Almost everyone has either been bitten or come close to being bitten by a dog once or twice in his or her life. We have all seen both types of dogs—the dog that wants your attention so much that he or she is jumping into your lap to play, or the other dog—think "The Sandlot" all over again. Nevertheless, being bitten by a dog is a serious problem, for both the victim and the owner.
Dog Bite Statute of Limitations in Ohio
The statute of limitations in Ohio for dog bites is two (2) years—thus if you are bitten by a dog in Ohio, you have two years to bring your claim in court. Depending on whether you are the victim or the owner of the dog will determine the approach to your case.
Plaintiff—what if a dog bit or hurt me?
Here is a list of things a Plaintiff might want to do (not exhaustive):
- Seek medical help for your injury (if needed),
- Ohio law states that you should contact your local health department about the incident,
- File a police report,
- Contact a local attorney, where you are able to sue on a strict liability basis, or on an ordinary negligence basis. The negligence claim may be a bit harder to prove because you'll more than likely have to prove that the owner of the dog knew about the vicious proclivities of the dog—not an easy thing to prove. Speak to your attorney about which one to use.
NOTE: The injury you are suing for does not have to be a dog bite. It could be a scratch or something dangerous that the dog did that caused your injury. Additionally, the person you sue does not have to be the owner of the dog—it could be a "harborer" or a "keeper" of the dog. See a lawyer and O.R.C. § 955.28 for more information.
Defendant—what if my dog bit or hurt someone?
Here is a list of things a Defendant might want to do (not exhaustive):
- Keep your dog away from others,
- Wait on court documents (if you are not sued, there is nothing to worry about other than not letting the incident happen again, and maybe apologizing to the other person),
- If you are sued, contact a local attorney, where there are defenses available.
NOTE: For Defendants, there are multiple defenses, by statute and by case law, to potentially use in your defense. It is ill advised to show up to court without an attorney who will best represent you and your needs.
Still not sure if you have a claim? Do not hesitate to give The Meranda Law Firm, LTD a call. We will assess you case, and we will assist you (either side of the aisle) in resolving your case and giving you the best possible legal representation for your money.