dog bite incident from happening.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys: Experts in Ohio Dog Bite Law


Personal injury cases that involve dog bites in Ohio can be complicated, especially if the owner of the dog decides to fight the case and deny liability.


To pursue compensation in such cases, victims will need to hire a lawyer who is experienced in how Ohio dog bite laws work.


The Ohio statute of limitations on dog bite cases must also be considered. Any lawsuit against the liable parties must be filed within six years or the victim will not be able to recover damages.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys is an expert law firm when it comes to Ohio dog bite law. A panel of experienced attorneys is ready to go to war for the rights of victims who have been bitten by someone else's dog.

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