Oshawa injury lawyers at Kitchen Simeson Belliveau LLP know that dog attack claims used to be tough for an injury victim to establish. A dog attack victim used to have to prove a number of things, including that the dog owner knew of the dog’s propensity to do harm by biting or attacking people. All of that was done away with by the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. D.16,  which is the law that now applies to all personal injury claims for dog bites and dog attacks in Ontario. The Dog Owners’ Liability Act imposes “strict liability” on the owner of a dog for damages resulting from a bite or attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal.

Liability of a dog owner for personal injury damages

Because the Dog Owners’ Liability Act imposes strict liability on the owner of the dog, the dog attack victim does not have to prove that the dog was vicious or that the dog owner was in some way negligent or unreasonable. A dog owner will be financially liable for damages for personal injuries caused by his or her dog if the dog attack victim proves two things: (i) that the dog bite or attack resulted in the damages in question, and (ii) that the dog who caused the injuries was owned by the person against whom the personal injury claim was brought.  

Allegation of fault against the dog attack victim

As discussed, a dog attack injury claim does not depend on the victim proving fault or negligence on the part of the dog owner. However, it is important to understand that those concepts can be raised by the dog owner to defend against the personal injury claim. In other words, it is open to the dog owner to argue that the dog attack victim was at fault or acted in a negligent manner which caused or contributed to the damages sustained. This is known at law as “contributory negligence.”

Know your rights if the dog owner says dog attack was your fault

Our experienced Oshawa dog attack injury lawyers know that the issue of contributory negligence is very fact specific and will typically only be established in cases where the dog attack victim provoked the dog or failed to listen to warnings from the dog’s owner. That being said, the defence of contributory negligence has the potential to reduce or even eliminate the dog owner’s liability for financial compensation. If the dog owner can prove contributory negligence or fault of the part of the dog attack victim, there will be a proportional reduction in the damages (e.g., if the injured person was 15 per cent at fault, compensation will be reduced by 15 per cent). The risk to your claim – or your child’s claim, as children are frequently the victim in dog attack claims – should not be ignored. Call us today at 905-579-5302 to schedule your free consultation.

How much compensation will you get for your injuries?

If you have been injured by a dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation including general damages for pain and suffering caused by your injuries, lost wages for time off work to recover from your injuries, and medical care expenses. If you would like to know the damages you may be entitled to receive, contact our personal injury lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation. Once we have met to discuss your injuries and the impact they have had on your life, we can provide you with an estimate of the likely range of compensation for your injuries based on our experience and review of case law involving similar dog attack injuries.

After a dog attacks, injury lawyers in Oshawa can help you

Our experienced personal injury lawyers can protect your legal rights and help you advance your claim for damages. If you have been the victim of a dog bite or dog attack, contact us as soon as possible so that you do not miss the filing deadline to bring an insurance claim or the limitation period to commence a lawsuit. We can prepare the necessary paperwork to bring your claim and communicate with the other party on your behalf so you can focus on recovery and getting back to your normal life. Our Oshawa dog attack injury lawyers will guide you in gathering and preserving evidence of your injuries and can prepare a strategy to attack any allegations of fault made against you. Call us today at 905-579-5302 to schedule your free consultation.