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Understand Dog Owners’ Liability for Animal Bites

A dog attack is an extremely serious incident. Being attacked by a dog can result in serious bodily injury, extreme trauma, expensive medical bills, and lasting pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one were attacked by a dog, it is important to understand your legal rights. The dog’s owner may be liable for the attack and may be required to compensate you financially.

When a dog attacks a person unprovoked (e.g. the dog was not being attacked or threatened, and the victim of the attack was not trespassing or threatening the dog’s owners,) the dog’s owners are likely to be liable for any damages which result from the dog attack.

Getting A Lawyer In Alberta After A Dog Bite

After suffering a dog bite, it’s a good idea to get in contact with an Alberta dog bite lawyer. 

Your personal injury lawyer will be able to review the details of your case and assess the viability of a lawsuit.

If it can be shown that the dog’s owner was negligent in their duty to secure their dog and prevent it from attacking someone, the owner will likely be found liable for the incident.

After suffering a dog bite, collect all relevant documents such as police reports, witness testimony, medical bills, and any other information relating to the incident.

Armed with this information, you can schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer who can help you set your case in motion to get the compensation you deserve.

What Can A Dog Owner Be Liable For If Their Dog Bites Someone?

A dog owner whose dog attacks someone can be held liable for any damages which result from the dog attack.

This includes compensation for things such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation or physical therapy 
  • Counseling
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damaged in the attack

How Long Do I Have To Act After Experiencing A Dog Bite?

In Canada, the statute of limitations for filing personal injury claims is two years after the incident occurred.

While this might seem like plenty of time, it’s actually a rather narrow window.

That’s why it’s a good idea to move quickly after suffering a dog bite. We recommend immediately contacting a personal injury lawyer after being treated by a physician and filing a police report.

Time is of the essence. Don’t delay in scheduling your free consultation with a personal injury attorney.

Are Dog Bites Common In Alberta?

In Canada, an estimated 500,000 dog bite incidents occur every year. That means that a dog is biting someone about once a minute somewhere in Canada.

Alberta is not known for having a high concentration of dog bites in particular. However, like the rest of Canada, there are no shortage of dog bite incidents in Alberta.

Regardless of which province you live in, it’s important to understand what your rights are and what the law says when it comes to dog bites.

How Do I Choose The Right Lawyer For My Dog Bite Case?

As with choosing any lawyer, when selecting a lawyer for your dog bite case it is important to find someone with a great synergy of legal expertise and hard won court experience.

You want to find someone you can work closely with. Someone who answers your questions effectively and addresses your concerns as they arise. Someone you can actually talk to and establish a working partnership with.

Above all, you want a personal injury lawyer familiar with the ins and outs of dog bite cases. A competent lawyer will be well versed in all of the latest laws and legal precedents which apply to dog bite cases, allowing them to maneuver your case deftly and speedily towards a settlement or judgement in your favor.

Dog Bite Liability FAQs

1. Are landlords responsible for dog bites?

Generally, the dog’s owner will be the one responsible for any liability resulting from a dog bite. However, in some cases the dog owner’s landlord can also share some liability. This only occurs when the landlord actively participated in caring for or harboring the dog. If the landlord is not involved with the tenant’s dog at all, they cannot be liable for any dog bite incident.

2. What breed of dog bites the most often?

No particular breed of dog is more likely to bite than another. Aggressive dogs are almost always the result of poor training and negative environments.

3. When should you sue for a dog bite?

You should consider suing for a dog bite if you suffered extensive injuries or damages as the result of a dog bite, if the dog attacked you unprovoked, or for any number of other reasons. If you feel like you may have a dog bite case, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately who can help you assess the situation.

4- What kind of proof do I need for my dog bite injury claim?

If a dog bites you, seek immediate medical attention. Not only is there a risk of rabies and tetanus, but you’ll need the medical documentation of the injury if you want to take legal action. You should also take photos of the damage and try to find the details of the owner.

5- What happens if the owner of the dog has no insurance?

If the dog owner doesn’t have insurance, it’s still possible to hold them personally liable for the incident. However, unless the owner is wealthy, you’re unlikely to get much compensation if the owner has to pay for your injuries personally. Another option is pursuing a case against any third parties which carry responsibility for the incident.

6- What are the most common reasons why dogs bite?

There are three main reasons why dogs bite. Firstly, a dog may bite if it’s trying to defend itself or its territory. Secondly, a dog may bite in an attempt to protect something valuable to it (like puppies or its owner). Lastly, many dogs will bite when scared or startled. However, dogs will also bite when they get taunted or teased beyond what they can handle.

7- What does statutory strict liability mean in a dog bite injury?

Statutory strict liability means that a state has a law that establishes that a dog owner is responsible for injury to a person, whether or not the owner knew the dog had a vicious propensity. Essentially, the dog owner has to pay for the dog bite victim’s injury even if the dog never seemed dangerous or vicious in the past.

8- What kind of compensation could I receive if I get bitten by a dog?

If a dog bite means you can’t work then you can claim lost earnings, you can claim back your out-of-pocket expenses, including medical costs, pain and suffering, and lost income.

9- What happens if a dog bite is left untreated?

If left untreated, dog bites could worsen and cause serious medical problems like rabies which can cause a severe reaction to infection, and be life-threatening.

Dog Bite Liability FAQs

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