Yes, if your dog bites another dog you can be held liable for damages. The Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario provides that dog owners may be strictly liable for injuries suffered by persons and other dogs who are attacked or bitten by their dog. A dog bite lawyer in Ottawa may seek to extend the liability to several types of damages such as:
- vet bills
- funeral bills
- pain and suffering damages
- other out of pocket expenses
- any expense incurred to deal with the incident.
In many cases, your tenant’s insurance or homeowners’ insurance will cover the claim and your insurer will appoint a personal injury lawyer to defend you and settle the case.
Owners are liable if their dog attacks or bites
The Dog Owners’ Liability Act is the provincial stature that makes dog owners liable for dog attacks and bites. Section 2 of the Act states “Liability of owner – 2 (1) The owner of a dog is liable for damages resulting from a bite or attack by the dog on another person or domestic animal”. Under the DOLA, “owner”, when used in relation to a dog, includes a person who possesses or harbours the dog and, where the owner is a minor, the person responsible for the custody of the minor. This means that if you have been given responsibility for a dog that is in your care, you can be liable for any attacks or bites by that dog. In rare cases, landlords can be held liable for dog attacks by their tenants’ dogs. There are also local by-laws that mandate dog owners take precautions to ensure their dogs are always controlled and breaching the bylaws and the DOLA can result in changes being laid under the Provincial Offences Act.
Dog bite injuries can be serious and cause lasting physical and emotional damage. If your dog has bitten or attacked a person or another dog, it is important to understand your legal rights and obligations. The lawyers at our personal injury law firm in Ottawa are experienced in handling dog bite cases and we are here to help you seek justice. Contact us today to discuss your options.