If you have been bitten by a dog, you may want to file a lawsuit against the owner, or the person who was in control of the animal at the time. Ohio is governed by strict liability in dog bite cases. This means that you do not have to prove the owner or controller of the dog was negligent, or that they knew the dog had a violent or aggressive history. You must only prove that the dog bite was unprovoked and that you were hurt as a result.
Still, this does not mean that filing a dog bite claim is easy. The other side will raise several defenses to reduce the amount of damages they must pay, or to shield themselves from liability. Below, our Dublin dog bite lawyer explains the most common defenses raised in these claims.
There are not many exceptions to the dog bite law in Dublin, but provocation is one. If the owner of the dog can show that you provoked the dog into biting you, it may be difficult to obtain compensation for your injuries. Provoking a dog can include hitting, kicking, or teasing the dog, or pulling on its tail or ears. Furthermore, if you did something that caused the dog to feel threatened, it can serve as a defense in a dog bite claim.
If the owner of the dog can show that you were trespassing on their property at the time, that can also serve as a defense. In Ohio, you can use basic physical force to defend yourself or your property, although you cannot use deadly force. Part of defending oneself against intruders and trespassers may include getting a dog. However, if the dog’s owner should have known you were on the property, this defense may not work.
You Were Committing a Crime at the Time
If you were committing a crime at the time of the bite or attack, this can be used as a defense. For example, if the owner was out with the dog and you assaulted them, the dog may bite you to protect its owner. That could be used as a defense in your case. Some dog owners may raise this defense even if you were not committing a crime. For instance, if you playfully punched your friend in the arm, that is not an assault and arguably were not committing a crime under the statute.
The Statute of Limitations
Unless there is an extenuating circumstance, you must file your dog bite claim within two years of sustaining the injury. If you do not file within this time, you may be forever barred from making a claim.
Our Dog Bite Lawyer in Dublin Can Refute These Defenses
If you are filing a dog bite claim, it is important to expect the other side to fight back. At Oliver Law Office, our Dublin dog bite lawyer can refute the defenses raised by the dog’s owner or harborer so you obtain the full compensation you are entitled to. Call us now at 614-220-9100 or chat with us online to schedule a case evaluation.
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