How Fault Is Determined in a Dog Bite Case

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Information from an Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer

When a dog attacks you, the suddenness and severity of a dog bite can leave you reeling while you try and assess the situation at hand. An Ottawa dog bite lawyer will tell you that the owner of the dog is liable for any damages resulting from the bite or attack, and that compensation may be sought depending on the case. Knowing how fault is determined in a dog bite case will shed light on whether there is a leg to stand on if and when you are bitten or attacked by a dog.

Under the Dog Owner’s Liability Act (DOLA), the owner of a dog is liable for any damages resulting from the bite or attack, whether it is on another person or a domestic animal. This fault is automatically determined, as it constitutes a “strict liability.” In other words, the owner of the dog is strictly liable for any of their dog’s actions. While fault can be determined as such, the amount for compensation may differ if the injured party was negligent and provoked the attack. Remain vigilant and follow these steps to maximize your options for compensation following a dog bite:

Document the Incident and Speak with Witnesses

First and foremost, ensure that the wound is not in need of immediate medical attention. After determining the severity of the attack, be sure to document the incident and collect as much information as possible (date, time, location, situation et cetera). Talking to and collecting contact information for witnesses of the event to relay their version of the incident will help determine if there was any provocation that lead to the attack in your dog bite case.

Seek Medical Attention

After documenting the incident, arrange transport to the nearest hospital to have your injuries tended to. Even if the injuries appear mild at first, following this step ensures that there is substantial evidence of the incident-particularly if your injuries prove to be more severe than they appeared.

Consult an Ottawa Dog Bite Lawyer

Following the attack, be sure to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer, and make sure that they handle dog bite cases. They will be able to provide the expertise and know-how to ensure you are maximally compensated for your injuries.

While a dog owner may be ordered to confine the dog to their property, restrain the dog (by leash or muzzle), or post warning signs on their property, these efforts are only preventative of future attacks occurring and won’t reverse the damage that has been done to you. If you are attacked or bitten by a dog, don’t hesitate to contact an Ottawa dog bite lawyer and get your case started today.