Have you or a loved one been attacked or bitten by a dog? Contact us today for a free consultation and speak with one of the best legal teams in the GTA to help guide you through this process and advise you of your rights.
Under the Ontario Dog Owners’ Liability Act, dog owners bear liability for damages resulting from dog bites or attacks on individuals or domestic animals. Importantly, a person who has been bitten has the legal right to sue the dog owner, regardless of whether they had knowledge of or control over the dog’s actions. Dog owners are obligated to take reasonable precautions to prevent their dogs from biting or attacking people or domestic animals, or engaging in behaviors that endanger their safety or others.
A “Dog Owner” is defined as a person who possesses or harbors a dog. In cases involving minors, the individual responsible for the minor’s custody is also considered the owner. In instances of a dog bite, the affected person may have grounds to claim both general and special damages. It’s essential to recognize that dog bites can result in not only physical injuries but also profound psychological trauma.
An individual in this situation can claim damages not only for physical injuries but also for psychological trauma. There are limited statutory defenses available to dog owners under the Ontario Dog Owners’ Liability Act. An injured person may be able to seek various damages including but not limited to medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage, and psychological trauma.
Injured parties may also rely on the doctrine of Scienter to state that the cause of the attack and the surrounding circumstances were exclusively within the knowledge and control of the Defendants. Beyond the Ontario Dog Owners’ Liability Act, individuals may also have the opportunity to pursue claims based on common law negligence principles.
If you or your children have experienced a dog bite, it is crucial to seek legal advice promptly to avoid any potential limitation periods set forth under the Limitations Act 2002. AAPC Lawyers possess extensive experience in handling dog bite cases and are committed to guiding you through this difficult and emotional period, ensuring that you fully understand your rights and provide the support you need to pursue your claim.