Can Dog Owners Be Held Responsible for Bad Behavior?

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Can Dog Owners Be Held Responsible for Bad Behavior?

October 03, 2023
By Lafferty Gallagher Scott

It’s a dog owner’s responsibility to ensure that their furry companions are well-behaved and do not pose a threat to those around them. Unfortunately, when dog owners fail to control their pets, it can cause serious harm and even lead to legal consequences. If you or someone you know has suffered from a dog attack or encounter, it’s important to seek the help of a personal injury attorney who can assist in seeking compensation and holding those responsible accountable. Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC, can prepare you for the next steps by reviewing your case at a consultation. 

Establishing Negligence in a Dog Bite Case

As with any personal injury case, the first step is to determine if there is a legal responsibility for the incident. In the case of dog bites or attacks, a liability can depend on the dog owner. In Ohio, a dog owner is liable for any injuries or damages that their dog causes to another person or animal. This is known as the “strict liability” rule, which means that the owner is responsible regardless of their knowledge of the dog’s dangerous behavior, or how well trained the dog is.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. For example, if the person attacked was trespassing on the owner’s property or provoked the dog, the owner may not be held liable. In addition, if a dog owner takes reasonable steps to prevent their dog from harming others, such as putting up warning signs or keeping their dog on a leash, they may have a defense against liability.

How an Attorney Can Help You Seek Damages

If you or a loved one is the victim of a dog attack, it’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney who can help gather evidence and build a case. This may include medical records, witness statements, and photos of the injuries. An experienced attorney can also help determine the value of the damages and negotiate with insurance companies and the opposing party in order to obtain a fair settlement.

It’s also worth noting that not all dog-related injuries involve attacks. For example, a poorly trained or unleashed dog may cause an injury by knocking someone over or chasing after them. In these cases, the dog owner may still be held responsible for medical expenses and other damages. Further, dog owners who knowingly allow their dogs to roam free and cause harm can also face additional charges. Our attorneys approach your case with your unique circumstances in mind: 

  1. Investigate liability: We will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, gather evidence, and determine liability. We will review relevant laws, such as local leash laws and dog bite statutes, to build a strong case on your behalf.
  2. Calculate damages: Your attorney will calculate the full extent of your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. We will ensure that you receive fair compensation to cover all of your losses.
  3. Negotiate with insurance companies: Your attorney will negotiate with the dog owner’s insurance company to reach a fair settlement. We will also be prepared to take the case to court if necessary.

Call Our Firm Right Away

At Lafferty Gallagher & Scott, we understand the emotional and physical toll that a dog attack can take on a victim and their loved ones. We have decades of experience in representing individuals who have suffered injuries due to the negligence of others, including dog owners. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys takes an aggressive and compassionate approach to seeking compensation for our clients. We have successfully obtained over 100 million dollars for our clients and are prepared to help you, too.

If you or someone you know has suffered from a dog attack or related injury, seek the help of a personal injury attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.










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