Unfortunately, it’s very common for poorly trained and out-of-control dogs to injure individuals
If you have been attacked by a dog and bitten or injured because of its conduct, you may have a claim against its owner.
Homeowner’s insurance policies generally do cover such scenarios, and if there is insurance available, we will need to determine whether the dog owner has any personal assets that could be sold or liquidated in the event of a settlement or judgement in your favour.
A claim against a dog owner is particularly viable if the dog has a past history of poor behaviour such as biting other humans. Often, the SPCA will have records of unruly conduct of dogs. The law indicates that if a dog has not previously shown any aggressive behaviour, then there may not be liability against the owner despite the fact that the dog injured you, as such an event was not “foreseeable”.
However, the circumstances of the attack can still attract a negligence claim in the absence of a history of previous misconduct on the part of the dog. An example is where the owner was allowing the dog to be off leash contrary to municipal bylaws. Another example would be where the owner failed to lock up the dog behind a fence or for that matter, left the fence in disarray, allowing the dog to escape.
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