What are the laws around dog bites in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2023 | Personal Injury

In the picturesque state of Ohio, a furry companion is often part of households. However, with the warmth of canine companionship comes the responsibility of understanding and adhering to the laws surrounding dog bites.

Ohio’s legislation can protect both the public and the four-legged residents, ensuring a harmonious coexistence.

Strict liability

Ohio operates on a strict liability basis when it comes to dog bites. This means that dog owners are responsible for any injuries caused by their pets, regardless of the animal’s history or the owner’s knowledge of aggressive tendencies. Whether the dog has a clean slate or a prior incident, if a bite occurs, the owner is legally accountable.

Leash laws

To maintain public safety, Ohio imposes leash laws that mandate that owners need to restrain dogs in public spaces. Even the friendliest of dogs can become unpredictable in certain situations, and leash laws provide a layer of protection for both the community and the animals themselves. Dog owners who violate leash laws may face legal consequences in the event of a bite.

Trespassing and provocation

While strict liability holds sway, Ohio law does take into account certain circumstances that might mitigate a dog owner’s responsibility. If a person was trespassing on private property or provoking the dog, the owner’s liability may change.

Statute of limitations

For those who have experienced a dog bite, understanding the statute of limitations is important. There is a limited window of time during which a victim can file a lawsuit against a dog owner in Ohio. Acting promptly ensures that the legal process can start within the specified timeframe, preserving the victim’s right to seek compensation.

In Ohio, 75% of bites that people report every year come from dogs. By understanding the nuances of dog bite laws, both dog owners and the public can contribute to a safer environment for all.