Why Hire an Ottawa dog bite lawyer?
Injuries in dog bite cases
Victims of dog bites and attacks experience physical, emotional and financial trauma. The experience is often overwhelming.
Every part of a person’s body is vulnerable in a dog attack and so almost any type of injury is possible. Dogs have strong jaws and teeth and their bites can cause serious and sometimes deadly injuries. Dogs can target any part of the body and so the types of injuries suffered by victims can be severe or minor, depending on the attack.
The types of injuries that may occur from a dog bite or dog attack range from minor cuts to serious and even deadly injuries. Some of the most common injuries we have seen in cases we have handled include the following:
- Puncture wounds
- Scarring on the body
- Nerve injuries
- Tendon injuries
- Crushed bones
- Fractured arteries
- Facial scarring
- Head injuries
- Bleeding wounds
- Bacterial infections such as Rabies, Capnocytophaga, MRS, tetanus and Pasteurella
While we have seen plenty of physical injuries arising from dog bites or attacks, often there are also emotional and psychological injuries associated in such cases. It is not uncommon, especially with children as victims, to suffer from a severe emotional reaction from the dog bite or attack. In some cases, while the physical injuries heal over time, the emotional injuries last a life time and require psychological counseling and treatment. It is also not uncommon for victims of dog bites to develop fear of dogs, anxiety, stress and depression. In many cases, the victim develops post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and can suffer from nightmares, flashbacks, constant thoughts about the attack, overwhelming sense of fear.
Because in most cases dog bites cause an open wound, the victim can come into contact with the dog’s saliva which can cause dangerous and sometimes lethal infections. Medical treatment immediately after a dog bite should be obtained.
In many cases, the dog attack has left permanent scarring on the victim. We have seen many cases of dog attack victims receiving bites to the face which in most cases leaves permanent facial scarring, requiring plastic and reconstructive surgery to reduce or remove the scars. The cost of surgery is often in the thousands.
What types of damages can be ordered in dog attack or dog bite cases?
If you or a loved one has been injured by a dog attack or dog bite, you may be entitled to various damages including the following:
- Damages for pain and suffering including damages for mental and/or emotional suffering.
- Damages for past and future medical treatment expenses.
- Damages for out of pocket expenses.
- Damages for loss of past and future income.
- Damages for loss of earning capacity.
- Damages for home care services.
Does insurance cover dog bite cases?
There are many types of insurance policies that may cover dog bite or dog attack cases. Insurance is purchased to cover unexpected losses and in many cases we find that the dog owner has an insurance policy to cover the claim. That policy can cover all types of damages. Our dog bite lawyers will quickly write to the dog owner and request a copy of any relevant insurance policies, review the policies and determine if coverage is available and how much is covered (usually at least 1 million dollars). If insurance does not cover the loss, you can still claim damages directly from the dog owner and if the dog owner has a job or assets, you can seize their assets or garnish their wages after obtaining a judgment.
The types of insurance policies that may cover dog bite cases include tenant’s insurance, homeowner’s insurance, excess insurance policies, umbrella insurance policies, commercial liability insurance policies and in some cases car insurance policies.
What law applies to dog bite cases in Ontario?
In Ontario, dog bites are considered strict liability torts and are subject to the Dog Owners’ Liability Act. Tort means wrongful act. Strict liability means the victim does not need to prove that the dog owner was negligent. The victim will need to simply prove the following to win:
- Identify the dog owner (the defendant).
- The defendant owned the dog that bit the victim.
- The victim suffered injuries.
- The injuries suffered by the victim was caused by the dog.
Because Ontario is a “strict liability” province. The dog owner will likely be held liable whether or not the dog bit before or attacked before and it does not matter that the dog owner did not think their dog was dangerous or took reasonable precautions to prevent a dog attack or bite.
Why hire an Ottawa dog bite lawyer?
The list of benefits in having a dog bite lawyer fight for you is long.
Our dog bite lawyers will complete many tasks including the following:
- Meet with you for free.
- Discuss your case with you for free.
- Provide a free assessment of your case.
- Provide you with an opinion on your dog bite case.
- Provide you with an explanation about the process of making a claim.
- Be the contact person with the dog owner, the insurers and the lawyers so you don’t need to.
- Offer you peace of mind that your case is being properly handled.
- Ensure notice periods and limitation periods are met.
- Obtain statements from witnesses.
- Conduct a full damages assessment.
- Arrange for the retention of medical and economic experts.
- Give you helpful hints on how to properly document your case, including documenting your losses and injuries.
- Conduct legal research to maximize your recovery.
- Pay for up front medical expenses and expert reports.
- Not charge a fee until you win your case.
- Deal with the insurance companies and their lawyers.
- Document your expenses and damages.
- If necessary, hire private investigators to locate witnesses or the dog owner.
- Collect important relevant evidence.
- Leverage years of experience as a dog bite lawyer against the insurance company and their lawyers.
- Gather all documents necessary to put together a settlement proposal.
- Negotiate an out of court settlement.
- Give you peace of mind that your case is well handled with an experienced dog bite lawyers.
- Never give up on you.
If you or a loved one has been bitten or attacked by a dog and suffered injuries, you have the right to claim compensation from the dog owner. In Ontario, dog owners are strictly liable for the injuries caused by their dogs and insurers understand the risks involved in defending these cases. If you can identify the dog owner and the dog that bit or attacked you, your claim will succeed. You need not prove that the dog owner was negligent and it does not matter if the dog never bit anyone before.
If you’re unsure how you should proceed, call us and speak with one of our experienced dog bite lawyers who will protect your rights. Our dog bite lawyers will make sure the dog owner is held responsible for their dog. We will advance your claim aggressively so you will obtain the maximum compensation the law allows. Our Ottawa dog bite lawyers have helped hundreds of dog bite and dog attack victims and have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. Our injury lawyers will meet with you for free, assess your case and provide you with options for pursuing the dog owner.
During our initial meeting, our lawyers will discuss with you the facts of the case, discuss your concerns, assess the merits of your case and discuss a plan of action to best suit your needs. Our lawyers will discuss any concerns you have in relation to your relationship with the dog owner. All of your questions about the process of claiming compensation will be answered.