“Typically a dog owner will have homeowner’s insurance providing coverage for injuries caused by their dog. However, a dog owner is not liable for injuries inflicted by his or her dog simply because he or she owns the offending dog.
Animal Bite Injuries
Dog attacks and bites can cause serious physical injuries such as crushed or fractured bones, nerve damage, permanent scarring and risk of infection. Victims of dog bites can also suffer emotional trauma such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Victims of dog bites may be entitled to compensation from the dog owner. Typically a dog owner will have homeowner’s insurance providing coverage for injuries caused by their dog. However, a dog owner is not liable for injuries inflicted by his or her dog simply because he or she owns the offending dog. The injured person must prove that the dog owner knew, or ought to have known the dog was dangerous, either because the dog had attacked someone before, or because it had exhibited aggressive tendencies such as growling without provocation on prior occasions. Alternatively, a dog owner may be liable for keeping or handling a dog in a negligent manner, such as allowing it to run at large or failing to take reasonable care to contain it on the owner’s property, if that negligence results in the dog injuring someone.
Some breeds of dogs are considered more aggressive than others, but the breed of a dog alone does not establish that a dog has a propensity to be aggressive. On the other hand, if a dog is of a breed more commonly assumed to be docile and friendly, that does not excuse an owner of one of these breeds who ought to have known that his or her dog was aggressive or dangerous.
Victims of dog bites may be entitled to compensation including any out of pocket expenses for medical treatment and rehabilitation, past and future income loss, pain and suffering and reasonable costs for necessary future medical treatment or rehabilitation.
If you’ve been attacked and injured by a dog, you should try to gather the following information and evidence as soon as possible:
The dog owner’s name and address
Whether or not the dog owner has liability insurance that includes dog attacks
Contact information for the dog owner’s insurance company
Photographs showing your injuries
Contact information for anyone who witnessed the attack or provided assistance to you
The lawyers at MacIsaac & Company have experience dealing dog bite claims. We assist clients through all stages of a claim including investigation regarding the dog owner’s liability, facilitating medical assessment, treatment and rehabilitation, corresponding and negotiating with insurers and pursuing litigation.