Q1. Can I Force The Police or Dog Warden To Euthanize The Dog?

A. No.

However, you can request the dog be destroyed if the dog is considered to be vicious, as defined by Ohio law. The final decision is up to the dog warden or the local health department.

Q2. How Long Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Claim?

A. If you file it under the strict liability statute, you have six (6) years. If you file it under a negligent claim, you have two (2) years.

It’s important to contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case. We will provide you with information you need to help you build your claim correctly.

Q3. How Long Does a Dog Bite Claim Take to Complete from Start to Finish?

A. All claims are driven by circumstances that take place. In some cases, a dog bite situation is relatively minor. Someone gets bitten. They go to the emergency room. They might get a prescription of antibiotics and everything is fine. Other cases, they’re more severe and they have to have continual medical care. There may be a situation where there might need to be corrective surgery.

In the cases where there is relatively little injury, those cases are resolved between 30 and 60 days. In those cases in which they’re something more complex, we normally try to resolve a case within 90 days after the last medical care has been rendered to the person. If there is going to be corrective cosmetic surgery, the norm with that is one year after the attack took place. The doctors do not normally engage in any corrective surgery with respect to a dog bite until a year after the incident occurred. That situation would probably require about 18 months to conclude.

Q4. I Live In An Apartment. Is The Owner of the Apartment Complex Liable If I Am Bitten On The Property?

A. Landlords are generally not responsible for dog attacks that are caused by a renter. There are exceptions if the attack occurs in a common area like a playground or a community laundry room. If the landlord knows or should have known the dog is vicious, the landlord might be liable.

Q5. Is Anyone Else Liable for My Bills?

A. Yes.

If someone is the keeper of a dog, they are liable. For example, a dog owner takes a vacation and leaves his dog with his mother while he is away. The mother is the keeper of the dog and has the same liability as the owner. If someone is considered the harborer of a dog, they are liable. A harborer is a person who controls the place where a dog lives. For example, a son or daughter who owns a dog and lives with his or her parents. The parents are considered harborers of the dog.

Q6. The Dog Owner Is My Friend. Should I Feel Guilty About Filing a Dog Bite Claim?

A. No.

Most of us have insurance to handle these types of situations. Your dog bite claim will be handled by the insurance company, not your friend or relative. Remember you are injured. You are entitled to be compensated.

Q7. What Am I Entitled To Receive From My Dog Bite Injuries?

A. Compensation for all your medical bills, loss wages, damaged clothing or personal items. These are called economic losses. The larger part of the compensation you are entitled to is pain and suffering, present and future. There is also a substantial award for any disfigurement like scaring.

Q8. What Can Be Done To Prevent Another Attack?

A. Report your dog attack to your local police department, health department and dog warden. The dog may be required to be quarantined to be sure it does not have rabies. Also, the dog may be considered to be a vicious dog, as defined by law. If so, it might require the owner to do certain things to protect you and others from further attacks.

Q9. What Is A Vicious Dog?

A. A vicious dog is a dog that, without being provoked, has killed or caused serious injury to any person.

Exceptions are situations where a police dog has killed or caused injury to a person while the police dog is being used to help a police officer in performing duties. Another exception is where a dog killed someone or caused serious injury to a person while that person was committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other crime on the property of the owner, keeper or harborer. A dog that is labeled as vicious can be any breed of dog.

10. Who Is Responsible for My Bills?

A. The dog owner.

Ohio has laws that say if a dog bites someone, the dog’s owner is responsible. The dog owner does not have to be negligent. If a dog bites you, the owner is responsible unless you were trespassing or you were teasing or tormenting the dog.

Ohio Dog Bite Book by Slater & Zurz LLP

Answers To Your Dog Bite Questions

Get answers to your dog bite questions by calling us at 1-888-534-4850 or fill out the FREE CASE REVIEW form on the right.

Ask us for a free copy of our book: When A Dog Bites Fight Back – What You Need To Know, What You Need To Do and What Not To Do.