Have you been bitten by a dog?

One of the most common misconceptions about dog bites and attacks is that they only come from aggressive and untrained dogs. However, with an average of 500,000 people a year in Canada injured by dogs, most dog bite incidents occur amongst children under the age of 10 while interacting with familiar dogs.

While most dog-related injuries are usually minor, this is not the case in all incidents. Dog bites can cause severe physical harm in children and adults and can leave the victim with lasting mental trauma and physical scars. 

What should you do if you've been bitten by a dog? 

If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, you should seek medical attention right away, as dog bites can cause severe infection and other complications if not treated properly. Some extreme conditions can be: 

Sepsis: If a dog bite is left untreated, it can sometimes lead to sepsis. Sepsis is a severe reaction to infection, and if left untreated, it can result in death.
Tetanus: A dog that bites you that is not up to date on its vaccines can allow the tetanus virus to enter your body. Tetanus requires long-term supportive care while the disease runs its course throughout your body.
Rabies: If the dog that bites you has rabies, then there is a high chance that you will get the rabies virus. Once a rabies infection is established in the human body, there's no effective treatment. 

Gather Information

If you have been bitten by a dog, try and remain calm. After you are safe and the owner has a hold on their dog, try and gather the following information. It is essential to document that you were not on the owner's property with criminal intent and that you were not at fault leading to a dog attack.

  • Take photos of your injuries
  • Get the dog owner's information and information of where the attack happened 
  • Take photos of the dog(s) who attacked you, the dog or dogs' names, and dog license numbers
  • Record any witness information (names, phone numbers, and address) 

All this information can assist your lawyer in cataloguing your injuries and can help in getting you the total compensation that you are due. 

Ontario Dog Owners Liability Act 

The Ontario Dog Owners Liability Act was introduced in 1990 to protect the victims of those bitten or attacked by a dog. This law holds the dog owner liable for the damages if their dog bites or attacks another person or domestic animal.

When dealing with dog bites, the victim can choose to sue the dog owner through the court system, and the victim is entitled to compensation. Most homeowner insurance policies respond to dog bite claims, so victims are usually compensated from the insurance company and not directly from the dog owner.

In the event of a lawsuit, the victim can sue for damages, including the following:

  • Medical treatment and recovery
  • Plastic surgery to treat severe scarring or disfiguration
  • Emotional and mental trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Lowered quality of life
  • Wrongful death, if a loved one has died as a result of a dog attack

You may be wondering about what happens to the dog as a result of its actions. The dog's punishment is not determined in your personal injury lawsuit but instead is decided by the criminal and animal control proceedings towards the dog's owner. Suppose the court finds the allegations against the dog are true. In that case, they almost never require that the animal be euthanized, instead they may require the owner take specified measures to gain more efficient control over the dog, such as restraining with a leash and a muzzle, confinement to the owner's property only, or posting warning signs on their property. 

If you want to know more about your legal rights in dog bite cases or want to know whether your case warrants pursuing a lawsuit, contact Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers today. For a free legal consultation, call us at 905-522-9799

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Disclaimer: The information throughout this website is not intended to be taken as legal advice. The information provided by Findlay Personal Injury Lawyers is intended to provide general information regarding personal injury law, catastrophic injury cases, wrongful death claims, medical malpractice lawsuits, car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and more for residents of Hamilton, Burlington, Stoney Creek, Brantford, Niagara Falls, and nearby areas in Ontario. This website is not intended for viewing or usage by European Union citizens. If you are interested in learning more about our law firm, please contact us for a personal consultation.

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