Columbus Injury Lawyer Protecting the Rights of Victims
Although dogs are often considered family pets, they may pose a serious threat to children and adults. Fortunately, Ohio law protects those who have been hurt in an animal attack, allowing them to seek compensation for their medical expenses and other damages. With over 30 years of experience, injury attorney John Fitch assists Columbus residents and other individuals in taking legal action against those who are responsible for their harm.
Pursuing Compensation for Harm Caused by a Dog Attack
Ohio law provides several theories under which a dog bite victim may bring a claim for damages. Generally, a personal injury case arising out of a dog attack must be filed within six years from the date of the incident, although there may be exceptions. Under the state’s strict liability statute, a dog owner may be liable whenever his or her dog bites, injures, or causes a loss to another person or the property of another person, even if the dog has never shown any aggression or bitten anyone before. The only exceptions to liability provided under the statute apply when the dog attacks a person on the property of its owner, keeper, or harborer, and that person was trespassing or committing another criminal offense, or teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog. However, the victim would still have the right to bring a claim on other common law grounds, including negligence.
Negligence is a legal theory that holds each person responsible for his or her failure to act with the care of a reasonably prudent person under similar circumstances. To establish negligence in a dog bite case, the plaintiff must prove that the defendant harbored the dog with knowledge of its dangerous propensity. Specifically, the plaintiff must show that the defendant harbored the dog, the dog was vicious or had the propensity to bite humans without justification, the defendant knew of the dog’s viciousness, and the defendant was negligent in keeping the dog. The plaintiff must also prove that he or she incurred damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and others.
In Ohio, a victim may also bring a claim of negligence per se against a person who violates an animal control law, regardless of whether that person owns the dog. An example may be when someone lets a dog off its leash, in violation of leash laws, and the dog attacks another person. In addition, a landlord may be liable for a dog bite in certain cases, such as if the landlord harbored the dog, and the attack occurred in a common area. A personal injury attorney experienced in handling dog bite cases may be able to provide information specific to the facts of your claim.
Explore Your Options with a Columbus Accident Attorney
A personal injury case requires personalized and diligent attention. Columbus lawyer John Fitch can represent victims of car accidents as well as other incidents of negligence, such as medical malpractice, defective drugs, nursing abuse, and sexual abuse. He serves many communities throughout Ohio, including Cincinnati, Dayton, Cleveland, Toledo, Beavercreek, and Independence. Call 855-LAW-OHIO or contact us online to set up a free consultation.