Surprisingly enough, a lot of people don’t seem to lay a lot of attention on the matter surrounding dog bites and the liability of their owners. The main reason for this is that dogs are overly thought of as domestic and loyal pets that are anything but dangerous. However, this is not always the case. Some animals become incredibly vicious for a variety of different reasons and they are capable of inflicting truly terrible damages to people or other domestic animals. The shock of an attack by a dog can also cause severe psychological problems.
In fact, recent surveys held in Ontario show that people who have been bitten by a dog never really get over it and are uncomfortable a lot animals throughout their entire life. This is quite a burden to bear, given the involvement of animals in our everyday life. However, the law holds the liability for this kind of accidents incredibly strict. It’s clearly set forth within the Dog Owner’s Liability Act which has been in force since its enactment back in 1990 on the 31st of December. Interestingly enough, the law hasn’t been amended ever since which means that the legislators have succeeded in their task to satisfy the social requirements.
In any case, the liability under the Act is described as Strict Liability. This is basically the most severe type because it doesn’t require actual presence. As per the regulations set forth by the Common Law, strict liability can be defined as the legal obligation that one would have to repair the damages caused by him or his belongings regardless of his culpability. The culpability, on the other hand, is an institute which extends or shortens the liability as per the moral standards which the current situation dictates. In any case, the Dog Owner’s Liability Act disregards culpability which means that the owner would be liable regardless of whether or not he wanted the accident to happen or he had no idea of its occurrence.
At the same time, the liability is rather extensive. This is mainly due to the fact that the injuries, both emotional and physical, can be incredibly damaging for the victim. With this in mind, the legislation extends the amount of liability and holds the owner accountable even in the case in which he wasn’t present to the accident. The only chance of him to get a reduction is in the case of the so-called contributory negligence. In this scenario, the victim is also in partial fault because he had some sort of contribution to the occurrence of the harmful accident e.g. the dog bite. In any case, this has to be undoubtedly proven in order for the jury to reduce the liability. That is why contacting a reputed and experienced lawyer is important. They will assist you to get maximum compensation for dog bites or mauling that has left you with injuries.