According to recent statistics, over 40 people (throughout Canada) get bitten by dogs every hour. In Ontario Province alone, more than 5,000 dog bites occur on an annual basis. Ironically, there are significantly more attacks and bites that never get reported to the authorities. In many instances, the victims are reluctant to report such incidents and seek compensation because they know the animal as well as their masters. But even though they felt that the dog was good natured and friendly, they still got bitten.
Ontario Dog Owner’s Liability Act (DOLA)
The Dog Owner’s Liability Act or DOLA went into effect in Ontario Province in 1990 and specifically deals with any dog owner’s civil liability. According to the law, a dog’s owner (or owners) will be liable for damages if the animal attacks and bites another person or their pet. The law also specifies that the owner of the animal will be held responsible for any and all damages regardless of whether they knew or didn’t know that the dog had the propensity to attack.
In other words, even if the animal had never attacked and bitten another individual or domestic animal, the owner can still be held responsible. Unlike the prior law, the Dog Owner’s Liability Act does not forgive the first attack and bite. The changes in this law signify how the Ontario Provincial Government now recognizes that the person who is attacked and bitten is truly a victim. Furthermore, they should not have to prove that the dog is aggressive in order to receive compensation for their injuries. There are different aspects of the law that have to be considered when the claim is made. This is one of the reasons that you cannot work with just any lawyer but you need a specialized personal injury lawyer that is an expert at dig bite claims. Ensure that you check the past record and compensations that they have won for other clients. That will help you judge the outcome of your case.
According to the law, you may be entitled to compensation for damages if a dog attacks and bites you. However, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to represent your case improves your chances of getting a fair and reasonable settlement in the matter. As an example, you could be compensated for many aspects of damages including your housekeeping expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, past and future medical expenses, and transportation to and from the doctor. Plus, you could also be awarded psychological damages such as emotional distress or increased anxiety.It will basically depend upon the skill and experience of the lawyer that you hire.