More About Contributory Negligence in Dog Bite Cases

Dog bite cases are particularly interesting, especially if they are held in the state of Ontario. The main reason for this is that there is a clear determination of the obligation, liability as well as the differentiation of damages associated with dog bites set forth in the separate and unique Dog Owner’s Liability Act. This piece of legislation was enacted back in 1990 on the 31st of December. It hasn’t been amended or replaced ever since. This is a clear sign for only one thing – it works. The legislative authorities have managed to successfully asses the social demands of regulations and have put all the necessary texts in one concise piece of legislation.

Now, this particular act governs quite a few things. It sets forth provision which shed a lot of light on matter such as:

·         Dog Owner’s Liability

·         Conditions under which liability can be sought after

·         Events which can trigger a potential case

·         Pitbull bans

·         Contributory Negligence

There are also some general articles in the Act which give concise explanation of certain terminology which are mandatory for all parties involved in a process of this kind. However, the most interesting thing associated with the act that also deserves tons of attention is the institute of contributory negligence.

Right off the bat, it’s important to point out that the Dog Owner’s Liability Act sets forth an incredibly wide spectrum of responsibility on behalf of the dog owner. He doesn’t have to be present at the time of the accident nor does he have to be aware of it. He is going to be held accountable either way. There are no exceptions to this rule, but one that is termed as contributory negligence. As the name suggests, this is an event where the victim of the attack is also liable because he has contributed in some way.

Interestingly enough, this is the only thing that may limit the responsibility of the owner. If a person, who’s been attacked and injured by a dog, has in some way irritated the dog and thus caused the attack, his compensation is going to be reduced accordingly. However, contributory negligence also suggests that if the victim has failed to take action in regard with the treatment of his injuries under premises which he’s responsible for, the dog owner can’t be held responsible for them. Any complication which can be pinned on the failure to take action on behalf of the victim won’t affect the accountability and liability of the dog owner, whose dog or any other pet animal caused the initial injury. The solution is fair because the alternative is a state of endless liability which can’t be tolerated by the law or by the social demand for regulation.

However, if you have been mauled or bitten by dog(s), it is imperative to seek legal recourse for the emotional trauma and the physical pain that you have endured.

What Are The Grounds For The Claims In Product Liability Cases?

Have you just bought your new car for which you’ve spent thousands of dollars on? It’s a brand new model, straight from the dealership. However, you take it out for a spin and your break malfunctions leading to a terrible accident. It’s clearly the manufacturer’s fault but what can you do in this case? Luckily for you, this is the perfect representation of a product liability case, which is one of the most lucrative fields of expertise in the entire law. However, filing a claim of the kind requires thorough knowledge of different laws as well as a lot of experience on handling the case itself because it would commonly include a jury which you’d have to convince.

It’s worth noting that as per the current legislation on the territory of the province of Ontario, you can file product liability claims under two separate premises – Contractual and Common law.

Filing a claim under the grounds provided to you by the Contractual law could be incredibly beneficial. The main reason for which is that you are essentially implying a breach of contract which could lead to some serious compensations. Apart from all of the injuries, you’d also be capable of getting thoroughly compensated for the vehicle itself. This is due to the fact that aside from the regular duty required by the common law, there is also an additional duty of care implied by the sales-purchase contract.

This means that the seller is legally obligated to disclose all sorts of information regarding particular defects in the object of the sale. Hidden defects, as in this case, are also grounds for compensatory claims, regardless of whether the seller knew about them or no. In the first case, the claim is going to be dully civil while in the second, depending on the particular situation it could even get to criminal prosecution. However, the case in point which is subjected to personal injury law is a part of the civil law and there aren’t going to be any criminal charges. This is due to the fact that product liability cases seek monetary compensation and not to legally punish the perpetrator through a penalty, provided by the criminal legislation.

It’s also worth noting that unlike seeking reparations under common law provisions, doing so by claiming responsibility set forth through the contractual law, you can exceed the boundaries offered by common law. In any case, the claims which are filed for product liability are going to be extremely high, especially if they involve a fatality. The main reason for this is that they are usually targeted towards influential companies with billions of dollars in capital. You know it is essential to let an experienced lawyer handle such challenging and complex cases if you are serious about getting compensated. Thus, get a reference or look online to find a personal injury law firm that specializes in product liability cases.

Settling an Injury Claim Deriving From a Dog Bite

The truth is that every single case involving a dog bite is particularly different. However, as it is with every single case, going to trial means taking a chance. Even if you are 100% sure that all the grounds you have are legit and enough to get you that win, there is always the possibility of the jury ruling against you. That’s why you might want to go for a settlement – this way you are guaranteed to get what you want, or at least partially.

There are two things that would need to happen in order for the parties to reach a settlement agreement – the parties are agreed upon the estimation of the compensation that the jury would have had awarded and the defendant or the dog owner feels like he can be  found liable. Let’s dig a bit deeper in both premises.

The Parties Need To Reach an Agreement on the Cost

This is something particularly important. When it comes to dog bites, under the Dog Owner’s Liability Act and the rather stringent responsibility and liability which is set forth in it, the defendant may have to pay quite a lot of damages. This is due to the fact that there are physical as well as damages for emotional distress and pain and suffering. Compensations can quickly go through the roof in case he hasn’t done anything to prevent the dog bite and a court might award a tremendously large amount of money.

