This post was reviewed by Nicholas A. Battaglia, Esq., an attorney licensed in New York and New Jersey. He is owner and legal content writer for a law practice marketing firm and a realty group focusing on new construction builds in upstate New York, where he lives with his lovely wife and his counselor-at-bark Flora, a mixed breed rescue.
Are you wondering about snow sled dog bites and liability? Well, there are many things that you should know about these dogs.
Based on the Center for Disease Study, there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites records every year. For every five dog bite victims, one of which needs emergency medical treatment. But despite these alarming statistics, people are reluctant to take legal actions.
Most often than not, even the dog bite victim knows who the owner of the dog is, and they do not bother to at least talk it out to them. They are even hesitant to take it to court even if they are suffering a tremendous amount of pain and have to pay medical bills that resulted from the accident.
But the victims of dog bites must also remember that failure to take action, for that matter, could mean that the dog can attack and bite other people again in the future. The owner must be held liable legally so that they will take the incident seriously.
They will at least try to do different means to avoid that the same incident will happen again in the future. With that, I have decided to publish this post to post awareness both for the dog owners and the dog bite victims.
Other than that, I will also try to make you understand the reasons why your dog bites someone or why did the dog bite you. We believe that being aware of all this can help in reducing dog bites incidents in the future.
Throughout this article, we will discuss everything related to dog bites and the liability that the owner has to face when accidents happen. We will use the dog bite cases in Canada as well as their law fit it to illustrate.
The term Husky is often used to describe a lot of snow and northern breed dogs. Greenland Husky, Norwegian Husky, Alaskan Husky, and Siberian Husky are among the most common ones. These breeds of dogs are known for having great physical endurance and intelligence.
Usually, they function as sled dogs, and they can run for up to a hundred miles. Huskies are famous for a thousand-mile dog sled race competition that people refer to as Iditarod.
These kinds of competition often take place in the interior wilderness of Alaska. If these dog breeds’ owners failed to give them sufficient exercise, they could become aggressive and restless.
Why Dogs Bite And Aggression Among Dogs
Over the centuries, dog breeders intend to produce more aggressive dogs. Dog aggression has always been their primary objective. They are doing this to create dog breeds that can provide homes with better protection.
Another reason is for entertainment. Let us take pit-bull as an example which is produced as one of the dog-fighting breeds. However, based on the United States’ records, 50 percent of dog attack cases are due to pitbull-type of dogs.
Now, when we talk about dog bites, they can occur due to a multitude of reasons. There are several kinds of aggression that often result in biting. Let us discuss each of them below:
#1. Dominance aggression
This particular type of aggression is usually associated with the family members that are interacting with the dog. What can generally trigger this is when there’s something that they take from the dog.
Furthermore, it can also be due to family members or pets that disturb, hold, or pick-ups the dog while sleeping.
#2. Defensive aggression
The second form of aggression can be attributed both to family members and non-family members. It usually occurs when something approached the dog too quickly or if the dog is frightened of something.
#3. Territorial aggression
This type of aggression is associated with strangers who are approaching the yard or home.
#4. Predatory aggression
Small yet quick-moving animals often cause predatory aggression. It is also commonly directed at children.
#5. Pain elicited aggression
The dog often directs this certain aggression to anyone approaching the fen while the dog is injured or in pain.
#5. Punishment elicited aggression
Dogs often show punishment elicited aggression to someone who is yelling or to those who are hitting the dog.
#6. Redirected aggression
When the dog is already in an aggressive state, you should not approach it. That is because there is a high chance that he will become more aggressive and might attack you.
Relationship Between Dog Treatment And Dog Attacks
According to studies, there is a connection between dog attacks and the treatment of dogs. It means that if the dog is given proper medical care, supervision, shelter, water, and adequate food, chances are, it won’t go attacking other people.
As such, it will be helpful if the public would complain about cases of dog-fighting, neglect, and cruelty. They must give these sentinel events higher enforcement now than it was in the past.
Dogs are not luxury items nor toys. Dogs are living things that deserve and care for their safety as well as the public. Although there are rare canine aggression cases, it is a severe issue for the possible victims, owners, and even other dogs.
Who Can Be Held Responsible For A Dog Bite
What happens with snow sled dog bites and liability? This section will tackle the persons who can be held liable when a dog bit incident occurs. It will also answer the question, “Who can I sue if a dog bites me?”
#1. Homeowners insurance
In a strict sense, the dog owners are liable for all the injuries and damages caused by the dog. But they usually have insurance policies that will cover dog bite injuries.
