Getting Dog Attack Compensation in BC
Have you been bitten or attacked by a dog in BC? If so, you may be entitled to compensation from the dog owner. Typically, owners of dogs have a home insurance policy that provides coverage to the owner in the event of a dog bite injury even if the incident occurs outside of the owners property, for example at a park or while out on a walk.
Potential to change one’s life forever
Dog bites and attacks may not seem as serious as car accidents; however, they have the potential to change one’s life forever. Dog bites can result in life-changing injuries and in some cases, disabilities such as permanent scarring and numbness due to nerve damage. The impact of attacks can also cause victims to suffer from emotional trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, and even loss of income.
Law in BC, the “one bite rule”
The law in British Columbia on dog bites is based on the “one bite rule”. This mean that a person who has been injured as a result of a dog bite will only succeed in a lawsuit against the dog owner if the owner knew or had reason to know that the dog was likely to cause that kind of injury. If a dog has bitten before or has displayed vicious behaviour, such as growling or lunging at people without provocation, then the owner is to be “on notice” from that moment on that the dog is dangerous, and will be liable if the dog later causes injury to someone.
Suing the dog owner for compensation
You may still be successful in suing the owner for compensation arising out of your dog bite injuries in cases where the owner of the dog isn’t liable under the “one bite rule”. Dog owners may still be liable for being negligent in situations such as unreasonable lack of care and attention in controlling the dog. This can include situations where the dog is not kept on a leash in places other than off-leash designated areas or left to run at large.
What to do after a dog attack in BC
Before you seek legal advice though it is important that you seek medical attention and advice regarding rabies treatment and infections. It is also important that you report the incident to your local animal control office. Look up your city’s animal control office and provide them with as much detail as possible. It is imperative that you do so to not only allow the animal control officers to investigate the incident and contact the owners but also to prevent other potential attacks.