Dog Bite Victims and the Dog Owner’s Liability Act

Dog Bite Victims and the Dog Owner’s Liability Act

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Roughly 5 million people in Canada and the US get attacked and/or bitten by dogs on an annual basis. In fact, the Canadian Humane Society estimates that one individual gets bitten every 60 seconds. However, dog bite injuries are not only physical as they can have mental consequences as well when you consider that a person may be permanently disfigured as a result. If you were recently attacked and bitten by a dog, you may be able to have retained a dog bite lawyer in Toronto to represent you and file a personal injury claim against the animal’s owner. Having the documents with listed injuries and ensuing medical treatment can help.

About the Dog Owner’s Liability Act of 1990

Over 25 years ago, Ontario’s Provincial Government enacted the Dog Owner’s Liability Act (R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16) which is comprised of the 4 following segments:

  • Liability of the owner
  • Liability when there is more than one owner
  • Extent of liability
  • Contribution by person at fault

While the act favors the victim of a dog attack and/or bite over the owner of the animal, the courts will consider a number of different factors before rendering their decision. For instance, they might ask if the animal has had a tendency towards aggressive or violent behavior or if the person who was injured provoked the animal in any way. These are just a couple of examples of what a judge and jury may consider during a personal injury lawsuit of this type.

Explaining the Act in more generalized Terms

If you have recently been bitten by a dog and are considering hiring a dog bite lawyer in Toronto firm to file your claim and represent your case, you want to remember the key points of the Dog Owner’s Liability Act which include the following 6 points:

1) The dog’s owner is responsible for injuries inflicted to another person by the animal.

2) If any dog confronts an individual who has entered a home or workplace with the intention of committing a criminal act, the dog’s owner will not be held responsible if the animal injures the intruder.

3) If the court determines that the animal is dangerous or a threat to other people, or that the dog has a history of attacking and/or biting other animals and/or individuals, the court may issue an order to have the animal down.

4) In addition to the previous point, Ontario Provincial courts can order the animal’s owner to do one of the following:

  • confine the dog to the owner’s property
  • post warning signs regarding the dog
  • restrain the dog with a leash
  • restrain the dog with a muzzle

5) In order to prevent animal attacks and/or bites, dog owners are responsible for taking the necessary to avoid future attacks and/or bites by the animal and to prevent them from becoming a safety hazard.

6) Ontario Province has made it illegal to own Pit Bulls.

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