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Share Walking Trails with Pets

May 20, 2015 | Accident & Injury

Now that summer is on the horizon, the biking, walking and cycling trails around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland are becoming very busy. We want to encourage everyone to share the paths and use common sense to avoid encounters that can lead to personal injuries. People and pets alike need to co-exist in safety and personal injury accidents can occur in a split second if an animal is not under the control of an owner.

Control over your pet in public places

Paul Warnett, Personal Injury Lawyer, was recently contacted by a woman in Langley who was out riding on designated horse trails when an off leash dog approached barking and jumping up beneath the belly of her horse. Fortunately, her horse stayed calm. If her horse had thrown her and she’d suffered injury, could there have been a claim against the dog owner? The answer is yes. It is the dog owner’s responsibility to maintain reasonable control over his or her pet. Just because dogs are allowed off leash in certain areas does not mean that the owner is not responsible for the dog’s actions. If you as a dog owner do not have control over your dog then the dog should not be off leash.

Personal injury insurance claims

This raises another issue. How would the dog owner pay for any injuries caused to a person by their dog? Most homeowners’ insurance policies would cover this type of claim. People often believe that if the incident does not occur on their own property, there would not be coverage, but that is not the situation in most cases. It’s another example of the importance of having insurance for unforeseen events.

Following a few simple rules will keep everyone safe and keep personal injury accidents and animal attacks to a minimum this summer. We wish everyone a safe summer season out on the trails of BC.

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