Most dogs are harmless, but some exhibit aggressive behaviours; even friendly dogs may bite when injured, scared, or provoked. Dog bites can be extremely serious and may result in severe injury and—in rare cases—even death. If a dog bite wound requires stitches or results in temporary or permanent disability, the victim may be entitled to compensation.
PROPERTY TYPES WHERE DOG BITES CAN OCCUR
WHEN YOU SHOULD CALL A LAWYER
While many victims of minor dog bites settle the issue peacefully with the dog’s owner, some dog owners aren’t willing to accept responsibility for their dog’s aggressive behaviour. Whether or not the owner is open to discussion, you should report a potentially dangerous dog to Aberta’s Animal and Bylaw Services. In many cases, the agency will have already received reports about this particular dog and may need to take appropriate action to prevent further injury.
If you have been bitten or threatened by an aggressive dog, and the owner is not willing to rectify the situation in a reasonable way, it may be necessary to obtain legal representation.
Dog bites fall under Alberta’s Dangerous Dog Act and the Occupier’s Liability Act. While it is legal for a dog to be off-leash on the owner’s premises, you can still sue if a dog attacks you while you are lawfully visiting the property. An experienced Alberta dog bite lawyer can review your case and inform you of your legal rights and options.
MAKING A CLAIM
To make a strong dog bite injury claim, you’ll need to gather evidence. Make a note of where the incident happened, including a description of the dog and the owner’s name and contact information. Take pictures of your injuries, if any, and the surrounding area where the incident occurred. This information will be useful when filing a report with Animal Services, and it could prove invaluable if you decide to bring a lawsuit against the owner.
You’ll also need to prove that (a) you were not provoking or threatening the dog at the time of the incident, and (b) the owner knew the dog was dangerous and did not take steps to control their dog properly. Even if the owner did not realize that the dog posed a threat, they may still be liable, especially if they were not following leash laws at the time of the incident. Under Alberta’s Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw, all dogs must be on a leash no longer than two metres while out in public, unless there are posted signs that state otherwise (e.g., an off-leash dog park).
Because situations surrounding dog bite incidents vary greatly, it’s best to document as much as possible about the incident. A knowledgeable Alberta personal injury lawyer can help to ensure that your case contains all the information needed to make a strong claim.
CALL ROBERTS LAW TODAY
At Roberts Law, we don’t treat clients like a number. We tailor our service to each client’s unique needs because we understand that every case requires a different approach. Our dedicated, compassionate legal team has been protecting the rights of personal injury victims throughout central and southern Alberta for years, and we have an impressive track record of obtaining substantial settlements for our clients. Call us today at 587-391-5110 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.