If you or a loved one sustained a dog bite, you might wonder how the state laws apply to your injury and what your legal options are. Acting quickly following a dog attack is vital in protecting your rights as a dog bite victim.

Knowing the basics of Ohio’s dog bite laws will help you feel more at ease navigating what to do after experiencing this unfortunate incident.

Who is liable for a dog bite injury?

Ohio’s dog bite statute is favorable to dog bite victims. The state law is a “strict liability” statute which means that the dog owner is liable for any injuries their pet causes. The statute applies when the dog’s behavior caused your injury, if you were not committing or trying to commit a crime, if you were not trespassing and you did not torment, tease or abuse the dog to provoke it.

What potential damages can I recover as a dog bite victim?

As an adult who is a victim of a dog bite, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit.

The Ohio statute states that the dog owner is liable to you “for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog.” In a lawsuit, you might recover expenses for any hospitalization, medical or emergency room visits, or psychological therapy, you needed in the course of your recovery. A court could also grant damages for any lost wages stemming from the injury, for diminished quality of life and for disfigurement and disability.