Avoid Injury With the Help of These Tips From an Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer
Most dogs that you encounter will not be aggressive, nor will they want to bite you, yet according to the Canada Safety Council, there are around 460,000 dog bite incidents per year. As a result of these incidents, several victims choose to pursue a personal injury case with the assistance of an Ottawa dog bite lawyer. While you shouldn't let these facts scare you, you should let them inspire you to be more cautious. Here are some tips from an Ottawa dog bite lawyer that will help you prevent dog bites.
Avoid dangerous situations
There is a difference between carefully introducing yourself to a dog in a dog park (with its owner's permission of course), and approaching an unfamiliar dog tied up in a yard with no owner in sight. In order to avoid dog bites, Ottawa dog bite lawyers recommend never approaching unfamiliar dogs, especially those that are confined, as they may view you as an intruder or a threat. Never pet a dog-even one that you know-without letting him see and sniff you first. You should also avoid disturbing a dog while they are sleeping or chewing on a toy.
Ottawa dog bite lawyers point out that if you provoke a dog to act violently, you will be found at least partially responsible for your injury. In this case, the amount of damages that you are eligible to receive could be reduced because of contributory negligence.
Pay attention to warning signs
Another important step in avoiding dog bites, is knowing what characteristics a dog is likely to exhibit if they feel uncomfortable, tense, afraid or anxious. You should immediately putt a safe amount of distance between yourself and a dog exhibiting any of the following characteristics:
- A stiff tail
- Ears flattened back
- A tense body
- Bared teeth
- Flicking tongue or licking lips
- Staring intensely
- Backing away from you slowly
If you find yourself in this situation, calmly back away, and avoid the instinct to scream and run. It's best to remain motionless and avoid eye contact with the dog.
If you are a dog owner
Your Ottawa dog bite lawyer wants you to know that as a dog owner, under the Dog Owner's Liability Act (DOLA) of Ontario, you are liable for your dog's behaviour and any damage or injury it may cause. It's extremely important that you do everything you can to ensure that your dog does not bite another person, no matter how friendly you believe them to be. Keeping your dog on a leash when out and about is a great first line of defense. You know your dog best, so avoid any situations that you think may make your dog anxious and more likely to bite.
If, despite your best efforts, you are the victim of a dog bite or your dog has bitten someone, make sure you contact an Ottawa dog bite lawyer immediately. Your lawyer will inform you of your rights and advise you on the proper course of action.