What are exceptions in Ohio’s Dog Bite Law


Ohio law carves out a few exceptions to its dog bit law. If any of the following occurred in the lead-up to the dog bite, its owner, harborer, or keeper will not be held liable for damages:

  • The victim was criminally trespassing or attempting to trespass
  • The victim was committing a criminal offense other than a minor misdemeanor
  • The dog was being teased, abused, or tormented

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you must show that you were not trespassing at the time, and that you weren’t teasing or tormenting the dog when they bit you. If the court determines that the dog was provoked, even if you were acting innocently, its owner will not be liable for your damages. However, you can still seek damages if the owner has a “Beware of Dog” sign—in Ohio, the assumption of risk is not a defense against a dog bite.

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