What to Know Before Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Ontario

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What to Know Before Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit in Ontario

What to Know Before Filing a Dog Bite Lawsuit

Before launching a dog bite lawsuit, there is important information that needs to be gathered.

Responsibility for a Dog Bite

The reasons for dog bites and attacks vary. They include aggression, fear, pain, poor socialization, sickness and territoriality. Dog bites can cause permanent or temporary pain and injury. Under the eyes of the law, the excuse for the dog bite doesn’t matter. A dog owner needs to be in control of the animal at all times. According to Ontario’s Dog Owner’s Liability Act (DOLA), if a dog bites you, the owner is responsible for any damage to you or your property.
If the dog is owned by more than one person, then all owners are held responsible for the bite. There are even circumstances where the property owner can be held responsible. For example, a landlord who allows renters to keep dangerous dogs on the rental property may be held liable. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced personal injury lawyer take charge of your dog bite lawsuit. Your lawyer can help you determine who’s responsible for your pain and suffering.
If you provoked the dog in some way, you are still entitled to financial compensation, although the amount may be reduced if you’re found partially responsible for the attack. If your child was bitten, the court will look at whether your child was properly supervised during the incident. If not, then the court may award lower damages, finding the parent or guardian partially responsible for the bite or attack.

What to Do After a Dog Bite

After a dog bite, your priority should be to get medical help, especially if the attack was a serious one. There are a few other things that need to be done at the scene of the bite. If you have someone with you, they can be a big help at this time.
First, you have to get the name and number of the dog owner. You’ll need proof that the dog’s shots are up to date so you don’t have to worry about things like rabies shots. If the dog belongs to a friend or family member, this part is easy – although there may be pressure placed on you to not report the bite. Getting the information isn’t as easy if the dog is running loose or the owner refuses to provide their personal information.
Ask any witnesses for their contact information as well so that they can verify your story for your dog bite lawsuit. It’s possible that the witnesses may know or recognize the owner of the dog, making it easier to track the person. The bite also needs to be reported to the police, the local health department and the local by-law enforcement office. If the owner failed to share his/her contact information, one of these offices may be able to help you track the owner and the dog.
You also need to take pictures of any wounds. Start taking them the day of the attack and keep taking updated shots. These will be useful in your dog bite lawsuit.
Consult a lawyer who has experience in dog bites. Your lawyer can also use investigative techniques to help you track down the owner if necessary and guide you during your dog bite lawsuit.
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