Dog Bite Injuries & Liability

Dog behind fence - dog bite injuries and liability

Posted In

Insurance Issues

It is every dog owner’s worst nightmare that their precious pup may one day turn violent. And while the first concern must always be the well-being of the victim, there is always the risk that the dog owner may be held liable for the actions of man’s best friend. In such cases, then, who is responsible?

Depending on the province in which the attacks occur, two factors may influence your culpability. Unlike Ontario, some provinces have what is commonly known as the one-bite rule, wherein the owner of the dog is not responsible for a dog who has never been violent before, but is entirely responsible if their animal is known to be dangerous.

The second factor that some provinces consider is whether the dog could be perceived as having been provoked into the attack. This is particularly necessary when the dog attacks someone who is attempting to harm their owner, in which case the act could be seen as a form of self-defence by proxy, and therefore neither dog nor owner would be liable.

In Ontario, however, the law places strict liability for dog’s actions on their owners. According to the Dog Owner’s Liability Act, all damages and injuries are the legal and financial responsibility of the owner, regardless if they were aware that the animal had a propensity or history of violence. This liability extends to whoever is in control of the dog at the time, even if that person is not the owner. This rule can extend to friends and family of the owner, or even dog walkers, if they do not attempt to intervene or otherwise control the animal.

Most standard home insurance policies include “third party liability” coverage which means that the insurance company will likely respond to the claim if your dog harms someone. As a dog owner, it is important that you read your home insurance policy carefully and that you understand what coverage you are paying for. If your dog does harm someone, it is important that you to notify your insurance company right away.

Everyone should be aware of the potential legal and financial ramifications of pet ownership, particularly when it comes to dogs, as the amount of harm they are able to inflict on humans can be severe, and potentially causing long term health problems.

Contact Mackesy Smye for a free consultation by using our secure online contact form or by calling us direct at 1-905-525-2341.

If you have been involved in a dog attack, whether you are the owner or the victim, you may need legal help to navigate the laws and ensure you receive compensation.

Related Articles

motorcycle and car accidents and insurance providers

Motor Vehicle Accidents & Insurance Providers

Ontario requires all motorists to be insured, provided by insurance companies in the form of policies. After an accident, a policy provides coverage and benefits to motorists. Read this post to learn more about how the process works in Ontario and why your claim should be handled by an experienced lawyer.

Read Article
Termination for Cause in Ontario - Employment Lawyers

Employment Law - Termination For Cause

Before you terminate an employee’s contract, do you have just cause for the termination and can you prove it? A court of law will need you to prove that the termination was justified and you have not acted unlawfully, or you will have to compensate the employee for wrongful dismissal - read this article and learn more.

Read Article
vehicle accidents insurance claims personal injury law

Vehicle Accidents - How Insurance Companies Assess Fault

In almost all car accidents, you must prove who was responsible. While it may seem obvious, just saying so isn’t enough for insurance companies. By supporting your side of the story, you can make an argument to your insurer to seek maximum compensation. Read this post to learn more.

Read Article
personal injuries - dealing with insurance company benefit and claims complaints

Insurance Company Complaints

You’re in good standing with your insurance company, but they have just rejected a claim for your personal injury – that does not mean you are not entitled to any benefits or money. Fight their decision by contacting a personal injury lawyer. Read this post to learn more.

Read Article
How to Select the Right Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance Coverage & Denied Claims

As the temperature gets warmer, many Canadians begin to make travel plans for their summer vacations.

Read Article
Woman Just Had a Car Accident - Insurance Issues

Insurance Issues - Optional Benefits

The foremost question in a customer's mind when buying car insurance is “how much will it cost?” Of course, that is an important question, but it is not the only important question.

Read Article
Templates Library
Loading, Please wait...
The Library cannot be open, please try it again later.
This field is required.
Invalid email format.
Some of the fields are not filled or invalid.
Form Template
Select a Form Template
Available fields in the selected template: