Being the Victim of a Dog Bite — The Legal Steps You Can Take
We love our pets; they bring us love, happiness, and amazing memories. As a dog owner, however, you have several responsibilities. In Ontario, The Dog Owners’ Liability Act outlines the responsibilities that dog owners have for their dogs. Under the Act, dog owners are liable for any injury or damage to people or property that their dog causes.
If you’ve been attacked or bitten by a dog, it’s important that you know your rights and take proper steps. After an accident, the first thing that you must do is seek medical attention. Dog bites can become infected, so it’s important to first take care of the wound. The next step is to collect contact information from the dog owner. Additionally, ensure that you collect and maintain plenty of documentation of the accident — this includes photographs, medical documents, and receipts from your treatment. Photographs are very important as they can accurately portray your injuries and confirm that the accident did happen.
If you make a dog bite claim, the court will consider several factors in order to determine your eligibility for compensation. Some of these factors include:
- How serious the injury is.
- If the injuries are permanent.
- If you’ve suffered economic losses as a result of the attack, such as lost wages.
- Whether you did anything to provoke the dog or if you contributed to the attack. If you are found somewhat responsible, the damages could be reduced.