If you think a dog chasing you can leave you traumatized, a dog bite may result in worse. Other than possible mental trauma, a dog bite can result in physical injuries that can hinder your ability to perform daily tasks, leading to potential loss of work and income. The additional expenses of medical bills can further worsen matters.
According to the World Health Organization, countless people worldwide are bitten by dogs each year. Even though there is no precise data on the number of dog-bite injuries in Canada, it’s a common incident that mostly goes unreported.
If you have been bitten by a dog in Canada, you must understand your rights and the procedure for submitting a compensation claim. And this blog will help you do that.
Dog Bite Laws in Canada
Dog bite laws differ by province and territory in Canada, but in general, dog owners are held accountable for injuries inflicted by their dogs. It means the owner is liable for the losses and injuries caused by their dog’s bite, regardless of their knowledge or fault.
Leash rules and restrictions are in place to reduce the danger of dog attacks, and breaking them can help a victim’s case. If you experience a dog bite, you must report it to the authorities for recording and possible inquiry. Victims must get legal counsel from a personal injury lawyer to navigate the legal procedure and obtain adequate settlement or compensation.
Dog Bite Laws in Ontario
The owner of a dog is legally accountable for any damages caused by a dog bite or attack another person or domestic animal under Ontario’s Dog Owners’ Liability Act. It’s vital to realize that blame extends beyond bites to any attack. It means the owner can be held liable even if the dog did not bite but caused injury in some other way.
If you have been bitten or attacked by a dog, you have the right to submit a claim and demand compensation from the dog’s owner. You may be able to get cash compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses if you file a claim.
Risks After a Dog Bite
Dog bites can have long-term physical and mental consequences. Understanding the risks connected with dog bites is necessary for promoting safety, educating others, and taking proper steps in the event of an occurrence. Here are some risks of a dog bite.
Infection can spread within your body if a dog’s teeth break the skin after a bite. Dogs carry germs in their mouths, which can cause illness when introduced into a human’s circulation through a bite wound. Pasteurella, Staphylococcus, and Capnocytophaga are some of the most common bacteria detected in dog bites. These infections, if left untreated, can cause redness, swelling, and discomfort.
Depending on the intensity of the bite, dog bites can cause bleeding. Minor bleeding from superficial wounds can be managed with direct pressure and good wound care. Deep puncture wounds or bites may cause heavy bleeding and require emergency medical intervention.
Due to tissue damage, nerve involvement, and the force used during the bite, dog bites can cause substantial pain. The degree of pain felt varies based on the location and depth of the wound. It is essential to seek medical assistance as soon as possible to manage discomfort and avoid subsequent issues.
Skin tearing can occur depending on the power and severity of the dog’s bite. It can result in lacerations, avulsions, or extensive wounds that may need stitches or surgical intervention to heal properly. Skin tears can cause permanent scarring, requiring further treatments such as plastic surgery or scar revision techniques.
Potential Muscle or Bone Injury
A dog bite can cause damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and even bones. If the bite is on the hands or feet, it can pose a higher risk of muscle and bone damage. These injuries can cause functional deficits and loss of movement, and recovery may include surgical intervention, rehabilitation, or physical therapy.
What You Should Do After a Dog Bite Incident
Here’s what you should do if you ever experience a dog bite incident.
Get Medical Attention
Regardless of the severity of the damage, seeking quick medical assistance after a dog bite is recommended. Even small bites that look harmless might cause illnesses or other health consequences. Visit a healthcare expert who can clean and dress the wound appropriately, diagnose the degree of the damage, and administer required treatments such as antibiotics or tetanus vaccinations.
Prompt medical assistance will ensure your safety and produce a medical record of the incident, which might be useful for future legal or insurance claims.
Seek the Identity of the Dog
If possible, attempt to identify the dog that bit you and learn more about its owner. It might involve asking witnesses or neighbours for information, noting any visible tags on the dog, or simply asking the owner. Obtain the owner’s contact information, such as their name, address, and phone number. You will need this information in the event of a legal case.
File a Report
Once you have the information, notify the right authorities, such as your local municipality, police department, or animal control, of the dog bite incident.
Give them a thorough narrative of what happened, including the date, time, and place of the occurrence, as well as a description of the dog and any relevant circumstances. By completing a report, you can create an official record, which might be valuable if legal action is required.
Keep a Log of all your Medical Expenses
Keep detailed records of any medical procedures, doctor visits, prescriptions, and other costs related to the dog bite. Receipts, invoices, and bills for hospital visits, consultations, medicines, and any other medical services you get are included.
Keep note of the dates and descriptions of each medical appointment and any effect the incident has had on your everyday life, such as lost work or pain.
Photograph the bite wounds after the incident, using several angles to capture good photographs. Ensure that the photographs depict the entire extent of the injuries, including any swelling, bruising, or broken skin. These early images give crucial visual proof of the dog bite’s immediate aftermath.
Additionally, while the wound heals, take periodic images of the healing process. These photographs can show the severity of the damage, the duration of the recuperation time, and any scarring or deformity that resulted.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you through the legal procedure. Choose a lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases and has a proven track record of success. You can provide them with all the evidence of the incident, including any paperwork you have acquired.
Qualified personal injury lawyers will assess your case and advise you on the best course of action. They will help you acquire further evidence, negotiate a fair settlement, and, if necessary, represent you in court.
Why do You Need to File a Dog Bite Compensation Claim?
Filing a dog bite claim is critical because it allows you to seek compensation for medical expenditures such as treatments and procedures. It also assists in recovering lost revenue due to incapacity to work. A claim can also pay the costs of rehabilitation and counselling, resolve scars or deformities, and hold the responsible parties accountable. It guarantees that you obtain reasonable compensation for the damages and costs caused by the dog bite incident.
How Much Compensation Can You Claim?
The amount of compensation you can receive for a dog bite depends on the severity of your injuries, medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, scars or disfigurement, rehabilitation and therapy fees, and the impact on your daily life. You can consult a personal injury lawyer to assess your case and help you determine the right amount of compensation you may be entitled to.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer For Your Dog Bite Case
If you or someone you know have been a victim of a dog bite, take action and hire a personal injury lawyer who specializes in dog bite cases.
Our personal injury lawyers at Nanda & Associate Lawyers can help you protect your rights and maximize your compensation with their experience of the legal complexities regarding dog bite regulations in Toronto.
Our personal injury lawyer will analyze your losses, acquire critical evidence, negotiate for settlement on your behalf, and defend you in court.
Ready to take action? Book a consultation now!
Disclaimer: This article is only intended for educational purposes and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for legal advice.