A recent dog bite incident brings attention to Ohio’s laws concerning dog owner liability.
Ohio law takes a hard stance against animals that bite as well as their owners. People who suffer an injury due to an attack are permitted to hold the owner responsible for the damages that they suffer. A recent incident involving a police dog points to the importance of properly restraining animals, especially around children.
"It could have been prevented"
According to a report from WLWT, a friend went to a Cincinnati Police Officer's home and brought one or more children along. At the home was Brutus, a dog who had graduated from the K-9 Academy. The dog bit a child on the ear, an injury that required stitches. The handler and the situation are currently under investigation.
WLWT interviewed a certified K-9 trainer who has worked with more than 100 police dogs. He stated that the injuries to the child could have been much worse because of the strength of the animal. Though the trainer did not know all the details of the attack, he said that the incident could have been prevented. Children can understandably become excited around animals, and perhaps the handler made a mistake in regards to the interaction between the dog and the child.
What Ohio law says
Unfortunately, some people who suffer a dog bite are not as lucky as this child. These attacks can result in serious disfigurement, scarring, limb loss and other injuries. Fortunately, filing a claim can help victims recover compensation for losses such as surgery, treatment and emotional suffering.
According to the Ohio State Bar Association, the dog owner's homeowner's insurance policy may cover the cost of certain damages, such as medical bills. However, insurance providers often try to shortchange people on the money to which they are entitled. The OSBA encourages victims to consult with an attorney to ensure their rights are protected.
In Ohio, pet owners are considered strictly liable for damages the animals cause. In other words, a victim would not need to prove that the owner acted negligently in some way. The law does state, however, that someone who is tormenting or otherwise provoking an animal may not be protected under the law.
When it comes to the pets, the law states that dogs that have bitten a person must be kept in quarantine for a period of 10 days, unless the board of health determines that period should be longer. During that time, the dog will be observed to determine if it has rabies.
Every dog bite should be taken seriously and reported to the appropriate officials. Anyone who has concerns about this topic should speak with a personal injury attorney in Ohio.