What Do You Do after a Dog Bite? An Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer Offers Answers
Dog ownership is both a tremendous joy, and an equally big responsibility. This extends into the law itself, with Ontario's Dog Owners' Liability Act that makes dog owners liable for any and all injury or damage caused by their beloved pet. As stated in Section 2. Subsection (1) of the act, "The owner of a dog is liable for damages resulting from a bite or attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal." What this means for you is, if you have been injured by a domesticated dog, you have rights to compensation, and can contact a specializing Ottawa dog bite lawyer for representation.
If you are attacked and injured by a dog, here are the steps to take, as recommended by an Ottawa dog bite lawyer:
Collect Information if Possible
As unpredictably as a dog may react to certain situations, when faced with the possibility of repercussions, human beings can be even more unpredictable! That being said, if it becomes clear that the dog's owner may become aggressive if antagonized directly following the incident, put your own safety first and foremost. But if and when possible, exchange information with cooperative dog owners-the owner's name, phone number, and address, the dog's name, whether the dog has been vaccinated against rabies, and if the dog has bitten anyone before. If the owner is uncooperative, you may be able to get their name and number from the dog's tag.
Talk to Witnesses, Record Evidence
If anyone was at the scene of the event, speak to them. Ask their permission to be called upon as witnesses, and collect names, telephone numbers, and addresses of all who are willing. If you are able, photograph your injuries. This evidence may become vital should you pursue legal action.
Seek Medical Attention
No matter how serious-or not serious-you believe your injuries to be, see a doctor right away anyway, especially if the bite has broken your skin. There is always a high risk of infection associated with any injury caused by biting, and it's better safe than sorry-remember, your health and safety are always the first priority.
Another benefit to seeking immediate medical attention is creating an official record of the injury and damage caused by the bite, which can be used by your Ottawa dog bite lawyer in building your case.
Consult an Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer
As we said before, you are entitled to compensation in the event of a dog bite, and a lawyer can help you prepare a case, taking into account the extent of injury as well as any lost income or loss of enjoyment of life.
However, it is important to know that there is a limit to a dog owner's liability, as outlined in Section 2. Subsection (3):
"The liability of the owner does not depend upon knowledge of the propensity of the dog or fault or negligence on the part of the owner, but the court shall reduce the damages awarded in proportion to the degree, if any, to which the fault or negligence of the plaintiff caused or contributed to the damages."
What this means is that if you are found to be at fault for the injuries sustained in the dog bite, you may not be eligible for compensation-so please, don't go sticking your fingers into dogs' mouths.