Canadian Citizens Are Responsible For the Actions of Their Dogs

Dog bites happen with such frequency that any story about them is unlikely to make it into the news. While they might not be worthy of a news story, they can be worthy of legal action — especially if you live in Canada. The Dog Owner’s Liability Act (DOLA) stipulates that a dog owner assumes liability for damages caused by dog bites or attacks. It doesn’t depend on an owner being negligent; if your dog bites someone, you’re financially responsible, period. Compensation can include medical or veterinary expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages related to the incident. The only exception is when a dog bites someone intending to commit a criminal act and the dog is protecting private property. If a dog happens to jump on someone, causing them to fall and injure themselves, the dog's owner is responsible. Owners are also liable if their dog injures or kills a domestic animal. Even with the strict liability imposed by the DOLA the complainant's actions are also examined. If they acted negligently or in a way that contributed to or caused an attack, a court may reduce the damages they receive.