Dog Bites Claims
Dogs are always around to care, love and protect us when no one else is there. They are considered as man’s best friend. Nonetheless, a single dog bite can change everything. While canines are very loyal, their bite or attack is risky. They are capable of doing harm and, worst, fatal death. The laws in Canada concerning ownership of dog protect victims, and thus the existence of dog bites claims and compensation.
Any injured individual resulting from a dog attack must claim a compensation. If you are bitten by a dog, the owner becomes liable. Victim’s protection for dog bites was limited in the past. The common law’s general principle and the ancient doctrine law on “scienter” (or foreknowledge) are the measures to compensate victims of dog bites. To be able to avail a fair compensation, a clear negligence on the owner’s part must first proven. Nowadays, the burden is on the dog owners. They must prove not to be held responsible to the injury of the victim.
What to DO in Dog Bites Claims
There are specific steps to follow if you are bitten by a dog in Canada. Here they are:
1. See a doctor (or a veterinarian) for serious attacks or bites;
2. Jot down information about the dog and its owner once you have the opportunity, and before you leave the scene. If it’s an astray dog, the color and looks of the dog, the least;
3. Take photos of the injuries/ wounds;
4. Find and talk to witnesses. Ask for name and contact information. You will need them for legal proceedings in the future;
5. Report the incident to the local police and Animal Services for investigation; and
6. Hire an expert personal injury claim attorney to file dog bite claims.
Features of Dog Owner’s Liability Act
There are over half a million dog bite incidence in Canada. Thus the government has a law to mitigate this. Any injury to a person or other animals resulting from a dog attack is the responsibility of the owner. Once the dog is proven to be dangerous, the Court may order for its destruction, or conditions of better control (leashing, muzzling, or prohibiting owner from owning one for a time being).
Most provinces also warn owners for allowing their dogs to run loose or else they will face monetary penalties. The fine range is $50 to $5,000. The “strict liability” is impose for responsible dog ownership. Meaning, the victim must not prove the fault and negligent of the owner. Even if the latter has acted reasonably, he/she will be accountable.
Furthermore, the owner needs to pay for damages. The Court will evaluate the amount. If negotiation happens and it settles the case out of court, the compensation includes the cost of legal research by the personal injury attorney.
There is a possibility that the sum of the compensation lessens due to “contributory negligence”. This happens once the Court sees the victim as partially responsible for the attack, such as the case of provoking the dog causing such behavior.
Lastly, it is but common that the dog owner will consequently be charged for the dog bite. But for pleadings and negotiations, you need someone to do it for you. It is always proper to contact a lawyer specializing in personal injury if you plan to file dog bite claims. You can contact one of our personal injury lawyers here in Ottawa for a free consultation.The earlier, the better!