Can You Sue a Dog Owner for a Dog Attack?

Dogs are often seen as man’s best friend, but that can change in an instant. Your own pet dog could attack you or a family member, causing major injuries. You could also be attacked by a neighbor’s dog or a stranger’s stray dog. 

A dog bite could range from a small nip on the arm to huge facial wounds to death. The damages could exceed six or even seven figures. Not many people have that much extra cash on hand. So what are your options? If you are injured in a dog attack, can you sue the dog owner? 

Under Ohio Revised Code Section 955.28, a dog owner is liable for damages for any injury, death, or other damages a person suffers due to their dog’s actions. Since the dog owner would be legally responsible for your injuries, you can sue them to recover compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental distress, and more. Here’s what you need to know.

Dog Attack Lawsuits in Ohio

Ohio law offers two main methods to sue another person for injuries caused by a dog. You can consider one of the following:

  • Suing under strict liability. If you or a family member is bitten by a dog in Ohio, the dog’s owner or the person who is in charge of the dog will be responsible for your injuries. The state does not automatically label a particular breed of dog as dangerous or vicious. If a dog is found to be dangerous or vicious, there are state requirements, such as having a specific type of insurance.
  • Suing under common law negligence. The victim of a dog attack can bring a common-law action based on negligence for injuries. They must be able to show that the dog owner was negligent and failed to properly control the dog or warn others of the dog’s behavior. 

Keep in mind that the dog doesn’t have to bite you in order to file a lawsuit. If you are knocked over by a dog, the dog owner may be responsible for your damages. 

To recover compensation, there are a few other people you can sue besides the owner:

  • The landlord. If the dog attack occurred in a common area of the premises, the landlord may be considered to have control of the dog. If the attack occurred inside an apartment, the landlord would likely not be liable.
  • The dog’s “keeper.”  A “keeper” is someone who is in the physical care of the dog, even if only temporarily. For example, maybe you are on vacation or have a dog walker during the day while you’re at work. The person taking care of your dog would be considered the keeper. 

Contact Us Today

A dog attack can cause serious injuries, including facial wounds, broken bones, scarring, disfigurement, and emotional distress. Make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
Contact the skilled dog bite attorneys at Groth & Associates to learn more about your legal options after a dog attack. Call (419) 318-1578 or fill out the online form to schedule a free consultation.