Dogs have been a joyful part of people's lives for centuries. In Ontario, many households have dogs as part of their family as they provide companionship and protection. However, vicious dogs are a public nuisance as they can attack and bite people, even without provocation, leading to serious physical injuries and psychological trauma.
In Ontario, dog attacks and bite cases were on the rise before the province adopted a ban on Pit Bulls in 2005. This ban ensured that pit bulls, including Pit Bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, and dogs with similar characteristics and appearances to Pit Bull breeds, are not bred or imported into the province. For those who already own pit bulls, the dogs are to be muzzled and on a leash at all times when in public.
However, even with the ban on Pit Bulls and other strict laws on dog ownership and control, dog attacks and bites continue to occur at an alarming rate, with children most often being the victims. The good thing is, Ontario has strict liability laws that hold dog owners liable for any attacks or bites inflicted on persons by their dogs. This law, however, does not apply when the attack happens on the owner's property while you were trespassing or committing a crime.
If you or your loved one has suffered a dog attack or bite, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Bergel Magence dog bite lawyers in Toronto to determine if you have a case. We are adept at handling personal injury cases and utilizing our resources to get justice and fair compensation.
When Do I Need a Lawyer After an Animal or Dog Bite?
In Ontario, when you undergo medical treatment after an injury, most initial expenses, including emergency surgical procedures and hospital stays, are covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP). However, OHIP doesn’t cover certain significant expenses and losses, including long-term medical expenses, medicines, reconstructive surgery, loss of income, caregiver costs, and more. Such expenses can leave you in a financial crisis, which is why it’s important to seek compensation from the liable party or your insurance policy.
In Ontario, if a dog attacks or bites you, the Dog Owner’s Liability Act (DOLA) places absolute liability on its owner. This is because, in most cases, it’s the owner’s failure to properly train and control their dog that leads to vicious attacks or bites. In other instances, the owner encourages their dog's aggressive behaviour. Therefore, if you fall victim to a dog attack, you may be entitled to compensation from its owner for the injuries incurred. It's crucial to retain a dog bite personal injury lawyer in Toronto to ensure your claim is filed correctly and on time and that you secure the damages you deserve.
Apart from compensation from the liable party, a dog attack or bite victim may seek damages from their own insurance policy. This also requires the expertise of an experienced personal injury lawyer to ensure that the process goes well and that you obtain a fair settlement.
At Bergel Magence, we have been helping victims of dog attacks and bites get the damages they deserve in order to offset any medical expenses, and cover lost income and other costs resulting from the injuries incurred. We also help our clients seek and obtain the medical treatment and rehabilitation they require via our extensive network of medical professionals.
Call us today at 1-866-492-3743 for a free consultation.
Possible Dog Bite Injuries
Dog bites can lead to severe life-altering injuries and, in worst scenarios, death. As stated earlier, most dog bites are against children. This is because children are attracted to animals such as dogs and may not recognize a vicious dog and the danger it poses. Since they’re also small in stature and incapable of defending themselves, dogs can cause devastating injuries to them.
The most common dog bite injuries are:
· Cuts and lacerations to the face, lower extremities, and upper extremities.
· Severe bites to the hands, legs, forearm, head, and neck. Such bites are dangerous as they can puncture major arteries, damage nerves, or even amputate digits.
· Bruises and abrasions.
Injuries from dog bites, even those that seem minor, can lead to serious long-term health complications, including:
· Sepsis (a life-threatening condition triggered by the body's response to an infection)
· Meningitis (an infection that causes inflammation of the brain's and spinal cord's membranes)
· Endocarditis (an infection that causes inflammation of the heart’s inner lining)
· Fractured bones
· Psychological trauma
· Muscle damage
· Severe scarring
As we have already established, dog bite injuries can lead to severe infections and long-term health issues. This is why it's advisable to seek immediate medical attention for necessary immunizations and treatment. Remember to keep detailed medical records, including photos of the injuries incurred and the progress of your treatment, as they're vital when building a claim.
Types of Dog Bite Cases
At Bergel Magence, we have handled a wide range of personal injury cases resulting from dog attacks. Some of the dog attack cases involve:
· Dog bites and lacerations to different parts of the body
· Injuries incurred when running from a dog
· Dog attacks in private homes
· Dog attacks on public property
If you or your loved one has incurred an injury from a dog attack, contact our personal injury lawyers in Toronto. Bergel Magence offers a free, no-obligation consultation.
What Should I Do After an Animal or Dog Bite?
After incurring an injury from a dog attack or bite, the steps you take are vital not only for your claim but also for personal health. Here's what you should do:
· The first step you should take after suffering a dog bite injury is to get the necessary medical care. According to Toronto Animal Services, you should seek treatment even for minor lacerations. Remember to document all your injuries and treatments.
· Contact the local authorities to report the dog attack.
· Documentation of the dog attack, i.e., finding witnesses, identifying the dog owner, and taking photos.
· Filing a claim with your insurance as soon as possible
· Keeping a detailed record of how the dog attack has affected your life.
What Happens if I get Injured or Suffer Trauma After Being Chased by a Dog?
Did you know that you don’t have to be bitten by a dog in order to have a potentially valid claim compensation? If, for example, you are chased by a dog and suffer physical and psychological trauma as a result of the chase, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn more about circumstances in which you can file a claim for injuries caused by a dog or other animal, please click here for a video in which one of Bergel Magence’s dog bite lawyers discusses the legal implications of dog attacks for both victims and pet owners.
Bitten or Attacked by A Dog? We can Help
Although the Dog Owners' Liability Act establishes that the dog owner is liable for any attacks or bites by the dog on another person, it can be pretty difficult for victims to recover the compensation they deserve without expert legal counsel. As experienced dog bite personal injury lawyers in Toronto, we can help you hold the dog owner accountable for the injuries, losses, and damages suffered due to their dog's vicious attack.
Call us today at 416-665-2000 to schedule a free consultation.
We don't get paid until we get compensation for you!