Ohio is a strict liability State; that makes all dog owners responsible for any kind of injury to a person or property caused by a dog
By Guest Blogger Laurence Banville, Esq.
If you are an Ohio resident you probably know that Ohio is one of the strict liability states, and that makes all dog owners responsible for any kind of injury to a person or property caused by a dog. The property might even include another person’s dog. As a dog owner, it is important to know what responsibilities you have and how to best protect yourself and your pet.
Scienter is the traditional rule that makes an individual responsible for harm that has been caused by any kind of domestic animal, such as a dog. It is Latin terminology that means “knowingly”. The doctrine states clearly that a victim of a dog bite can get compensation from the dog’s owner, keeper, or harborer if the dog had previously bitten a person or acted as if it wanted to bite a person, and the owner was aware of the previous conduct of the dog. However, if either of these conditions is not proved, then you will not be able to use this rule as a ground of getting compensation for a dog bite in Ohio.
The one bite rule, which is the foundation of dog bite doctrine, is also used in the state of Ohio. It has however been supplemented with statutes that make all dog owners liable for all bites caused by their dogs, including the first one. In the state of Ohio, the scienter cause of action with the statute for a dog bite is supplemented. This explains why the state has been classified as a statutory strict liability state.
The dog bite law that is used in Ohio makes the owner/keeper/harborer of a dog responsible if his/her dog causes harm, bites or causes a loss to an individual or their property even for the first time. The property in this context refers to another person’s dog or any other property belonging to an individual. However, the Ohio dog bite law does not does not apply if the victim was committing or trying to commit a crime, trespassing, or was tormenting, abusing, or teasing the animal on the property of the owner, harborer or keeper. In addition to that, the Ohio dog bite statute also does not apply if the victim of the dog bite was a keeper, owner, or harborer of the dog.
Unfortunately, dog bites do occur and not everyone handles their pet in the manner that you might expect. It is also very important to note that as a victim, you always have the right to forward in claims that are based on other grounds.
As a victim of a dog bite in Ohio, the state also permits you to recover compensation based on negligence. Negligence can be defined in this case as lack of ordinary care, as the absence of the type of care that a reasonably careful and prudent individual would exercise in any situation of that nature. If your conduct in a particular situation does not match the conduct of a reasonably careful and prudent individual, then you can be deemed as negligent. Negligence would be letting a stray dog into a place where there are small kids, like a daycare. For you to receive compensation based on negligence in the state of Ohio, you must be able to prove the elements of a one-bite rule, which states that the dog had an inclination to bite people without justification, and the keeper or owner was much aware of it. As a dog bite victim in Ohio, you will have to satisfy more requirements as compared to victims who are harmed negligently by other means.
Laurence Banville. Esq is the managing partner and face of Banville Law. Laurence is licensed to practice law in the state of New York. Originally from Ireland, Banville moved to the United States of America where he worked at law firms, refining his litigation and brief writing crafts. He is also the recipient of the Irish Legal 100 and the Top 40 Under 40 awards.