The sun is FINALLY out, and the temperature is slowly crawling into positive single and double digits.
The beautiful weather forces many of us back outside to enjoy the spring air, which also means that more of us are heading outside with our 4-legged friends.
Many people I know enjoy taking their beloved dogs to an off-leash dog park for socialization and to burn off some energy before returning home.
But I often wonder if all of these dog owners ever consider the risks associated with an off-leash dog park?
Of course, there is always a risk for your own dog as you can never guarantee the safe behaviour of the other dogs in attendance, nor can you guarantee they are vaccinated and/or flea free.
But do you consider your own liability if your dog injures someone?
You may think, “but my dog isn’t aggressive.” Even though you are likely correct, you cannot control the environment at a dog park, and dogs are very sensitive animals, and each of them react to stressful situations differently. It is also worth noting that dogs are typically stressed by the smallest details.
Here’s a perfect scenario that could happen to even the sweetest pup: A big dog sees something from the corner of his eye and jumps/lunges forward and runs into another dog owner who was looking the other way. The innocent bystander falls over, and because they fell weird, they break a wrist or a hip.
Who’s responsible in this situation? Are you, as the dog owner, responsible for their injuries? I would suggest that if that “jump” or “lunge” can be characterized as an “attack” even in the most benign sense of the word, then yes, you are very likely responsible for the injuries.
In the event of a claim for a dog bite or attack, your home owner’s insurance policy will respond and defend the action on your behalf. If you have a dog (or domestic animal), you should check with your insurance company to ensure you are covered in case of such a situation—because you honestly never know.
If you’ve been bitten or attacked by a dog, we can help!
Also, check out our video here about All You Need to Know About Dog Bites in Under 1 Minute!
Contact us today for a FREE consult (519) 657-1LAW or Info@millarslaw.com
By: Melissa Scott