Dog Bite Law.

Dog Barking

Dog bites and attacks can cause serious injuries and are very traumatic experiences. As experienced dog bite injury lawyers, we can help you navigate your legal options. Contact Equilibrium law, an Ottawa-based personal injury law firm, for a free consultation. We can help you get successful results for your dog attack case.

Although dogs are considered a man’s best friend, they are not everyone’s friend. They may be domestic animals, but they are still animals and can be unpredictable. A dog bite attack can cause severe injuries. With our extensive experience, we have answered some common questions you may have about dog bite cases.

Can I sue for a dog bite/attack?

Yes. If you have experienced a serious injury from a dog bite, you can sue for compensation. Most dog bite cases are straightforward and can be settled out of court. If a settlement is not reached the case will go to trial, and a judge will determine the compensation you should be awarded.

Who’s responsible for my injuries from a dog attack?

The owner of a dog is always at fault for any injury their dog causes to another person or property. The Dog Owners Liability Act outlines Ontario law concerning dog attacks.

If you entered someone’s property for work or leisure purposes and their dog attacked you, you can be compensated. Owners of dogs must ensure their property is safe for anyone entering. This includes contractors, mail deliverers, law enforcement, visitors, or customers. Even if you did not have a direct invitation to enter the property dog owners still have the responsibility to keep you safe from their pets.

Compensation will be reduced if you were trespassing or taunting and abusing the dog.

As the parent or legal guardian of a child that a dog has attacked, you can sue on their behalf so that they receive compensation for their injuries.

In 2021 a dog attack case in Ontario was settled for $155,000. The legal guardian of the child had initiated a claim against the dog’s owner on behalf of the child. The victim was just an infant when a dog bit him on the face. The dog bite injuries required stitches however the child made a full recovery with no scarring and no perceived trauma from the attack. The dog owner was held responsible for the injuries.

Unfortunately, dog bite victims tend to be young children. Since they are small, dog bite injuries tend to be more severe and very traumatic. The injuries can result in permanent disfigurement and have a devastating effect on their physical appearance and mobility. This may then interfere with their future employment opportunities and goals. The attack may even cause serious psychological injuries. They deserve compensation for the damages they suffered and as their legal guardian, you can advocate on their behalf.

I’m a family member of someone who was attacked by a dog can I receive compensation?

Yes. If you are a family member of the injured party, you can sue under the Family law act. You can be compensated for the loss of companionship and any financial loss you may have experienced by having to care for your injured family member. The dog owner’s homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the compensation.

What compensation can I receive for my dog attack injuries?

  • Loss of income (past and future) – If the injuries, you suffered in a dog attack cause you to take time off work or affected your ability to work you can recover past and future loss of income.
  • Loss of household services. – if you can no longer clean your house, mow the lawn or take care of your children and have to hire someone 
  • Medical bills (past and future)- plastic surgery, physiotherapy, medication, dental procedures, assistive devices, counselling etc.          

Among victims of dog bites, cosmetic procedures are commonly used to fix scarring. However, these procedures are not usually covered by health care or insurance companies and can be very expensive. Dog bites can have additional medical complications like the development of diseases that may require a lot of medical intervention. Any medical treatment you paid out of pocket in the past or future can be compensated.

  • Pain and suffering – caused by your physical injuries
  • Emotional trauma – Dog attacks can inflict serious psychological trauma that no amount of money can fix however compensation can help you afford professional help to help you cope.
  • Diminished quality of life 

How much money can I get from a lawsuit for dog attack injuries?

In past results for dog bite cases, victims are awarded anywhere between a couple of thousand dollars to a couple hundred thousand dollars for the damages they experienced from the attack.

How to report a dog attack in Ottawa?

If you are in immediate danger, call 911. If not call 3-1-1 this will put you in contact with Ottawa municipal law enforcement. You can report the attack and by law will commence an investigation. Reporting the incident provides independent confirmation that you were bitten and will potentially provide additional investigative resources for documenting the attack.  

I’ve been attacked by a dog what are my next steps?

1. Seek medical attention

Common injuries from dog attacks include puncture wounds and lacerations. Dog bites regardless of the severity should receive medical attention. As a result of a dog bite diseases and other bacterial infections can develop. These diseases and infections can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Wounds need to be thoroughly cleaned or the bacteria can cause chronic infections or pain. When dogs attack, they may knock you down or shake their head while biting which can result in soft tissue injuries or even broken bones. Keep track of your medical care records as they will be useful when pursuing a legal claim.

2. Collect information on the attack

  • Name of the dog owner
  • Picture and/or description of the dog
  • Pictures of injuries
  • Date location and time of the attack
  • Contact information of any witnesses

3. Report the incident to Ottawa Municipal Law Enforcement at 3-1-1

It’s a good idea to report a dog attack to law enforcement as the information collected from the investigation can help your case. Furthermore, it’s law enforcement’s job to protect Ottawa residents from danger.

4. Know your legal rights- Seek advice from experienced dog bite lawyers

If you intend to file a lawsuit for a dog bite you must do so within 2 years of the attack.

My pet was attacked by a dog can I sue for damages?

Yes, you can sue if your pet was attacked by a dog. You can be compensated for any vet bills and future medical expenses for your pet.

Does insurance cover injuries from a dog bite?

Yes. Most dog owners have homeowner insurance which will cover them in the event they are found legally liable for injuries their dog caused. Therefore, if you sue a dog owner for compensation the money won’t come out of their pocket their insurance will pay you whatever you are awarded. If the owner of the dog does not have homeowner’s insurance, they will have to pay for the damages out of pocket.

How long after a dog attack can I sue for damages?

For most personal injury cases, you have 2 years from the day you suffered the injury or the day you became aware you suffered an injury to file a lawsuit. The lawsuit does not need to be completed within 2 years. All that is required is that you commence the legal process within 2 years. Although this is the general rule there are exceptions. To learn more about the statutes of limitation click here:

Why should I hire a personal injury attorney for my dog bite case?

Injuries from an animal attack are serious and the added stress of pursuing a legal claim can be overwhelming. Hiring an experienced dog bite attorney can relieve this stress. Our firm’s injury lawyer has decades of experience dealing with dog bite cases and can make sure you receive full and fair compensation in a timely manner. We can help you reach a settlement outside of court but if your dog bite case goes to trial, we have the skills and experience needed to build a strong case.

If you have suffered a physical injury from a dog bite or have any further claims-related questions, contact our Equilibrium law legal team. Give us a call or fill out our claim form and leave your email address and we will contact you as soon as possible. We build strong relationships with our clients so that we can achieve our primary focus of getting you the compensation you deserve.

I can’t afford a personal injury lawyer what can I do?

If you are worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer it may help you to know that at our personal injury law firm we work by contingency fees. This means we are paid a percentage of the money you are awarded in the lawsuit. Don’t worry about the legal fee. If you are looking to file a personal injury claim, contact Equilibrium law for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Our Ottawa injury lawyers look forward to helping you get the compensation you deserve! 


Welcome to Injuria. If yoiu have been injured and need a lawyer please call: 613-751-3430