Abbotsford Dog Bite Lawyer
Dogs are known as “man’s best friend,” but they can also be dangerous when poorly bred, trained, or controlled. They killed 43 people and disfigured another 767 North Americans in 2018. Victims included 12 children under the age of four. Of those who survived– serious injuries included broken bones, concussions, neurological damage, heart attacks, strokes, bleeding, and infections, not to mention psychological trauma likely to last a lifetime.
British Columbia’s Dangerous Dog Law
The Capital Regional District Bylaw No. 1465 defines a dangerous dog as “any animal that has attacked or bitten, attempted to attack or bite or chased any person, or animal or wildlife.” Dogs who are guarding livestock are exceptions to this rule when they are protecting their property. There is no such thing as a “one bite rule.” Any dog that bites must be muzzled and leashed in public. The Provincial Court may order the destruction of dogs that have or are likely to kill or injure, particularly if the owner has demonstrated the inability to control the dog.
Dangerous Dog Punishments
It is within the scope of the law for owners to face:
- Fines up to $2,000.
- Imprisonment up to five years.
- Criminal assault charges if the dog is purposefully allowed to attack a person (up to five years in jail).
- Criminal negligence charges if an owner fails to control a vicious dog (up to 10 years in jail).
- Life imprisonment if a dog kills someone.
- Civil liability and the payment of damages.
What Is Needed in Civil Court?
It has been widely established that dog owners must ensure their pets do not harass people or wild animals, regardless of whose property they are on. It is unacceptable for “guard dogs” to attack delivery personnel, guests, or visitors. Owners should take special care to keep the dog from coming into contact with people and put up warning signs for visitors.
To hold an owner liable for civil damages, it must be established that:
- The victim sustained an injury.
- The injury was caused by someone else’s dog.
- The owner was aware of the dog’s propensity to display aggression.
- The owner was negligent in the inability to control the dog.
Often, civil penalties are covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy, but the awards may exceed coverage.
What To Do If A Dog Attacks
If a dog has attacked you or a loved one, you should:
- Seek immediate medical attention to assess and treat the injuries.
- If the injury looks severe, call local law enforcement to file a police report. (Be sure to keep a copy.)
- Ensure that rabies testing is done to determine if vaccinations and antibiotics are necessary.
- Report the incident to the Bylaw Services Division to investigate and protect the community.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer to determine how you will cover medical expenses and other losses.
Need Abbotsford Dog Bite Lawyers’ Help?
With a convenient office on Clearbrook Road, our team of Abbotsford dog bite lawyers is standing by to represent your claim. We have the experience necessary to pursue these cases and win. We’ll ensure that dog owners cannot dodge liability with a paltry “I didn’t know” defence, and if they owe you damages, we’ll help the courts find a way to make them pay. We offer free, no-obligation consultations and contingency-based representation at no upfront cost to you.