How Do I Find The Right Dog Bite Lawyer to Handle My Dog Attack Case?

The handling of a dog bite or dog attack case requires a certain level of experience that not all lawyers possess. In Ontario, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act is the statutory law that applies to dog bite and attack cases. There are also local municipal by-laws that may impact a dog liability case, but those by-laws do not displace the Dog Owners’ Liability Act which is the primary law in Ontario. If you’ve been injured by a dog bite or dog attack, it is important that the injury lawyer you select has experience dealing with dog bite and attack cases. The provisions of the Dog Owners’ Liability Act have been interpreted by judges and it is important to know about and understand those rulings, called “case law”. The law changes frequently and so knowledge of the new leading cases is important. Our injury lawyers keep well informed about new cases regarding dog bite and attack matters and regularly attend personal injury seminars and conferences.

As a victim of a dog bite or an attack, your likelihood of being fairly compensated often rests in the hands of your injury lawyer who should be able to understand the law of animal attacks – dog bites and also understand the intricacies and complexities of the injuries suffered by dog attack victims. For instance, while physical injuries heal over time, the psychological and emotional impact of the dog attack incident can last a lifetime and in many cases the damages and compensation awarded for emotional and psychological injuries can far exceed the damages one would expect from the physical injuries alone.

Knowing if and what specific type of experts are needed in dog attack and bite cases is an important element. In many cases, experts include surgeons, plastic and reconstructive surgeons, psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, future care assessors, lost of income and opportunity experts, actuaries and economists. An experienced dog bite lawyer can navigate through the evidence and provide important and vital advice on which experts to retain and when to retain them.

The cost of experts can sometimes be in the tens of thousands and so it is important to know that your dog bite lawyer can afford to pay for these experts and thus has the financial resources available to process your case through to the end. Hiring experts, completing the investigations, completing examinations and other steps can be expensive and it requires that your dog bite lawyer can afford the cost of the litigation. Your dog bite lawyer’s ability to afford and take a case to trial is important.

In dog bite cases, like most injury cases, an experienced injury lawyer will take many steps to protect your rights and interests including the following:

  1. Meet with you and discuss your options and explain the law.
  2. Gather important information.
  3. Gather vital documents to support your claim.
  4. Interview witnesses as soon as possible and secure witness statements.
  5. Place the dog owner on notice in writing right away.
  6. If the owner is unknown, take steps to identity the dog owner.
  7. Obtain and review your medical records.
  8. Hire needed experts.
  9. Secure other vital evidence.
  10. Take photographs of the injuries.
  11. Identify persons, other than just the dog owner, that may also be liable for the incident.
  12. Solicit and obtain incident reports such as police reports and the entire police file.
  13. If the local municipality was involved, secure their entire file.
  14. Complete case law research to support your claims.
  15. Investigate all applicable heads of damages you may be entitled to.
  16. Make contact with insurance companies.
  17. Establish a good working relationship with the assigned insurance representative or lawyer involved in the case.
  18. Etc…
  19. The outcome of a dog bite case is often directly related to the level of experience of your dog bite lawyer. When interviewing a dog bite lawyer, ask them how many similar cases they have handled and what steps they intend to take to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation for your injuries.

Contact one of our dog bite lawyers for a free consultation at 613-315-4878.

For more information on dog bite law in Ontario, read my article by clicking the link here: dog bite law in Ontario.

Marc-Nicholas Quinn
Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer