Vancouver Dog Bite Lawyers

Receiving a dog bite is a traumatic experience. It can inflict serious injury that leaves a disfiguring scar and cause emotional distress, including a lasting fear of dogs. The dog bite lawyers at Diamond & Diamond sympathize with what you’re going through and understand how difficult your situation can be. We have handled many dog bite cases in Vancouver (and across British Columbia) and can ease your burden by offering our extensive experience with these cases. We want to help you recover from your dog bite by obtaining the maximum compensation the law allows.

Immediate Steps

You’ll typically feel unsure about what to do next when a dog bites you or a loved one. However, you need to take certain steps to preserve your right to recover compensation. It’s particularly important to identify the dog’s owner, as this information is generally necessary to proceed with a dog bite claim.

The most important step after an attack is to seek medical attention immediately if you were injured. You should also call 311 to report the attack to Animal Control as quickly as possible. Write down everything you remember about the attack, especially the dog’s appearance and the location of the attack.

You also need to obtain contact information from the dog owner and any witnesses if possible. Photos of the injury and the dog can also be very helpful for filing a claim. Finally, you need to file a police report on the incident.

Liability

You may be able to file a claim against the dog’s owner under the legal doctrine of scienter if a dog has injured you. This doctrine generally means knowledge of wrongdoing, which applies to the dog’s owner in the case of dog bites. Liability under the scienter doctrine requires a Vancouver dog bite lawyer to first establish that the defendant is the dog’s owner. You must also show the dog had an inclination towards dangerous behavior, and the owner was aware of this inclination. This last requirement is sometimes known as the “one bite rule” because dog owners are generally liable for any subsequent attacks even if they weren’t liable for the first one.

You may still be able to file a personal injury claim for a dog bite, even if the case doesn’t meet the criteria required by the scienter doctrine. The Occupiers Liability Act holds pet owners responsible for their pets while on their own property. This option could apply if you were injured by an animal while you were on the owner’s property.

If you were not on the dog owner’s property during the attack, you could also make a claim against the owner based on negligence. This strategy requires you to establish that the owner should have known the dog was likely to harm someone and failed to take reasonable precautions to prevent it from happening. Even if the dog didn’t bite or maul you, the owner could still be liable if you were injured because the dog’s actions caused you to trip or fall.

Investigation

Animal Control officers investigate animal attacks in British Columbia. They investigate each case individually to determine if an animal is dangerous and make a recommendation to a Provincial court. The owner is entitled to a hearing before the court, which will determine if the animal should be killed. However, just reporting an animal attack to Animal Control doesn’t automatically mean this will occur.

Dog bite claims are particularly difficult to pursue when you know the owner, since you probably don’t want to sue a neighbor or friend. In these cases, you may be tempted to simply drop the matter without recovering the compensation to which you’re entitled. Bear in mind, however, that the owner’s insurance company will pay the settlement in most cases, rather than the owner personally. This claim will typically be against the homeowner’s insurance policy. However, it could also be a workers’ compensation claim if you were working on the owner’s property at the time of the attack.

Consultation

Any BC dog bite lawyer from Diamond & Diamond knows that each dog bite case is unique. Our team will work tirelessly to get you the maximum settlement the law allows, whether the claim is based on the scienter doctrine or simple negligence. This process includes gathering evidence and telling your story about how the dog bite has affected your life.

We offer consultations with no obligation, during which we will evaluate your case. Once you retain our firm, you should refer anyone who wishes to interview you about the case to our office, especially the dog’s owner, insurance company or their representatives. This action is essential for maximizing your claim.

Diamond & Diamond represents clients throughout British Columbia. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website today if you’ve been bitten by a dog in British Columbia.

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