Can I Sue a Homeowner For a Dog Bite?

An attack from a dog that results in a bite can cause serious injuries that have many long-lasting effects. These injuries can impact your ability to complete everyday tasks. Throughout this all, you may wonder who can be held liable for your injures, so it is important to have an experienced Ohio dog bite lawyer on your side to guide you through the legal process.


An attack resulting in a dog bite can happen at any moment and leave you or someone you love with serious injuries that require thousands of dollars in medical care. If you or a loved one recently suffered from a dog bite, you may be asking yourself, “can I sue a homeowner for a dog bite?”

Fortunately, you can recover compensation from a homeowner through their homeowners’ insurance policy. If you or a loved one have been involved in a dog bite attack, call Kisling, Nestico & Redick at 1-800-HURT-NOW today to speak to one of our experienced attorneys about dog bites in Ohio and other common personal injury FAQ.

Dog Bite Statue in Ohio

According to the dog bite statute in Ohio, a dog’s owner is legally and financially responsible for any attacks or injuries their dog causes. There are, however, a few instances where a dog owner may not be responsible. These instances are when the victim was:

  • Trespassing or unlawfully on the dog owner’s property
  • Committing a criminal offense at the time of the attack
  • Teasing or abusing the dog

Ohio follows what is known as the “one bite” rule for dog attacks, meaning their owners are responsible for any injury – even the first one – their dog causes.

What Needs to Be Proved in a Dog Bite Attack Case?

If you would like to sue a homeowner for a dog bite, you will need to establish that the homeowner was the owner, keeper, or harborer of the dog, that the dog was the cause of your injuries, and you sustained actual damages from the bite or attack. You have two years from the date of the bite to file a claim against the dog owner.

Dog Bites & Homeowners Insurance Polices

If you were invited to someone’s home and bit by a dog, you should know that dog bites are almost always covered by homeowners insurance policies. Through a third-party claim with the dog owner’s homeowner insurance company, you may recover economic and non-economic damages. Some of these damages include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish

If your injury was minor, a third-party claim with the dog owner’s homeowners insurance company may cover all of your damages. However, if your injury was serious, the homeowner insurance company may not be able to provide you with fair and full compensation. In this case, it is in your best interest to pursue a lawsuit to recover the compensation you are owed.

Steps to Take After a Dog Bite Attack

Following a dog bite attack, there are certain steps you should take to protect your health and legal rights. These steps include:

  • Staying calm- Although staying calm is easier said than done, it is important to do so, as showing anger may lead the dog to cause further injuries.
  • Photographing your injuries- Take pictures of any injuries that the dog has caused.
  • Seeking immediate medical attention- After a dog bite attack, you should visit the doctor. If you are losing blood or experiencing any other type of medical emergency, go to the emergency room.
  • Adhering to doctor’s orders- It’s essential that you adhere to all of your doctor’s orders. If your doctor tells you apply a scar reduction cream, massage your scars, or receive stitches, you should do so.
  • Collecting contact information- Ask any witnesses for their names and phone numbers, and gather information on the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy.
  • Reaching out to the local authorities- You should report your dog bite attack to the police department and the animal control agency in your county.
  • Contacting an experienced Ohio dog bite attorney- An attorney can evaluate your case and let you know how to proceed.

Why Consult an Ohio Dog Bite Attorney?

Rather than attempting to resolve your dog bite attack case on your own, you should consult a highly skilled Ohio dog bite attorney. That way, you can focus on healing while ensuring your rights are protected. Since the majority of dog bite claims involve the dog owner’s homeowners insurance policy, a dog bite attorney can handle all communications with the insurance company so that you receive the maximum compensation you may be entitled to.

With legal representation by your side, you can avoid low insurance settlements and ensure that the insurance company does not take advantage of your rights.

Contact Kisling, Nestico & Redick

You can depend on our attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick to assist you with a dog bite attack case that involves a Pitt Bull, German Shepard, Rottweiler, Boston Terrier, Chow, Poodle, Great Dane, Akita, or any other type of dog. In a free case consultation, we’ll inform you of your legal options and help you collect the maximum compensation you may deserve.

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a dog bite attack, contact our Ohio dog bite attorneys immediately at 1-800-HURT-NOW.