The following article was contributed by Attorney Jason Sayre of the Ohio law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP:
In Ohio, injury victims have a time limit for filing a lawsuit in a dog bite case. If a lawsuit is not filed within that timeframe, the victim is forever barred from pursuing the claim. For most injury victims the time limit is two years from the date of the injury. For victims of dog bites, however, the time limit is six years from the date of the dog bite.
According to the Ohio Supreme Court in the 1983 case, Bora v. Kerchelich, dog bite victims have more time to file a lawsuit because of the Ohio dog bite statute. Ohio Revised Code 955.28 holds dog owners strictly liable for any damages or injuries caused by their dogs. Under Ohio Revised Code 2305.07, any action upon a liability created by statute must be brought within six years. Therefore, because the Ohio dog bite statute creates a liability for dog owners, the applicable time limit, or statute of limitations, is six years.
If the dog bite victim is a child, he or she will have an even longer time period within which to file a lawsuit. A child has six years from the date of his or her 18th birthday to bring a lawsuit. This extended period for children can be greatly beneficial to a child victim. Child victims of dog bites are often traumatized and left with scars. Therefore, many child victims often require years of psychological and/ or medical treatment as a result of a dog bite. This is especially true if the child has scars on his or her face.
For adult dog bite victims, the six-year time period allows a dog bite victim the opportunity to fully recover before he or she must bring a lawsuit. Dog bite injuries can often take a long time to resolve, especially if scar revision surgery is necessary.
If you or someone you know has become the victim of a dog bite, contact the Ohio law firm of Slater & Zurz LLP for a free consultation with an attorney experienced with dog bite cases in Ohio. Please call 1-800-297-9191 or send a Blog Message to schedule a time to talk.