Of course, there is always uncertainty. That is why the parties need to reach an agreement on what they believe the jury or the judge would have had awarded had they undergone a lawsuit. This isn’t an easy task but that’s why there are lawyers involved.

Can The Defendant Lose In Court?

This is another thing that’s going to affect the settlement. If the defendant feels like he won’t lose or that the amount that’s going to be awarded is way lower than the one which is agreeable with the settlement, he might want to take the case all the way and reach a ruling.

However, if he feels like there is a chance of losing, he will definitely settle. He wouldn’t risk having to pay court fees, the fees of the opposing lawyer and interest rates. That is one of the reasons that most of personal injury cases are settled out-of-court and seldom go on trials. However, ir is best to let an expert lawyer negotiate on your behalf as you might buckle down to pressure of the insurance company’s legal team.

As you can see, there are a few things that need to add up in order for the case to be settled. Generally speaking, not a lot of personal injury claims reach the court because the parties find it significantly more appropriate and profitable to go for a settlement. Of course, a proper amount needs to be duly negotiated.

How to Judge And Account For Pain And Suffering In A Car Accident Case?

There are quite a few things that you might want to take into account when it comes to filing a claim for compensating injuries stemming from a car accident. Right off the bat, you need to be well aware of the fact that there are two different types of damages that you can claim. The first ones are known as economic or “special” damages while the second type is known as non-economic or “general” ones. There is a characteristic differentiations between both which needs to be drawn concisely in order for you to understand the critical different.

Economic damages are those which stem from medical bills, the resources you’ve spent to repair your vehicle and the lost income from not going to work, for instance. What’s characteristic and determining for all of them is that they can be proven with a piece of paper – a document, a contract, receipt, bill or whatnot.

Non-economic damages are, however, a bit more specific. They are rather hard for evaluation. They are the damages which stem from emotional conditions of distress, pain, suffering and others alike. As per the current legislation of Canada and the province of Ontario, every court has the jurisdiction to assess non-economic injuries on its own for every separate case. This is a fair solution as each case differs in injury and liabilities.

How much money can you clam for pain and suffering?

This is not an easy question to answer. In fact, pain and suffering in a car accident case is going to be evaluated by taking into account quite a few different factors. Some of them include but are not limited to:

·         The gravity of the injuries

·         The typically associated amount of discomfort and pain which is associated with these injuries

·         How are they impacting the quality of your life, your job and other activities

·         The nature of the treatment which is necessary for taking care of these injuries

·         The estimated time for recovery

·         The necessity to take powerful pain medication and the necessity of further rehabilitation or consecutive treatment

As you can see, there are quite a lot of things that you’d have to take into account when assessing your pain and suffering. For instance, a person with a broken leg who’s likely to recover in a month and to get back to his normal life right afterwards isn’t going to get the same amount of money as another person who has broken his leg but he needs it for his work, income and others of the kind – a football player, for instance. The pain and suffering and the non-economic damages in the second case are going to be higher in comparison. Additionally, in many cases, the leg has to be amputated or is in a condition that has led to permanent disability which naturally calls for higher payout.

Determining Fault in a Pedestrian Accident

The truth is that pedestrian accidents are particularly delicate when it comes to it. We are so used to the drivers being at fault that we rarely think about the pedestrian as the one who was actually responsible for the accident in the first place. However, this is a real possibility and there are quite a few things which need to be taken in consideration.

In theory, it is absolutely possible for the pedestrian to be the one who’s at fault and for the driver to actually claim compensation for the damages which were incurred by his vehicle. It may sound absurd but it is a real and quite possible hypothesis. Let’s take a look at the situations in which the pedestrian is going to be liable.

·         Jaywalking or when you cross in the middle of the street without a crosswalk

·         Crossing against the signals of the traffic – for instance, if there is a red light for pedestrians and you go ahead and cross anyways

·         Entering a highway, which is completely forbidden for pedestrians

·         Entering a street while under the effects of drugs or alcohol

If any of the above is present, the pedestrian might be found guilty and he might be the one who is responsible for the compensation. What is more, he would be able to recover any kind of money for the damages that he’d had to incur as a result of the accident.

Know the reality

Of course, all of these are just on theory. In reality, the situation is much more complicated and it’s always impossible for the driver to get away with no liability what so ever. Even if any of the above is present, if the driver has also breached legislation in some way, he will share the responsibility with the pedestrian. For instance, the pedestrian might have been intoxicated and drugged and he might have crossed during the night on a street outside of town. Obviously, there are a lot of breaches on his behalf. However, if you were driving at a speed which wasn’t allowed either by signs or by the weather conditions, you would share the responsibility.

It’s important to note that accidents of the kind are very likely to result in casualties and fatalities. As unfortunate as this can be, the majority of the pedestrian accidents which happen outside of the city are going to result in death because of the higher speed and the severity of the impact. This is what could trigger a wrongful death claim or a criminal case in certain situations, for instance, when the driver has been highly intoxicated. With this in mind, the necessity of a professional lawyer is definitely considerable. With many experienced lawyers practicing in Cambridge and Hamilton apart from others in Ontario province, finding the lawyer isn’t difficult. You can search online and schedule an appointment for the first free consultation that most of the lawyers offer or get references from friends.