Someone in Canada suffers a dog bite every 60 seconds, according to the Humane Society of Canada. That’s over 525,000 dog bite victims each year, most of whom are children. Too many times, uneducated and irresponsible pet owners are the reason for a dog’s aggressive behavior. It’s important that dog bite victims seek out legal remedies if this is to change.
If you’ve been injured by a dog bite, you should seek medical attention right away. You may require treatment to prevent infection, or immunization from diseases. You should also report the attack to the police and your local animal services centre in order to thoroughly document the incident and preserve evidence. Once that’s done, it’s important that you speak with a dedicated personal injury lawyer in order to protect your rights.
Dog attacks can kill and they can cause serious injury, permanent disfigurement and psychological trauma. Such injuries can set off a chain reaction that includes reconstructive surgeries, losses of income, and a series of expenses that the victim must shoulder. Your personal injury lawyer can help change these outcomes.
Sometimes, dog bite victims are reluctant to seek compensation because the dog owners are friends or family. If the dog owners have home or tenant insurance, this need not be a concern. Dog bites are generally covered in home and tenant insurance policies, which usually have at least $1 million of liability coverage. This coverage protects dog owners from becoming personally saddled with the legal costs of defending or paying compensation in a dog bite case. The insurance company pays the victim’s compensation plus the legal costs. We can help you assess whether such insurance coverage is present in your case.
In Ontario, the Dog Owners’ Liability Act sets out the legal responsibilities of dog owners. This law makes dog owners responsible for injuries and losses caused by their dog, including injuries to people and other people’s pets. Compensation for a dog bite may be reduced in circumstances where the injured person did something to cause the animal to attack.
If you are the victim of a dog or animal attack, your claims can include compensation for:
- your and your family’s pain and suffering
- loss of income, past and future, that you or a family member may suffer due to your injuries
- costs of medical rehabilitation, past and future, which include costs of:
- elective plastic surgeries not covered by OHIP
- costs of prescription creams and sunscreen not covered by OHIP
- professional makeup to help hide the scarring
- psychological counselling
- compensation for out-of-pocket expenses such as:
- travel costs for treatment and care
- replacing clothing and personal property damaged in the animal attack
- compensation for past and future costs of care, which include costs of:
- housekeeping and home maintenance if your injuries cause you difficulty with this
- assistive devices for your home, vehicle, workplace, etc., if required due to your injuries
If you or a loved one is the victim of a dog or animal attack, you need an experienced legal team by your side whose practice is dedicated to personal injury cases and who understands what’s required for full compensation in dog bite and animal attack cases.
We invite you to contact us and speak with one of our lawyers to learn more about the rights and options available to you. The road to recovery can be long and difficult, but knowing your future is protected by expert legal representation will provide peace of mind for you and your family.
For your ease of reference, listed below are your local Animal Services Centres.
Animal Services Centres
Toronto 416. 338. 7297, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brampton 905. 458. 5800, email@example.com
Mississauga 905 896. 5858, firstname.lastname@example.org
Milton 905. 878. 7252 ext. 2254, email@example.com
Oakville 905. 901. 1908
Halton Hills 905. 877. 6235
Georgetown 905. 877. 6235
Caledon 905. 799. 7700
Barrie 705. 739. 4241
Markham 905. 477. 5530
Kawartha Lakes 705. 324. 9411 ext. 1212
Pickering 905. 683. 7575
Oshawa 905. 436. 3311, firstname.lastname@example.org
Peterborough 705. 745. 4722