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Who Pays After A Dog Bites Someone In The Greater Cincinnati Area?

Hopefully, an insurance company. But that’s probably not what you wanted to know.

Maybe the better question is whose insurance company pays for the injury.

Ohio law says that the owner, harborer, or keeper of a dog may be responsible for the bite. Ohio courts have defined a harborer as “one who has possession and control of the premises where the dog lives, and silently acquiesces to the dog’s presence”. The keeper “is the person who has physical care or charge of the dog”, but there is no ironclad definition.

Here’s one scenario….

John owns a dog. Mary, who lives in a trailer park, feeds it and walks it, and during the day keeps it tied up on common grounds in the trailer park (Happy Homes) where she lives. I would argue that John is the owner, Mary is the Keeper, and Happy Homes is the harborer. And probably, if the dog bit someone on the trailer park grounds, John, Mary, and Happy Homes would all owe the injured person.

Notice that I said I would argue this – because a slight change in facts, or a new court decision – could change everything. And the law on dogs has been changing lately.

Insurance companies are intensely aware that juries don’t like dogs that bite.

They investigate claims early and hard. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you need a lawyer. Call me, Bill Strubbe, a Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney. My phone is 513-621-4775. There is no charge for talking to me.

Other lawyers refer their clients to me. And if you decide you‘d rather hire someone else, that’s OK.

Because all situations are different, and because there may be other facts pertaining to your case that I don’t know about, you should not rely on this answer for legal advice. I am not your attorney, and no lawyer client relationship has been formed. All discussions are limited to Ohio law unless otherwise indicated. And past performance cannot be used to predict future results.

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