Most dogs are domesticated and do nothing but bark. However, since 1 million people are bitten by dogs every year, dog bites are not unheard of. If you have ever been the victim of a dog bite, you want to hire a good lawyer to help you craft the personal injury case or claim that will get you the settlement you deserve from the dog’s owner. It may surprise (and shock you) to learn that you can be bitten by a dog and still not be eligible for any compensation from its owner.
Did you provoke the dog?
Your personal injury lawyer in St. Catharines will tell you that if a dog bit you because you either provoked or annoyed it, its owner is not legally obligated to pay you a penny since you are legally 100% at fault! This does not apply if the dog happens to be of a particular breed that bites for no reason, and/or you were minding your own business when the dog bit you. Your personal injury lawyer will tell you that you are eligible for a settlement in this instance. You can still collect a settlement if the dog bit you so badly that you ended up in the emergency room even if you were 100% at fault.
Where did you get bitten?
Your lawyer will tell you that if you were a guest at a party and got bit by the guest’s dog, then you are eligible for a settlement. This, however, is not true if you were trespassing or trying to rob the owner and he or she unleashed the dog on you out of protection. Then the owner is not at fault at all.
The statute of limitations applies
Well, this applies to all personal injury cases, not just dog bite cases. Basically, you have two years from the day and hour that the dog bit you to craft either a personal injury claim or case (or both) against the owner. If you file after this time, the courts and/or insurance company won’t hear your case or claim even if the bite was severe and the owner was completely at fault!
The civil code applies
Generally speaking, the owner of the dog is responsible for his or her canine and has the legal duty to restrain the canine at all times. This law doesn’t apply to military personnel, customs and border protection officers, and the police. They can and will unleash their dogs to bite you if you break the law and/or resist arrest. The same is true if you were either a trespasser or a minor who was a trespasser.
The dog’s owner is strictly liable for his or her pet’s actions. If you get bitten by his or her dog and you win a settlement against him or her either in or out of court because of this, the owner is legally required to pay you the entire settlement amount within the stipulated time period.As you can see, dog bite laws aren’t always straightforward. Your chances of winning your personal injury case or claim either in or out of court increase dramatically if you hire a lawyer.