Dog bites and attacks can be life altering for victims. They can result in injuries from minor lacerations to long-term nerve damage and disfigurement. So how can the public protect itself from these types of incidents, particularly when it involves a known dangerous dog?
What is a Dangerous Dog?
According to CRD Bylaw No. 1465, a dangerous dog is “any animal that has attacked or bitten, attempted to attack or bite or chased any person, or animal or wildlife, but excludes any attack by a dog on other animals or wildlife engaged in molesting livestock.” If the dog has already been recognized as a dangerous dog, the owner can be held responsible if the victim decides to sue.
Local Laws with Regard to Dog Bites
Generally, municipalities deal with animal bites and attacks so the first course of action after medical treatment is to contact the local animal control office. When the bite or attack is an emergency, the police should be contacted. Local laws deal with dangerous dogs in a variety of ways from mandating that the animal be muzzled and leashed to actually destroying the dog.
The owner of a dangerous dog can be:
● Fined due to lack of effective control
● Fined up to $2,000 and imprisoned for five years as an assault charge
● Charged with criminal negligence
● Sued for negligence in civil court
You May Be Entitled to Compensation
If you have been bitten by a dangerous dog, you may be entitled to sue the owner for compensation for your injuries. Home insurance policies cover general dog bite injuries But in the case of a dangerous dog, BC law is based on what is known as the “one bite rule”. This means that a victim of a dog attack can bring about a lawsuit if the owner was aware that the dog was a danger. This means that the dog had shown signs of aggression or bitten before. Once that happens, the owner is then on notice that the dog is considered dangerous and that he or she will be liable for any further injuries caused by that dog.
Dog Bites and Negligence
Even if the dog has not been determined dangerous, a victim may still bring about a suit for a dog bite injury in the case where the owner is negligent and shows a lack of care in controlling the dog. When a dog is running at large and injures someone, the owner can be held liable for the dog’s behavior and any injuries caused.
Financially and Emotionally Devastating
A dog bite injury can be devastating both financially and emotionally. Medical care can be expensive and long-term in the case of permanent disability or disfigurement. A suit can order that compensation be paid to the victim to offset the costs and emotional harm of a dog bite injury.
If you have been bitten by a dog, contact a Campbell River injury lawyer for legal advice. The personal injury experts at BIL BC Personal Injury Lawyer offer a free initial consultation to understand your rights and determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit.