aggressive dog

Navigating Ontario’s Legal Landscape for Dog Bites

March signifies the coming of Spring. The weather is beginning to get warmer and it’s becoming easier to move around as the snow and ice fades. People start hitting the numerous beautiful trails and parks around Kingston, including dog owners. Unfortunately, not every dog is friendly and may lash out at you unexpectedly. In fact, over 500,000 dog bites are estimated to happen in Canada annually. If you have been injured because of a dog bite or attack, you may be entitled to compensation.

Ontario Laws & Dog Bites

In the province of Ontario, dog owners are liable for any injuries caused by the actions of their animals, as governed by the Dog Owners’ Liability Act, RSO 1990, c. D. 16:

  • The dog bites or attacks a person or domestic animal; 
  • The dog has behaved in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of people or domestic animals; or
  • The owner did not take reasonable precautions to prevent their dog from biting or attacking a person or domestic animal or behaving in a manner that poses a menace to the safety of people or domestic animals. 

Seek Medical Attention

The first thing you should do after a dog bite is seek immediate medical attention. Just like any other animal, dog bites can easily get infected, even if they don’t look severe. Make sure to see a doctor after a dog bite.

Dogs have strong jaws, and their bites can cause serious damage like tissue tears, bleeding, bruises, scars, and puncture wounds. These injuries might affect how well the injured area works. That’s why it’s crucial to see a doctor for proper care to help it heal correctly.

Depending on whether the dog has been vaccinated against rabies or where the wound is, a doctor might suggest getting a rabies shot.

Document The Incident

In Ontario, dog owners are responsible and liable for the damages caused by a dog bite. It is important that you document as much as you can. Take photos of the bite for evidence. If the owner of the dog is not around, ask any witnesses to the bite if they know the owner, breed of the dog, etc..

Types of Compensation

If a person can prove they’ve suffered loss or harm from a dog bite, they may claim compensation for the following:

  • Injuries: These can be physical or psychological. Even if there are no physical injuries, emotional or psychological effects may still be compensable.
  • Lost wages: If the person had to miss work because of the attack.
  • Medical care: This includes expenses for treating injuries, like scarring that may require cosmetic surgery. Also, if a pet is harmed, veterinary bills can be included.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses: Any costs paid by the victim, such as medication.
  • Property damage: If the dog damages or kills another animal. In severe cases, the court might take action against the dog. If it’s deemed a threat to public safety or belongs to a specified breed, it could be ordered to be put down.

To protect your rights and pursue a claim for a dog bite or attack, it’s important to reach out to Paul Brioux or Tony Zuber as soon as possible. Our team is dedicated to helping you achieve a favorable outcome and obtain the compensation you’re entitled to. The first consultation is free.