If your dog bites someone, are you personally liable?

Legal Moment on FM96


[phone ringing]
Receptionist: Cohen Highley
Announcer: And now the Cohen Highley Legal Moment on FM96.
Announcer: I’m with Brad Stone from Cohen Highley Lawyers.  If your dog bites someone, are you personally liable?
Brad Stone: Yes, the Ontario Dog Owners Liability Act applies to bites and attacks, and while owners are responsible for their dogs action, the Act provides that a person can be contributorily negligent even though they were bitten, which makes a reduction in the claim. So say the person provoked the dog, it could reduce the claim against you personally, as the dog’s Owner.
Announcer: What if you’re doing your best to manage and control your dog at the time of the incident?
Brad Stone: You’ll still likely be responsible. I also point out that even if the dog does not have a history of biting incidents or other issues, it won’t likely reduce your liability due to its previous good behavior.
Announcer: If you want own a dog and it bites someone, does your insurance cover you?
Brad Stone: Yes. Dog bites would typically be covered by your homeowner or tenant insurance policy.
Announcer: Thanks Brad. This has been the Cohen Highley Legal Moment.
Singers: Cohen Highley, we’re listening.  cohenhighley.com


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