Like many Ohio residents who own dogs, you might be a responsible pet guardian and do not allow it to roam free; however, others do not always keep their dogs confined to a fenced yard or a leash, which can result in an unexpected dog attack. Channel 19 Cleveland reported that some local leaders are trying to change legislation to make these attacks a felony for owners. In the meantime, there are a few laws that may protect you in the aftermath of a dog attack.

Ohio operates under a strict liability law, which means the owner of the dog that attacked you is directly liable for any injuries that you incurred during the incident. However, there are a few restrictions for gaining compensation, and one of the most relevant might be what is known as the One Bite Rule. Under this statute, you can collect damages from a dog’s owner if he or she knew that the dog has bitten or shown aggression toward humans in the past or was aware that its temperament was not friendly. While this can be difficult to prove, local authorities may have information about the animal’s past via past police reports or complaints.

If you were attacked because the dog was being supervised by someone other than its owner, such as a dog sitter, that person may also be liable for the dog’s behavior, especially if he or she knew it had the tendency to act aggressively. The circumstances of the attack will likely rule what kind of compensation you can seek.

This information is provided to give you a general idea of Ohio dog attack laws and should not be interpreted as legal advice.