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.