Every year hundreds of dog attacks occur across Canada, many of which result in serious injury to the victim. In most cases, the dog owner is liable for damages resulting from a bite or attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal. Dog bites can result in permanent physical and emotional damage, which are often grounds for a court action. Horowitz Injury Law has nearly 35 years of experience representing clients seeking compensation arising out of dog attacks. If you require legal consultation for your dog bite claim, contact Horowitz Injury Law today at 416-925-4100.
The Ontario Dog Owners’ Liability Act heavily favours the injured victim in these situations. The Act imposes liability on the owner of the dog for damages resulting from a bite or attack by a dog on another person or domestic animal. Effectively, the Act imposes strict liability on a dog owner and there is no burden on the injured victim to prove that the dog owner was negligent. While the liability of the dog owner does not depend upon knowledge of the propensity of the dog or negligence on the part of the owner, the court is required to reduce the damages awarded in proportion to the degree, if any, to which the fault of the victim contributed to the damages; this could include an allegation that the dog was provoked or the victim ignored the clear warning of the owner to not approach the dog.
The Ontario Dog Owners’ Liability Act also provides that:
• Dog owners are responsible for injuries inflicted to both humans and animals
• Injured parties are eligible for compensation for damages caused
• Owners of a dog who defend from an intruder may not be held responsible for injuries inflicted
• Courts can decide that a dog is dangerous and require the animal to be confined, muzzled, leashed or even put down
• Owners are required to take all necessary precautions to prevent injury
• Pit Bulls are legally banned in Ontario as of August 29th, 2005
Many dog owners are covered by their homeowner insurance policy for dog attacks on someone who does not reside in the household, which makes the chances of receiving compensation in proper cases more likely. Call Brian A. Horowitz today for a free consultation.