If you have been bitten by a dog or attacked by a dog in Ontario and you have suffered a dog bite mental, psychological or physical injury, you are protected by the law in most cases. In addition to provincial and local prosecution pursuant to local by-laws and the provincial Dog Bite Owners’ Liability Act, you are entitled to seek compensation for injuries sustained in dog bite cases. The remedies available include compensation for pain and suffering, reimbursement of medical expenses, reimbursement for out of pocket expenses, reimbursement for medical treatments such as counselling and reimbursement for loss of income. These remedies can be exercised with the involvement and support of one of our personal injury lawyers.
After being attacked or bitten, it is vital that you identify the dog owner. Identifying the responsible person means that the police and local municipality can prosecute the dog owner. Also, it allows your lawyer to immediately contact the dog owner and place them on notice of your claim so that any policies of insurance that may cover the loss is triggered. Sometimes, identifying the dog owner is an onerous task, especially if the incident occurred in a public place and you do not know the owner. It is important that you speak to witnesses on the scene right away, as dog owners have a habit of disappearing.
Once you have obtained medical attention, you should contact a personal injury lawyer who deals with dog bite and dog attack cases. Special legislation applies to dog bite and dog attack cases and special rules of law apply as well. Your dog bite liability lawyer will want to obtain a description of the dog attack or bite, photographs of the injuries and the name and address of the owner of the dog or dogs in question.
In Ontario, legal responsibility and liability for dog bites and attacks are generally governed by the provisions of the Dog Owners’ Liability Act . As the case law as interpreted the provisions of the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, dog owners are held to a high standard and they can be liable on the basis of strict liability, which provides dog owners with very limited defences to claims for compensation by victims.
This standard protects victims of dog bites and attacks. A person who has suffered any type of injury by reason of a dog bite or attack simply has to identify the dog and its owner and prove that the dog caused the injuries and the dog owner must pay compensation.
It is important to note that, in most cases, claims for compensation arising from injuries sustained as a result of dog bites or dog attacks are generally covered by the owner’s home insurance policies or tenant’s insurance policies.
Once notified of the claim, the dog owner merely places their insurer on notice and the insurer appoints an adjuster to resolve the claim or a lawyer to defend the claim. The insurance coverage applies whether the dog bite or dog attack occurred at the dog owner’s property/home or somewhere outside their home.
In terms of prosecution, the dog owner can face many consequences, including having the dog put down, fines, penalties, muzzle orders, jail time and other protective orders.
In simple terms, if you have been injured by a dog bite or dog attack, the owner of the dog must provide compensation, whether or not they have insurance. At Plant Quinn Thiele Mineault Grodzki PC, LLP, we will make the dog owner pay, one way or the other. Contact us for a free consultation. If we do not settle your case, we will charge you nothing. We only get paid if you receive compensation. Call 613-315-HURT or 613-315-4878. Marc-Nicholas Quinn, Lawyer, Mediator and Author.