Dog Bites with Zev Bergman - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers
  • Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Dog Bites with Zev Bergman

#askzevbergman

Interestingly, there is specific legislation in Ontario which governs dog ownership.   The Dog Owner’s Liability Act sets out that the owner of a dog is liable for damages resulting from a dog bite or attack on another person or domestic animal.

It is important to know that pursuant to the law of Ontario, the liability of the dog owner does not depend his or her knowledge of the propensity of the dog or fault or negligence on the part of the owner.    That being said, the Court may still take into account the fault or negligence of the injured party in assessing damages.

Pitbulls are the only breed of dogs to be specifically regulated in the province. This has been the subject of much debate over the years. Nonetheless, if you are considering the purchase of a Pitbull, it is important to know what is involved.

Dog owners have a legal obligation to prevent their beloved pets from biting or attacking members of the public or other domestic animals.  Reasonable precautions such as the use of a leash or, in certain cases, a muzzle, must be taken.  Dog owners should always ensure that they have proper insurance in place so as to avoid the potential for personal liability in the case of an action resulting from a dog bite.  Damages in dog bite cases vary greatly in the Province of Ontario.   Much depends on the nature and severity of the injuries, as well as any financial losses which might result from the injury.   For example, a minor nip will unlikely form the basis for any legal action.   On the other hand, dog bites can lead to very severe injuries involving infection and the need for plastic surgery. 

Often, people are apprehensive when it comes to taking action in the case of a dog bite out of fear of what might happen to the dog.  However, If you are injured by someone else’s dog, it is important to speak to a lawyer right away.   Always know your rights.

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