Dog Bites

Dog Bite Injury Lawyers in Nova Scotia

Dog bites are often unpredictable and unprovoked. Yet dog bites and attacks happen frequently. In fact, the Canadian Safety Council reports that approximately 460,000 people suffer from dog bites in Canada each year. Unfortunately, over half of these victims are children. The elderly also tend to be victims.

Why Do Dogs Bite?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, dogs will bite for a variety of reasons but most often as a reaction to something stressful in its surroundings. A dog will bite

  • To protect its territory
  • Because it is afraid
  • Because it has been startled
  • Because it feels threatened
  • If it doesn’t feel well
  • To protect food or a toy
  • To protect puppies

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But dogs can often become aggravated without any obvious reason and can attack even though they have had no previous history of aggression.

Dog bite injuries may not only be physical but also emotional and psychological, often leading to long-term fears and even PTSD. Injuries can run the spectrum from minor to devastating including

  • Cuts and bruises
  • Severe scratches
  • Broken bones
  • Concussions
  • Facial injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Nerve damage
  • Infections
  • PTSD


Children who are injured in a dog attack often become phobic of dogs through adulthood. According to the Canada Safety Council, children under 10 years of age are the most common victims of dog bites, the majority happening in or around the child’s home with the child believing they are playing with the dog. Because of the curiosity of children and their relative size, they are often subject to extensive injuries.

How Do Claims For Dog Bites Get Handled?

For victims of dog bites, a claim for damages will typically be made against the owner’s personal homeowners insurance policy or tenants policy. But what happens if negligence is involved?

No Provincial Dog Bite Ruling in Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, pets are regulated by each separate municipality’s by-laws. These can be very different from area to area and often only cover bites that are perpetrated by a dog that has already been deemed as dangerous.

The Occupier’s Liability Act

Even though Nova Scotia doesn’t have a provincial ruling about dogs like other provinces, there is availability to hold a dog’s owner responsible under the Occupier’s Liability Act. A dog bite victim may file a claim under the Occupier’s Liability Act that can hold a dog owner responsible for the injury of another while on that owner’s property.

In this case, it doesn’t matter if the dog displayed any previous aggression or if it had a history of biting others. The Occupier’s Liability Act holds the owner responsible.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to a dog bite or attack, contact the personal injury lawyers at Brill Law. We are experienced with municipal laws concerning pets and injuries perpetrated by them. We serve the communities of Sydney, New Glasgow, Bedford, Truro, Dartmouth, Halifax, Amherst, Bridgewater & Lower Sackville and throughout Nova Scotia. Contact our office for a free consultation to discuss your rights after a dog bite.