However, there is some exclusion to the insurance policies entered into by the homeowners regarding the dog bites. We know for a fact that cases vary across different dog bites incidents.
Consequently, homeowners are not permitted to get supplemental or additional insurance for the umbrella policy. Some insurance policies only provide limited coverage for dog bite accidents.
Aside from the dog owner, you may also push charges against the landlord when the landlord knew or has a piece of knowledge about a dangerous dog that resides within the property.
The landlord can be held responsible if he was aware of an aggressive dog breed, per se, if someone has reported it to him. It is practical to go after the landlord because the tenant does not have insurance policies that can cover dog bite accidents. But landlords usually have.
#3. In case the dog owner is a child
If the owner of the dog that has bitten you is a child, then the child’s parents will be held responsible for the injuries.
#4. Dog sitter or dog watcher
In case someone else is watching over the dog when it attacks someone, for example, a friend or neighbor of the owner, then the dog owner will still be responsible for it.
In other words, the dog sitter or the dog watcher in the custody of the dog will be covered by the dog owner’s insurance policy.
When To Take Legal Action?
Generally, it is a good idea to take legal action if you suffered injuries due to a dog bite that leads to medical attention. Likewise, legal action should also be taken even if you did not seek medical attention, but you suffer from pain and suffer from trauma after the dog attack.
Going after the dog owner, you will be able to make him liable for the damages done. You might gain compensation for all the expenses you have to pay as a result of the injuries and even for the suffering and pain that you have to endure due to it.
Aside from that, you can also make all other parties such as the property owners or the landlord responsible if and only if you will take legal action.
It is crucial because they have the responsibility for the safety of their property. As much as possible, owners must keep any hazards that can cause harm, such as a dangerous animal, away from their vicinity area.
Considering taking legal action when your child or even you were bitten or in some way injured by a dog is necessary so that you will be able to get the amount of compensation you deserve, especially if it is in Illinois.
Treatment For Dangerous Dogs In Canadian Law
Dogs can be the cutest and loveliest companions a man can have. However, they can be dangerously aggressive at times resulting in attacks and injuries.
In this case, who is to blame for this – the dog or those people who are raising them? Let us answer that question using the cases and the law that is implemented in Canada with regards to dog bites.
Initially, Canada’s non-criminal statutory system focuses on the conduct of the dog rather than the dog owners. They often ignore the perspective of the dog on circumstances that dog bites occur.
But a lot of experts have been claiming over the years that no dogs are naturally vicious; rather, the dog owners are. The law slowly realizes that focusing on the individual dog breed is not effective in decreasing dog bite cases in Canada.
That is why the lawmakers use a more sensible approach regarding canine aggression. According to the law, we should give the owner’s conduct more emphasis since humans are more amenable when it comes to law correction, education, or any other means.
This kind of approach is more likely to achieve better outcomes in terms of accountability for dogs than the method that only resorted to the dog’s destruction after the accident.
In other words, an immoral and irresponsible owner can get a new dog after the destruction of the other and treat it with the same imprudence in the future.
It also is said that lawmakers increased the statutory liability for dog-bite cases because they started to realize that the victims are unfairly deprived of the compensation under the old scheme.
Even the dog-bite victims with serious injuries failed to receive any compensation from the owners or their insurance policies. Yet, the pendulum seems to swing in the opposite direction, especially in more populated and urban areas.
Unlike in the northern part of Canada, most populated regions tend to subconsciously believe that dogs must also conform to similar consumer safety guarantees of other nonliving products that people acquire casually and eventually dispose of if the time comes.
Such kind of belief is unrealistic. It ignores the fact that dogs are living things. They also neglect the need and importance of non-human differences. With that being said, there is a need for future statutory amendments to use the negligence model as the basis for reforms.
Experts claim that the negligence standard can provide the best compromise between the owner’s strict or absolute liability and the victim’s scienter’s extremes.
This model will require the dog owners to take reasonable and sensible precautions towards their dogs. It includes muzzling, training, and confining their dogs to reduce foreseeable risks to the general public.
Those who did not take such steps or failed to display sensible foresight should be punished by law.
As you can see, the negligence-based statutory model for dogs shows a remarkable resemblance to parental responsibility for the conduct of their children as well as the responsibility of the occupiers over their inanimate property and its safety for others.
The law also seeks to make a model of statutory reforms based on motor vehicle safety. For example, they can require a license for owning a dog. It involves testing and periodic refresher courses both for the dog and the owner.
