Who To Hold Legally Accountable When You Are Injured By A Dog?

As a dog owner, you may not want to even think about the possibility of your dog inflicting harm upon another human being. However, it does happen. Quite frequently, even. And yes, oftentimes the dog’s owner is absolutely shocked by their pet’s actions, especially when they have never shown any previous signs of violent behavior. While priority number one should always be the victim and their injuries, at the back of your head you will likely be wondering who will be held liable for your dog’s actions? Is it you, the owner?

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Can A Dog’s Owner Be Held Liable For Harm Caused By A Dog Bite?

Anyone that owns a pet canine should take whatever actions are necessary, in order to prevent the occurrence of an incident such as a dog bite. Sometimes, families that view their canine as a guard dog, make sure that their four-legged guard does not attack an innocent victim. In those cases, the well-controlled pet often has a history of demonstrating violence, when faced with a possible danger.

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Reviewing Liability Issues That Relate To Pet Dogs

If you own a pet and that pet is a gentle canine, do not think that you have no reason to worry about being held liable for your dog’s actions. Any species of canine can bite or attack a child or an adult. Even if a small animal seems unable to cause any harm, it could still frighten a surprised individual. In other words, every dog owner should accept certain risks. He or she might one day be held liable for someone’s injury. His or her pet might attack or frighten a child or an adult.

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Rights Enjoyed By Plaintiff In Personal Injury Claim

The person that has assumed the role of victim in a personal injury case claims to have been victimized. Naturally, a victim has encountered someone that has ignored the victim’s rights. The law does not ask any victim to mimic the behavior of a saint. For that reason, the law provides the plaintiff with certain rights.

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Understanding Your Rights When A Dog Bites You

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.

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What Is The Compensation For A Victim of Animal Attack?

When it comes to animal attacks in Ontario, dogs are usually the prevailing threat. Even though they are well known as men’s best friend, they can turn vicious and ferocious in a matter of seconds. A dog bite can be sudden, incredibly painful and rather traumatic. What is more, the sudden attack of a vicious dog could also cause deep emotional problems which could accompany you for the rest of your life. Many victims of ferocious attacks are unable to get close to an animal long after the attack.

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Why Are Dog Bites So Serious?

There are quite a few things that you might want to take into thorough account when it comes to dog bites. These are amongst the most challenging accidents that one might have to go through and they are usually associated with very serious injuries and damages. Even though it’s true that not every single dog attack is going to be damaging and dangerous, the majority of them are likely to end up causing a lot of injuries as well as psychological stress which is particularly serious.

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Why Is An Immediate Reaction To Dog Bites Critical?

As unfortunate as this may sound, not all dogs are the furry and loving friends that you think. Over 500,000 people are bitten by dogs in Canada every year and there is nothing that you could adequately do in order to be prepared for an attack of the kind. Regardless of whether it was an aggressive dog or you incentivized the attack, the mental and emotional trauma as well as the injuries in some cases could have lifelong consequences.

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Understanding the Short and Long Term Disability Claims

Injuries which occur to one’s bones, joints as well as the abundance of supporting structures such as the ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscles would most often result from some sort of trauma which has been caused by an accident. The accidents which pose significant interest to the area of personal injury law are car accidents, motorcycle accidents, dog bites as well as slip and fall accidents amongst many more. However, it’s also worth noting that orthopedic injuries would often require surgical intervention which may lead to some permanent disabilities or the necessity of adding artificial objects in the person’s body such as plates, screws or other orthopedic hardware required for the proper functioning of the problem area. You have to understand that these injuries are incredibly serious and they could lead to both short term and long term disabilities, both having different legal consequences.

Short term disabilities

There are a lot of provisions set forth by different acts such as the Insurance Act, the Occupiers’ Liability act and even the Dog Owners’ Liability Act which govern short term disabilities and the way they are recovered by the at fault party. Depending on the premise that they derive from, the orthopedic injury is going to be subjected to a different order of compensation and it would lead to a different amount of legal responsibility which is going to be imposed and taken by the at fault party. However, if a trial is sought after and it ends successfully, monetary compensation is going to be awarded in all cases. These traumas are typically not that serious or at least they don’t have a permanent effect on the body of the victim. However, you can file for compensation with the help of a personal injury lawyer and cover the cost of medical bills and other compensatory damages.

Long term disabilities

These are also known as permanent disabilities as there is less to no chances at all for full recovery of the one who is suffering from them. Loss of sight or other senses, for instance, as well as loss of limbs or other body parts will always lead to long term disabilities and they have to be treated as such.

The main thing about this type of injuries is that they lead to cases which seek monetary compensation in the form of a disability benefit, or pension, which has to compensate the loss of income of the victim in a manner which would allow him proper and dignified living. However, these cases are incredibly hard to go through as there is a lot that has to be proven and that’s why you should definitely rely upon the services of a reputable attorney with a lot of relevant experience and dully proven track record to get you the compensation that you rightfully deserve. These cases often take quite a long time prior to being settled by the court.

We proudly serve the residents in the Mississauga, Brampton and Burlington areas. If you want a personal injury lawyer that represents your best interests, we’d love to review your case and give a free consultation. Contact us today!

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What is the Liability of the Dog Owner?

Strictly speaking, the municipalities of Ontario are responsible for the overall animal control in the province. This means that if a person has a particular complaint about the dog of someone else, he should contact the local office of animal control and make his case. However, if the situation is an emergency, he should consider contacting the police.

However, if someone is bitten by a dog, for instance, he has the full right to sue the owner of said dogs for the damages that he had incurred. It won’t much matter if the person who owns the dog is negligent, at fault or, in fact, has any knowledge of the occurrence of the dog bit. If the lawsuit is held successfully and the court orders him to pay the damages, he’d have to do so regardless of anything else. On top of all that, there are also additional precautions that have to be taken into thorough consideration – the owner has to put a lead or a muzzle on the dog or said dog is going to be legally destroyed, which is basically the worst case scenario.

Additionally, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario makes every single dog owner responsible for the damages which are caused by bites of his dog to another person or to other domestic animals. In fact, if the case is serious enough, the victim might file an application to the court, requiring the dog to be destroyed or euthanized if it’s considered severely vicious. The court is also entitled to order the owner of the dog to exercise extreme precaution by putting the dog on a tight leash, getting it muzzled or confined to a strictly secure area with particular and clear warning signs. The court can also prohibit the dog owner to own a dog for a specific period of time if found appropriate.

Prohibition on pit bulls

There is also an interesting provision in the Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario which specifically prohibits pit bulls from being imported, bred or even transferred throughout the province. However, if you’ve owned a pit bull prior to 2005 you don’t have to worry as those animals are exempt from the provision. In any case, you are allowed to have a restricted pit bull which has to be thoroughly leashed, sterilized and muzzled. An offence of these regulations can just as well result in a severe penalty of up to $10,000 and even jail time of up to 6 months. The state takes this restriction seriously as pit bulls are considered to be more dangerous than other dogs due to the nature of their bite and their overall temperament. In any case, the regulations are thorough and extensive and easy to follow.

Thus, as a dog owner, you need to be conversant with the current laws and regulations so that you are not caught off. This will help you stay protected and others too.

We proudly serve the residents in the Mississauga, Brampton and Burlington areas. If you want a personal injury lawyer that represents your best interests, we’d love to review your case and give a free consultation. Contact us today!

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