OHIO DOG BITE FAQ
SHOULD I REPORT THE ATTACK?
Yes. As soon as possible, report the incident to the local animal control and/or police department or any other proper legal authority.
DOES IT MATTER IF WHOSE PROPERTY I WAS ON?
No. As long as you are on either public property or legally on private property, the dog owner could be held responsible.
WHAT IF THE DOG HAS NO HISTORY OF VICIOUSNESS?
It does not matter whether the dog has former vicious incidents. If you were bitten, and you were the first person ever bitten by the dog, you can still proceed with a claim.
CAN I BRING A CLAIM IF I WAS PETTING THE DOG BEFORE IT ATTACKED?
Generally, yes. As long as you did not tease, torment or abuse the dog, then you would possibly be entitled to damages.
SHOULD I SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION AFTER BEING ATTACKED BY A DOG?
If you or someone that you know was injured, you should immediately seek proper medical attention. Often injuries can be minimized by seeking the proper medical attention. It is important that you give a thorough history regarding the accident to your doctor.
SHOULD I TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS OF MY INJURIES?
Yes. Even if you initially do not wish to pursue a claim, at least you will have documentation in the event that you later elect to proceed with a claim.
IS THERE ANY TYPE OF INSURANCE THAT WOULD BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY INJURIES?
Generally, yes. If the dog’s owner has a homeowners insurance policy or renters policy, those types of insurance would normally protect against the loss.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO PURSUE A CLAIM FOR INJURIES SUSTAINED IN A DOG BITE?
In Ohio, for adults, there is a two year statute of limitations for claims under the dog bite statute. This means that you generally have 2 years from being bitten to resolve the claim or file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations for minors is tolled until their 18th birthday; so the clock essentially starts running when the minor turns 18. Thus a minor has two years from the date of their 18th birthday in which to either resolve the claim or file a lawsuit. There could be other legal theories with different statutes of limitation and the above answers address claims specifically brought under Ohio’s dog bite statute. It is best to consult with an attorney as soon as practical.
HOW MUCH ARE MY INJURIES WORTH?
Every case is different. There are several factors that go into establishing the value of the claim. As such, you should call our office as shortly after the attack as possible to make sure that the claim is properly handled from the beginning.
SHOULD I MAKE A STATEMENT TO THE HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE COMPANY IF THEY CALL?
Although every case is different, you should likely not make a statement to any insurance representative without at least making a call to an attorney first. This would likely be the first contact that you have with the insurance company and it must be handled properly.