Dogs have been a significant part of human history for countless generations, earning the well-deserved title of “man’s best friend.” That’s why we at Reddy Law are dog lovers. However, without proper care and attention, even the most affectionate of dogs can become aggressive.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reports that dogs will bite approximately 4.7 million people this year, leading 800,000 Americans to seek professional medical attention. As such, pet owners must adhere to their legal responsibility to ensure the safety of those around them. When they neglect this duty, they can be held responsible for any harm caused by their pet.
Did You Know?
- Children aged 5-9 years are the most common dog-bite victims, and the attacks are statistically likely to happen by a dog familiar to the victim.
- Although all dog bites can be fatal to anyone, elderly victims are at the highest risk of injury or death.
- Homeowner's insurance will often cover the costs of a dog bite, and approximately one-third of all homeowner's claims are attributed to canine bites.
- The average dog bite claim in 2020 was for over $50,000.
Who is Liable?
Ohio law provides that "dog owners, keepers, and harborers" can be held liable for an attack. However, this typically involves victims pursuing compensation from the dog's owner. A "harborer" is a person who controls the dog's home, for instance, the parents of an adult who owns the dog and lives with their parents.
However, generally, landlords are not considered "harborers" and are not responsible for the behavior of tenants' dogs. Landlords may be responsible for the bite or attack in a common area.
A homeowner's insurance policy will usually cover a dog bite attack, so even if bitten or injured by a friend or family member's dog, you may still seek recovery without financially burdening someone close to you. Note certain dog breeds may be excluded from insurance policy coverage.
Statute of Limitations for Dog Attacks
The law limits how long you have to bring a claim for compensation for injuries sustained due to a dog bite or attack. For Ohio claims, you have six years from the date of the bite or attack to bring suit. However, if you're bitten before you turn 18, you have six years from your 18th birthday in which to file. After that time, you lose your right to file a lawsuit and claim compensation.
Brian Reddy has successfully litigated dog attack cases and secured confidential client settlements. He is a dog lover but has also experienced the consequences of dog bites first-hand. Both his wife and daughter have been badly bitten by dogs. To learn more about what we can do for you, please contact us today to request your free initial consultation. We handle dog bites and other personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis. That means we only get paid if you receive an award.