Dog hanging out of the window of a car.

Who Is Liable When a Dog Causes a Car Accident in Ohio?

Car accidents happen and sometimes we are not the ones who make them but rather the ones ultimately responsible for them. One such instance is when a dog seriously injures someone else or damages his or her property. 

In the state of Ohio, dog law is essentially the same as property law. Similar to the way in which someone can be held liable for the injuries another incurs from any unsafe conditions on their property, the owner of a dog can be held liable for any damages that another person suffers due to the animal acting in an unsafe manner.  

Dog’s Fault, Owner’s Responsibility

For instance, imagine a driver who has his dog in the car as he is driving down the road. The driver is paying attention but out of nowhere, the dog climbs on his lap obstructing his view and causing him to crash into an oncoming vehicle, injuring all three people inside. 

Although the dog was the one who was the direct cause of the accident, the owner was the one who could have prevented it by either ensuring that the dog was kept securely in the back seat or by leaving the dog at home. 

Likewise, if a dog escaped its fence in the back yard and ran into the street causing a car to swerve into a mailbox to avoid hitting it, the owner of the dog would once again be responsible for the damage caused by the dog. The owner is always responsible for what his or her dog does should it escape. However, this can prove difficult if the dog escapes or is found without its tags or an identity chip.

Although the driver would have a personal injury claim against the owner of the dog, he or she would still be obligated to demonstrate that he or she did not do anything that greatly contributed to the crash such as reading a text at the same time. 

Similar to a hit-and-run crash, if the owner of the dog cannot be identified the individual who incurred injuries or damages due to the animal can file an uninsured motorist claim with their own insurance company (should they have such a policy).

The Attorneys at Jones Kahan Law, LLC Can Help Those in Ohio Who Have Been Injured Due to Another’s Pet

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it can greatly impact many parts of your life. The physical, emotional, and financial toll can be overwhelming. That’s why it is so important to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney who can help to prove your case. 

At Jones Kahan Law, LLC, our Cincinnati Personal Injury attorneys have a long history of dealing with personal injury accidents and have helped our clients to recover the compensation that they deserve. We will fight for what is in your best interest. We don’t charge you any attorneys’ fees until we win your case. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today