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Who pays for medical expenses when a dog bites someone in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2023 | Dog Bites

Dogs can enrich an individual’s life by providing companionship and/or a sense of security. In some cases, dogs undergo extensive training to support those with medical or mental health challenges, allowing them to live fuller, richer lives. Dogs can also substantially diminish an individual’s quality of life by attacking and injuring them.

Canine companions of all sizes and ages can become aggressive for a broad range of reasons. Dog bite attacks are uncommon but frequent enough to be reason for concern for Ohio residents. Most neighborhoods have at least a few dogs, possibly a handful of which people recognize as being particularly aggressive toward people or other animals.

A dog could bite a neighbor who comes by to deliver some mail sent to the wrong house or might jump the fence and attack a jogger. Dog bites can require emergency medical care, stitches and even surgery in some cases. A dog bite can also cause a serious infection. Who pays the medical bills after a dog attacks a person?

The animal’s owner has liability

Ohio state law is relatively clear about liability when animals attack people. With the possible exception of cases involving illegal activity or the intentional provocation of an animal, most dog bite attacks are the responsibility of the animal’s owner.

Those who own a dog or other animal have an obligation to train it and to keep it away from the public so it does not hurt anyone. Those injured by an aggressive animal may have grounds to bring a claim against its owner for their negligent management of the animal.

Insurance often protects an animal’s owner

Most people do not like the idea of bringing a lawsuit against a neighbor or a family member. Thankfully, their loved one won’t pay directly for their medical costs and other losses in most cases.

Homeowner’s insurance and even renter’s insurance can pay for someone’s expenses stemming from a dog bite incident. Those unexpectedly attacked by an aggressive companion animal should not have to accept injury and the numerous financial consequences of the incident. The person who owns the animal can help compensate them for their negative experience.

Understanding who has financial responsibility for a dog bite will help those who have recently been harmed by an aggressive animal. Seeking legal guidance can help injury victims pursue compensation successfully.