Pursuing a Toronto Dog Bite Claim
Dog bites can have detrimental physical and emotional scarring, depending on the seriousness of an incident, and if someone has suffered a dog bite, they can pursue compensation from the negligent owner. A dog bite claim arises in Toronto wherever there is a dog attack or bite and an injury sustained by the plaintiff. A person does not actually file a claim in the normal sense as with a car accident, instead, what a person needs to do ultimately is sue the dog owner under the Dog Owner’s Liability Act.
Most people are not trained in the law, so the way they actually recover money is to go to an experienced accident lawyer. When filing a Toronto dog bite claim, there are going to be many considerations to take and it is important for an individual to seek the help of a Toronto dog bite injury lawyer right away.
The most important statute a person needs to reference when considering a dog bite claim is the Dog Owner’s Liability Act. The negligence act does not affect filing a claim, but it is commonly pled in such a claim. Those are the two statutes which are relied upon in any dog bite claim.
Statute of Limitations
When filing a dog bite claim in Toronto, the statute of limitations is two years from the date that a person knew or ought to have known that a cause of action had arisen.
A person has to sue within two years of the date of the accident unless there is some extenuating circumstance. With a dog bite case, most people know when they are bitten, so it is difficult to argue that they were unaware, and therefore it is hard to explain not filing within two years. If someone files a dog bite claim in Toronto after two years, a person is able to file their claim in that situation, but the likelihood of actually being successful is close to zero.
Toronto dog bite lawyers file statements of claim within six months of the day of their retainer. They do this because of massive court delays in Ontario so that the claim does not take longer than the four to five years that they tell people it will take to get to trial.
After a Statement is Issued
Once the statement of claim is issued to the courthouse and served in Toronto, the statement of defense will be filed by the owner of the dog and/or their insurance company. Then the case proceeds to the discovery phase, where the defendant dog owner and plaintiff are examined or questioned by the lawyers. After that, most cases are settled, but if they cannot be, they will proceed through alternative dispute resolution such as mediation or arbitration, and then pre-trial, and ultimately trial.
Factors Affecting a Claim
The history of the dog is often an important component of a case when filing a Toronto dog bite claim, that could have a serious negative or positive impact. If a dog has a propensity to attack and the owner is aware of that, then that helps solidify the liability of the owner. If a dog does not necessarily attack but is aggressive or angry, and that can be proven by the neighbors or other witnesses.
There can be negative impactful elements of a case, such as if there is an eyewitness that witnesses the provocation by the plaintiff of the dog and neutral third party witnesses, and there could be a great deal of contributory negligence assigned to the person’s damages.