There is a reason dogs are called man’s best friend. For millennia, humans and dogs have enjoyed a strong social bond, and many people consider their dogs part of the family. Despite being loyal and loving creatures, dogs can become aggressive and bite for a number of reasons. Depending on the severity, a dog bite can result in trauma, scarring, pain, disfigurement, and other injuries.
If you are involved in a dog bite incident, there are several things you can do:
1. Seek immediate medical attention.
2. Obtain the identification of the dog owner and the names and contact information of witnesses.
3. Report the details of the incident to your local health unit, animal control service, and/or the police.
If you sustain a dog bite in Ontario, learn about the certain rights and remedies that are applicable to you through various legal authorities. Ontario follows a stern liability rule on dog owners. Although dog bite cases in this province typically favour the victims, the court still needs to take a closer look and assess whether the victim is partly at fault for the dog attack.
Many dog bites lead to recoverable damages. Current and future medical bills, lost wages, counseling, and damages for pain and suffering may be covered if your dog bite experience causes:
- Loss of earning capacity
- Permanent physical impairment
- Emotional distress
- Plastic surgery
Although The Dog Owners Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16 s.2 (1) clearly states: “The owner of the dog is liable for the damages resulting from a bite or attack of the dog on another person or domestic animal,” subsection 2 (3) states that “The liability of the owner does not depend upon the knowledge of the propensity of the dog or fault or negligence on the part of the owner, but the court shall reduce the damages awarded in proportion to the degree, if any, to which the fault or negligence of the plaintiff caused or contributed to the damages.”
If the court proves that the sufferer of a bite provoked the animal, the victim still has the right to file a claim for recoverable damages, but the court may reduce the settlement amount.
If you or a loved one is has been bitten by a dog, you need your claim presented clearly and thoroughly through legal channels. Consult a personal injury lawyer in Richmond Hill with years of professional experience. Call Michelle Linka Law at (416) 477-7288 or send us an email for legal advice.