A homeowner is generally held liable for the any injuries that occur to someone else on their property. There are, however, exceptions for this in certain situations. Some states follow the same rules for dog bites for the homeowner, even if the injured person was a trespasser. The rules for dog bites are different in each state. When it comes to Ohio, which is a strict liability state, the homeowner is held liable for a dog bite or any other injuries that you or a loved one has sustained, due to a dog bite. You also don't need to prove that the dog owner, harborer or its keeper were negligent which caused the injury. All you need to prove is that their dog bit you and you sustained injuries because of it.
Exceptions to the Ohio Dog Bite Law
While the state comes under strict liability law, there are some exceptions when it comes to the dog bite law in Ohio. There are some cases where the dog owner will not be held liable for the dog bite and the related injuries. Here are these cases:
· The victim was a trespasser or was attempting to trespass
· The victim was committing another criminal offense
· The dog was being tormented, abused or teased which resulted in the bite
If any of these above conditions are there and the victim files a dog bite case in Ohio, the homeowner, dog owner or keeper will not be held liable for any of the injuries related to dog bite.
To be able to file a dog bite case, the victim needs to prove that they were at someone's property legally and lawfully. Only then will they be able to recover the damages for a dog bite. There needs to be a good reason for them to be there. In simple words, they must not be trespassers, and should not be involved in abusing, tormenting or teasing the dog. The state of Ohio also requires a proof of the fact that the dog was not misbehaved with in any way.
What is Considered as Trespassing?
In simple words, trespasser is a person who is present on a property without being invited. However, unless the homeowner has clearly implied and made it apparent that visitors are not allowed, there is an implied invitation for the public to come to their door.
The visitor at your door may be some sales person, somebody who is trying to talk to you about an upcoming meeting with the council, a neighbor or someone who is looking for direction. As a homeowner, if you are expecting someone to be at your door reasonably, you will be held liable for the dog bite injury the other person suffers.
It is reasonable for children to wander onto your property and approach your pets. In such a case, it is the duty of the homeowner to make sure that children are prevented from coming onto your property and are safe from your pet dog.
Policemen, mail carriers or any other person who is just performing their duty is not to be considered as a trespasser.
Dogs with Dangerous Propensities
In case the dog owner is aware of the dangerous propensities their dog has, and they know that it can harm someone, the homeowner is going to be held liable for the dog bite. If your dog is dangerous and vicious, it is the duty of the homeowner, the dog keeper or the harborer to make sure people coming onto their property are safe from the dog.
Dangerous Propensities - What Are They?
In simple words, dangerous propensities are the exhibited characteristics of a dog that clearly indicate that the animal is a threat to others and can be a reason for injury to a human being. If this characteristic is just exhibited by the animal for other animals and not for humans, it is not considered a dangerous propensity. The breed of the dog is also considered when determining whether the dog is dangerous or not.
How Long Do You Have for Filing a Dog Bite Claim?
If you are in Ohio and have been a victim of a dog bite, you have 6 years from the date of the bite to file a lawsuit against the owner of the dog. If it is a child who has been bitten by a dog, they will have 6 years beyond their 18th birthday to file the lawsuit.
Dog bite victims are entitled to get compensation for the physical pain they have suffered because of the dog bite, as well as the pain and suffering they have had to undergo because of the nay disfigurement or disability they have suffered. They will also be compensated for the lost wages, medical expenses, and the loss of quality of life and future earning capacity as well.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney in Ohio?
If you have been bit by a dog and want to file a lawsuit against the dog owner, you definitely get services of a dog bite lawyer in Ohio who is well-versed with the law. At Christopher Jackson Law, we have helped many people in their dog bite cases and have assisted them in recovering the right amount of compensation. If you also want seasoned professionals to handle your case, you should get in touch with us today to discuss your case. We offer free consultation where you can discuss your particular case and we will take it forward from there. Get in touch with us today to discuss your case via our free consultation service by calling: 513-861-8000.