Sometimes, man’s best friend turns into his worst enemy. Injuries from dog attacks are often serious, disfiguring, or life-threatening. However, this is just one component of the story. A dog attack may result in a person experiencing an ongoing fear of canines, causing deep psychological harm.
Our dog bite law firm can help you during this difficult time. For more than 50 years, our firm has focused on personal injury cases, and we know how to negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement.
Dog Owner’s Liability Act
While Ontario and other provinces have a strict Dog Owner’s Liability Act, that is not true in British Columbia. Here, dog owner liability hinges on whether the owner knew the dog was dangerous, and the animal had previously attacked someone. If it happens on the owner’s property, it may fall under premises liability. Many dog bite cases in BC are treated as a type of common negligence.
Unfortunately, some dog bites are considered “normal canine behaviour,” especially if the animal has no prior biting history. That falls under Scienter, a legal doctrine known colloquially as the one-bite rule. That means the owner had no reason to believe the dog would attack, as it never did so before. The dog gets one bite before the owner is liable for future incidents.
However, just because an owner says the dog never bit anyone before or was not known to behave aggressively does not mean it is true. If you can prove the dog had previously behaved dangerously or was so inclined, the owner may be held liable. However, dog owners are still responsible for their pets, and you may still file a claim if they were negligent.
Dog bite injuries
Dog bite injuries may result in scarring, amputation, nerve damage, infections, and other serious injuries. Some people may experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an attack. They can even be fatal. This is especially true if the victim is a child or a senior citizen.
What to do after a dog bite
Seek medical attention immediately. Even if the bite is not severe, it has the potential to result in a serious infection.
Report it to the police and the local animal services agency. This is a crucial step. If possible, use your phone to take pictures of the dog, as well as your injuries. Get the contact information of the dog owner and any eyewitnesses.
If the dog was loose and you could not get a photograph, write down what the dog looked like, including colour, size, possible breed, and any other identifying features. If the dog or its owner can’t be located, the dog bite victim may have to go through preventive rabies treatment.
Contact our Preszler team of New Westminster dog bite lawyers
If a dog bit you or a loved one, a compassionate New Westminster personal injury lawyer can help you receive compensation. Call us 24/7 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We will thoroughly investigate and advise you of your options. Because we work on a contingency basis, you do not pay unless we win.