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Tuesday December 8, 2020

Who’s liable for a dog attack?

Authored by: Shafic A. Khouri Authored by: David S.R. Parker Posted in: Personal Injury

Dog owners have a hard time imagining their pet injuring someone. However, it can happen, and it’s important to know that the law places a certain responsibility on dog owners to prevent this harm. As a result, if your dog does injure someone, then you could be required to compensate that person for those injuries.

Generally, the law places the responsibility on dog owners for a dog attack if their dog had a history of similar behavior and the owners knew or should have known about that history. However, courts and legislatures across the country have started to change this approach. Dog owners have been found liable to compensate for injuries even if their dog didn’t have a history for similar attacks. This places a high burden on dog owners to make sure their dogs are restrained appropriately and to keep watch of them when other people are nearby. It is currently unclear if Nova Scotia has adopted this newer approach, but there is provincial legislation that could support this shift.

Even if you are not the dog’s owner, you may also be responsible for compensation if a dog has injured someone on your property. This is called occupier’s liability. In Nova Scotia, this liability is set out in legislation, which says that the owner of a premises is responsible for preventing any reasonably foreseeable harm to those who enter their property lawfully.

If you are unsure about your liability in a dog attack or wonder who may be liable to compensate you for injuries you sustained from a dog attack, call a lawyer. You can contact the Accident & Personal Injury Team of lawyers at BOYNECLARKE LLP for a free consultation. Our team is one of the largest personal injury teams in Nova Scotia. We are based in Dartmouth and represent clients throughout Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI.

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