No dog owner likes to think of their beloved puppy hurting someone, especially not a child, friend or family member. However, these attacks happen and when they do, it is important to understand who will be held liable. The biggest factor will be where it happened, since laws vary between countries and even provinces. For example, there are areas which have a one-bite rule, in which it is stated that the owner will not be held accountable if the dog has hurt someone for the first time. However, this means that, if the dog is known to pose a threat, the owner will be held fully responsible.
Another factor that may be ruled in is whether the attack could be considered to have been provoked. Especially close attention is paid to this in situations where someone may have been trying to harm the dog’s owner. Cases like these are generally always ruled in the dog’s and owner’s favor and neither of them is held liable, since it would count as self-defense by proxy.
However, there are also areas in which the dog’s actions are always the owner’s by association, or more legally put: the owner will always be held strictly liable for their dog’s actions. This means, all damages and/or injuries caused by the dog, are automatically the owner’s financial and legal responsibility. Though, if the owner wasn’t present, that liability is passed on to whoever was in charge of the dog at the time, i.e. the dog walker, friend, spouse. It is important to note that the situation will be viewed differently, if the person has tried to interfere and prevent the attack. There are various aspects of the case which only an injury lawyer can evaluate.
If you are a dog owner, it is vital for you to read the fine print on your home insurance policy since the coverage of third party liability will usually get you a response to your claim in cases where your dog has harmed somebody. Also be sure to contact your insurance company as soon as possible following the attack.As a dog owner, you should always be fully conscious of the level of liability you hold for your dog’s actions. This is especially true, if you are the owner of a very large dog since their bites and scratches can cause serious injury with long term consequences. If a child is attacked, a bite can even be fatal. If it is your child, you need to immediately seek medical assistance and call on the injury lawyer in Sarnia.