Trespassers and Dog Bites – Liability of The Homeowner

Believe it or not, dog bites encompass a wide part of the personal injury claims in the province of Ontario. Unfortunately, quite a lot of people disregard this matter and throw it away as unserious while in reality this is a very complicated legal matter which could lead to quite a lot of complications.

There are quite a few things that have to be taken into account as per the Dog Owner’s Liability Act of Ontario and they are all capable of influencing your case tremendously. So, let’s take a look at what happens when a dog attacks a trespasser and how is this going to affect the personal injury case.

Who’s A Trespasser?

It seems only logical that we begin by identifying the stature of the trespasser as he’s going to be particularly important for the topic. This is a person who is unlawfully entering your property. However, there are quite a lot of things that you would need to take into account as not every entrance without permission is considered trespassing. For instance, a salesman might have implied permission to enter, provided you don’t have a “no soliciting” sign or a locked gate.

Standard Of Care Owed To The Trespasser

As much as you won’t believe it, you owe a certain level of care to trespassers. The amount is determined as reasonable. This requires the answers of such questions such as what is reasonable in similar situations and whether the homeowner has executed at least that much care. For instance, a simple warning sign of danger would fulfill your standard of care towards trespassers.

However, there is something that’s particularly important here. If the dog has exhibited dangerous propensities, the owner is going to have strict responsibility, which means that he’d be liable for the injuries regardless of whether he acted negligently or not. Dangerous propensities are also in need of clarification. This means that your dog has already exhibited certain characteristics which can be qualified as dangerous to people.

Exception To This Particular Exception

Now, if you’ve chained your dog or you’ve taken any other methods of precautions and the trespasser has put himself in harm’s way, you wouldn’t be liable for his damages. The trespasser wouldn’t be able to recover any kind of damages. The truth is that when it comes to the liability of the owner in cases of trespassers being attacked by the owner’s dog, the latter can be absolved of liability if the facts line up correctly. This is only logical. However, the law regards this issue very seriously because it’s capable of causing severe complications. Dog bites are dangerous and they need to be taken in proper account by the legal system and everyone involved.

However, it is best to have a personal injury lawyer represent your rights, so that you can get the legal assistance that is needed, especially when you are not at fault.

Understanding the Legal Aspects Of Associated Pain And Suffering From Dog Bites

Did you know that there are approximately 200,000 dog bites which are reported every single year in the country of Canada? Whether you believe it or not, dog bites are not to be underestimated as they are capable of causing severe damages, both physical and emotional. While not every bite is going to inflict tremendous physical injuries to the victim, almost all of them are going to be associated with tremendous amounts of stress, anxiety and emotional pain, especially if the dog was large.

The sheer memory of the attack is capable of making people particularly anxious. What is more, a lot of them aren’t able to fully recover, especially if the attack was with great severity and the animal was particularly ferocious. That’s why compensatory claims pursuant to dog bites oftentimes include demands for costly non-pecuniary payouts. And, to be completely fair, there is a lot of merit behind them. However, prior to claiming damages, you need to find out who is actually liable. Of course, it’s not going to be the dog – it’s his owner.

Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario

Under the Dog Owners’ Liability Act of Ontario set forth on the 31st of December, 1990, the owner of the animal that carried out the attack is fully liable for all the injuries that it had caused to the victim. The law does not make a differentiation between physical and emotional damage which gives us ground to consider them both. In this particular case, it’s rather clear that your claim has to be directed towards the owner of the dog.

However, what happens if you get attacked by a dog which is not owned by anyone? Homeless animals are not an uncommon sight and even though municipalities are doing everything they can to reduce their number, there are still cases of dog attacks carried out by dogs without any owners. As you may already suppose, these claims are directed towards the municipality as it’s their main responsibility to restrain the number of animals who are capable of inflicting damages to citizens.

What is more, it is the government’s duty to make sure that everything related to the public safety of people is carried out firmly. If a homeless dog attacks you, it’s safe to say that this happened because of the failed attempt, if any at all, of the municipality and the respective control groups to take proper care of this animal and to place it within the specifically designed facilities.

With this in mind, there are tons of things that have to be taken into account when it comes to dog bites but in order to get your process started, you should address your claim properly. Hiring a good lawyer that can stand up to the aggressive insurance company’s legal team is important. Experienced lawyers understand all aspects of dealing with animal attack claims and are successful in getting a good settlement.

Why Dog Bites Are Covered Under Canadian Tort Laws?

While dog bites may be somehow rare, they tend to happen a lot more than you think. However, it’s important to note that the legislation which governs these particular types of accidents is fit within the Dog Owners’ Liability Act. It governs the accidents over the province of Ontario and therefore in the city of Lindsay. This is an act which puts clear definition and limitations of the responsibility which is carried out by the owner of the dog in the event in which said dog does damage to another person and/or to another pet. The responsibility is incredibly broad and it is definitely a sign that the legislation takes the matters seriously enough.

It is notable that the liability of the owner is present even if he is not. This means that if you have left your dog unattended and at that period of time it attacks another person you are going to be held liable even though you weren’t physically there. The solution is incredibly fair because dog bites are grave and disturbing and they can cause a lot of pain. This means that the responsibility of the owners should be according to that. As per tort laws, the level of injuries covered under it govern the amount of compensation.

Govern duty of care

At the same time the law sets forth clear legislative rules which govern the duty of care which the owner is responsible for. He must take all necessary precautions in order to prevent any potential mishaps involving his dog. This means that he must do whatever he possibly can to prevent his dog from biting or attacking other people. In fact, the bite is not even a requirement for grounds for a legal case. The simple attack could cause enough emotional traumas to the victim and it could serve as merit for filing a compensatory claim against the owner.

However, it’s important to note that there is also a certain limitation on the liability of the owner. This is provided by the institute of so called contributory negligence. Even though the law assumes that the owner was negligent in the event of the attack, it is also possible that the attacked party has also contributed for the bite. If a person has aggravated the dog so much that it causes the attack and respectively the damages, his compensation is going to be reduced according to his share in the negligence. The judges have to determine this in every single case individually but it is a subject of proving and it could just as well serve as a defending tool for the dog owner. Nevertheless, it’s not easy proving that the other people have contributory negligence because it’s not as easy to classify a behavior as negligent, especially in the victim.