They say that dogs are man’s best friend. However, you might not be so quick to agree with that statement if you have ever been bitten by a dog. While puppies are playful and can sometimes be a little too rough with their owners, being attacked by an angry adult dog is no laughing matter. Dog bites can puncture the skin, causing deep lacerations that require stitches, and can often lead to scarring.
While a victim can be bitten by a stray dog or a dog belonging to a friend, family member or neighbor, in many cases, people are bitten by their own dogs—the family pets. You may not ever want to think that Fido or Rover would ever hurt you or your children, but even the nicest, friendliest dog can be provoked to bite for a number of reasons.
Dogs often bite because they are threatened by an animal, another dog, or a human and they want to protect their territory. They may also bite to protect something, such as their puppies, food, or toys. It is also common for dogs to bite when they want to be left alone. If they are sore, injured, or otherwise not feeling well, they may bite someone who is trying to bother them. If dogs are locked up in kennels, they may bite children or others who are trying to poke at them or tease them through a fence. Sometimes dogs accidentally bite their owners during playtime, such as when playing tug of war or throwing balls, sticks, and other objects.
Children and the elderly are especially prone to serious injuries caused by dog bites. They can be knocked over by large dogs, suffering broken bones, head trauma, and even death. Fortunately, fatalities caused by dog attacks are rare in Canada, accounting for just one to two deaths per year, on average.
Despite this, it is important to know how to prevent dog bites and what to do if you are ever a victim. Understanding dog bite laws in Canada is also important so you know how to recover compensation to pay for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by a dog bite.
Our dog bite lawyers can meet with you in Belleville for a free initial consultation. Call (416) 364-2000
Who Is Liable for a Dog Bite?
Canada dog bite laws are governed by a legal doctrine called scienter. Scienter refers to a person’s knowledge that something is wrong, yet they allowed the act to occur anyway. Scienter is used to determine liability in dog bite cases. The court must be able to prove that the defendant knew that the alleged misconduct was wrong.
What this means is that in order for a dog owner to be liable for a dog bite, they must have known that the dog had a tendency to bite someone or that they had bitten someone in the past. As the dog bite victim, you have the burden of proving that the dog owner was aware of the fact that the dog could have bitten you.
This means you must be able to successfully prove three elements:
- The person you are suing is the owner of the dog that bit you.
- The dog has a tendency to bite or otherwise act dangerously.
- The owner of the dog was aware of their dog’s inclination to behave in a dangerous manner.
In the United States, this is often referred to as the one-bite rule. This means that if a dog had never shown any inclination to hurt anyone, then the dog owner would not be held liable for the first dog bite. However, now that is has been proven that the dog has bitten someone, if the dog owner allows the dog to attack someone again, they would be considered liable for any subsequent attacks.
If you have been injured by a dog bite, do not take any chances. Seek medical help right away, then call the experienced dog bite lawyers at Preszler Law Firm. We can assess your case and help determine liability. We have six decades of experience helping personal injury victims recover the compensation they deserve for their injuries. We have helped many dog bite victims recover physically and financially, and we can help you as well. Call 1-800-JUSTICE to schedule a consultation today.
Belleville Dog Bite Lawyer Near Me (416) 364-2000
What to Do in a Dog Attack
If you are ever attacked by a dog, do what you can to protect yourself. This may mean putting a purse, jacket, or any other object you can quickly find between you and the dog. If the dog knocks you over, curl up in a ball and use your hands to cover your ears and neck to prevent serious injuries.
Once you are safe, make sure to treat any wounds promptly. For minor wounds, wash them with soap and water. Apply an antibiotic cream and cover the wound with gauze or a bandage.
Dog bites can sometimes cause deep wounds. If you are bleeding heavily, use a clean cloth and apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. If the bleeding continues, have someone drive you to the hospital or call your local emergency medical services.
You should also seek immediate medical help if you are in significant pain, you can see muscle or bone, the wound is red or swollen, or you think the dog might have rabies. Dog bites can cause serious illnesses. Rabies is rare, but it is the most serious, often causing death. Dogs’ mouths contain numerous types of bacteria, and a dog bite victim can also develop Pasteurella, MRSA, and tetanus. These bacteria can cause infections, inflammation, joint problems, weakened immune systems, and even paralysis.
Speak with an Experienced Dog Bite Lawyer
While deaths caused by dog bites are rare in Canada, a dog bite can still lead to serious physical injuries as well as emotional harm. Lacerations can lead to scarring and even require plastic surgery. A child who is bitten by a dog may develop an irrational fear of dogs. They may suffer anxiety and even PTSD at the sight of a dog.
The dog bite lawyers at Preszler Law Firm can help prove negligence so you can obtain the compensation you deserve. Even if the dog was a stray and you cannot locate the owner, we can help you understand your options. To learn more, fill out the online form or call our office at 1-800-JUSTICE.