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Determining Damages

Injuries from a dog bite can be severe, and the legal system can be difficult to navigate without the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Such a lawyer will be able to help you when determining damages in Toronto dog bite cases.

Types of Damages

When determining damages in Toronto dog bite cases, the court considers three different types:

  • Pecuniary
  • Non-Pecuniary
  • Punitive

Pecuniary damages are essentially loss of income, or damages that relate to actual monetary or financial instruments.

Non-pecuniary damages consist of non-monetary considerations, such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, etc.

Punitive damages involve a punishment requiring a change in behavior moving forward. These are very rare in Ontario, and they are only awarded when there is especially egregious behavior on the part of the defendant, which is very rare in a dog attack case.

It would have to be an instance where the owner knew or ought to have known that that dog was dangerous and illegal.

Potential Losses

Losses to the injured party can include expenses such as medical care and loss of income, and sometimes additional expenses such as the cost of a housekeeper.

There can also be non-monetary consequences, such as pain and suffering. Essentially, the consequences can include anything lost as a result of the dog bite.

Calculating Damages

The severity of the injury can directly impact the amount of damages a person is eligible to receive. The more severe the injury the greater compensation one can expect to receive.

With respect to pecuniary damages, which include loss of income and out-of-pocket expenses, this is fairly straightforward. For lost income, typically a letter from an employer is obtained as well as tax records will suffice.

Income documentation is obtained and compared from before and after the accident to come up with a number. In terms of other expenses, this is even more straightforward, where documentation includes bills, receipts, and invoices. When this documentation is produced, the numbers are simply added to reach an equitable amount.

Because these calculations involve relatively simple math, the plaintiffs can do that part easily. The issue is actually obtaining recovery of the calculated number, and lawyers are particularly helpful with respect to future loss of income and future costs of care.

Demonstrating Damages

It is important to note that if a person’s case ends up before a jury, the jury calculates all damages. The lawyers will provide their opinions on what damages should be, but ultimately the jury calculates the award.

To substantiate these damages, lawyers can obtain expert reports and make arguments as to why the plaintiff is entitled to those future pecuniary damages. To show their calculations, lawyers use graphs and amounts displayed on screens to show the judge and jury what the plaintiff’s losses are, page by page and line by line.

When damages are complicated, for example, where statistics are used, a forensic economist or forensic accountant is often employed to explain and illustrate the damages.

Limits on Compensation

Under certain circumstances, a plaintiff may be barred from full recovery. This is typically based on a defense of provocation or other contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff.

How A Lawyer Can Help

When determining damages in Toronto dog bite cases, it is advisable to retain the services of a dog bite lawyer who has handled dog bite claims previously.


Areas We Serve

Practice Areas

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151 Eglinton Ave W,
Toronto, ON
M4R 1A6
Fax: 1-855-364-7027
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
4145 N Service Rd
Burlington, ON
L7L 4X6
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2 County Ct Blvd #400,
Brampton, ON
L6W 3W8
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105 Consumers Drive
Whitby, ON
L1N 1C4
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92 Caplan Ave #121,
Barrie, ON
L4N 0Z7
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Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
380 Wellington St Tower B, 6th Floor,
London, ON
N6A 5B5
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2233 Argentia Rd Suite 302,
East Tower Mississauga, ON
L5N 6A6
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1 Hunter St E,
Hamilton, ON
L8N 3W1
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459 George St N,
Peterborough, ON
K9H 3R9
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22 Frederick Street,
Suite 700
Kitchener, ON N2H 6M6
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116 Lisgar Street, Suite 300
Ottawa ON
K2P 0C2
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10 Milner Business Ct #300,
Scarborough, ON
M1B 3C6
Toll Free: 1-888-608-2111
*consultation offices

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