The statutory reform can also include a demerit point scheme in tracking the offending owners, ownership bans, and non-trivial penalties.
The penalty must also be consistent in size across different provinces. Furthermore, adequate monies should be allocated for the education of the children and other potential victims.
Dog Breeds That Are Banned In Canada
Several countries worldwide ban the import of some dog breeds that are considered aggressive or dangerous. Extensive banning of such dogs is done for the protection of the public from accidental dog attacks.
So if you are planning to travel with your dog, it is vital to know the list of dog breeds banned in a particular country that you intend to go to before the date of travel.
One of the countries that implement dog bans is Canada. Although they do not have a blanket ban, several provinces prohibit certain aggressive dog breeds.
Here is the list of dog breeds that are not permitted in some Canadian areas.
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Pit Bull Terrier
- American Staffordshire Terrier
The dogs with such breeds around the area before the law are sterilized and then kept on a lead. When they are out in public, those dogs are muzzled.
Reducing Dog Bites And Attacks In Communities
The National Canine Research Council recommends the following ownership practices to prevent dog bites and attacks to occur.
These practices should be implemented as much as possible, especially in countries with most cases like Canada and the United States of America.
- Proper education for the public about responsible dog ownership and dog behavior;
- Educating children regarding the safety around dogs;
- Passing laws that will hold the dog owners liable for the proper treatment and control over their dogs; and
- Consistently enforcing ordinances for reckless owners and dangerous dogs.
Preventing Dog Bites At Home
Let us take it more personally. By executing the following actions at home, you will prevent dog bites for children and families.
#1. Determine the right pet for your family
Make sure to get a pet that will be compatible with the situation of your family and the ages of your children. If you have young kids at home, it wouldn’t be a good idea to get aggressive dogs.
#2. Train your dog
Train your dog in as early as possible. Also, find time to socialize with your pet.
#3. Don’t get comfortable with other dogs easily
If you see an unfamiliar dog, you must not approach it too closely, especially when caring for its young, eating, or sleeping
If you encounter a dog in the street or somewhere else, you must not make eye contact with them. Running or screaming should also be avoided.
When you are at your friend’s or your neighbor’s house, you should ask the owner first if it is OK to pet their dog. Most dogs will like being petted, but some would not.
#4. Don’t make sudden movements
When interacting with your dog, refrain from making sudden movements. As much as possible, you should wait for the dog to come to you. Instead of approaching them directly, you can call for them and let them come towards you.
#5. Protect your child
Never leave your young children, especially infants, unattended with a dog
What To Do If A Dog Bites You?
Here are the things that you should do if a dog bites you:
Step #1. Wash
The first thing that you need to do after a dog has bitten you or your loved one is to wash off the wound right away.
Step #2. Identify
You also need to identify the dog owner and inform them about the incident. It would also be wise to ask them about the dog’s rabies immunization status that bites or attacks you.
Step #3. Check
If you are unsure whether or not the dog is immunized against rabies, you must visit the doctor right away.
Step #4. Treatment
Medical treatment is required for dog bites that resulted in tears or punctures. Aside from that, you must also seek treatment for rabies and infection
Step #5. Report
It is also empirical to make a report to the police about the incident
Step #6. Seek a lawyer’s help
Psychological trauma and severe injury that arises from dog attacks must also be consulted with an injury lawyer
It’s A Wrap!
What do you mean about snow sled dog bites and liability? Dog bites are somewhat a common occurrence in some countries like Canada. If you ask every Canadian citizen, for sure, they know someone who was bitten or attacked by a dog.
Sometimes, the resulting injuries and damages are just minor. But in most cases, dog bites resulted in severe scarring and wounds.
More than this, dog bite victims often experience trauma after the incident. The psychological effect can be severe, starting with sleeping difficulty, anxiety, and fearing dogs permanently.
When it comes to liability for dog bites, you can claim the damages done by going after the dog owner or the landlord. You will be eligible for a certain amount of compensation depending on how severe your injuries are.
Furthermore, the injured persons are entitled to any lost income that resulted from the accident. The loss of income may include the rehabilitation and compensation costs and housekeeping and home maintenance expenses.
You shall also be awarded for the suffering, pain, and other costs resulting from the dog attack.
All in all, dogs can be the cutest being, yet they can be aggressive and dangerous. That is why specific laws are formulated for the safety of the public. However, dog attacks and dog bite accidents should not be blamed on dogs alone. Instead, the owners must be responsible for their dogs.