In these current times of COVID-19 when we are getting everything delivered to our door to avoid infection from food to in-home care, what happens when your dog bites one of these people? Dogs can sense things that we don’t and they will be protective of their surroundings. In today’s landscape of deliveries that your dog may not be used to, what are your responsibilities as a property owner regarding a dog bite?
What Should You Do After a Bite?
In Canada, there are approximately 500,000 dog bites each year. In Alberta, we are bound by the Canada Dangerous Dogs Act which determines liability. As a homeowner, if your dog bites someone on your property, what should you do?
If your dog has bitten a delivery person
● Move the dog away from the person and tie it up in another room.
● If injuries are severe, seek immediate medical attention.
● Help the person who was bitten by gently washing the wound with warm water and soap
● If there is bleeding, stop the bleeding by applying pressure and covering with gauze or a bandage
● Do not place blame or admit fault. Anything you say, even if you are truly sorry, can be used against you.
● Get statements and contact information from any witnesses.
● Take photos of the injury.
● Call law enforcement. They will determine if the dog must be removed under law.
● Contact your veterinarian for records.
● Contact your homeowners’ insurance provider.
Dogs may feel provoked, especially when strangers have come on to the property that they feel protective of. Liability will depend on if the dog had been aggressive in the past. If there was no history of aggression, you may not be liable.
Are You Liable if Your Dog Attacks a Delivery Person?
In most cases, any injury claim will be covered by your homeowners’ insurance. When you contact your home insurance provider, you will want to explain the circumstances of the dog bite and give any witness information. Your agent will investigate and get in touch with the injured party.
If the injured party had medical expenses, they may contact a personal injury lawyer in Medicine Hat to represent them in a claim. Never give any statements to their lawyer without yours present.
Is Your Dog Typically Aggressive?
If your dog is known to be aggressive and you allow it into a situation where it could potentially cause harm to someone, you can be held legally liable. Posting “beware of dog” signs is not enough. If your dog has a history of biting or aggression, it’s important to contain or leash the dog and warn people who may come into contact with it.
In Alberta, your municipal government makes and enforces laws relating to domestic animals. It’s important to understand these laws as they pertain to your municipality. If you need help with a dog bite claim, call the Medicine Hat injury lawyers at BPCAB Law to discuss your responsibility under the laws.