Dog Bite Laws
Dog bite injuries are painful emotionally and physically. Victims of dog bites can suffer severe bodily injury and loss income while recovering. The bills can quickly pile up and cause the injured person more stress. A victim who was harmed by a dog can hold the dog’s owner liable. This means the owner is responsible for any injuries caused by the dog bite. A Minneapolis personal injury lawyer can get you fair and just compensation for your injuries. The experienced attorneys of Gunther Law Office will promptly evaluate, research and prepare your case, and file your claim in a timely manner.
Who is Considered an Owner?
If a dog, without provocation, attacks or injures any peacefully acting person in any space where the person is lawfully allowed access, then the dog’s owner is liable for the total amount of the injury the attacked or injured person suffered. The definition of an owner includes any person who harbors or retains a dog, however, the owner of the dog is still primarily liable. This means a person who shelters a dog, other than the dog owner, is also liable under the Minnesota statute.
Owner’s Absolute Liability
The owner of a dog is strictly liable for any direct injuries to another stemming from the dog’s attack. Even if the attack was unintentional, liability is sparked when a dog directly causes harm to a person. Any comparative fault by the injured person is not considered because the liability is absolute. It does not matter if the owner used reasonable care because negligence is irrelevant. The prior good behavior of the dog also is not considered.
Available Defenses for the Owner
The only available defenses for the dog owner or the owner keeping the dog are the provocation of the dog by the injured person or if at the time the dog attack occurred the person injured was trespassing. A victim provokes a dog when he has direct knowledge of the danger and voluntarily subjects himself to that danger. Even in circumstances where the dog has no physical contact with the injured person, the statute is still applicable. For example, a dog owner is liable if the victim falls off his bicycle and is injured because the dog chased him. The statute is applied broadly and favors any person who incurs injury as an express result of a dog.
Filing a Dog Bite Claim as Soon as Possible
Taking immediate action is vital to investigate the claim, preserve evidence, and discover and contact witnesses. Damages can be recovered for medical fees; compensation for pain and suffering, disfigurement, and scarring; and loss of earnings.
- Do not make contact with an unfamiliar dog.
- Do not run or scream if an unknown dog approaches you. Stay still and remain calm.
- Children should not be allowed to play with a dog without supervision.
- Do not interrupt a dog while it is eating or asleep.
- Ask the dog owners for consent prior to petting the dog.
- Prior to petting the dog, allow the dog time to examine and smell your hand.
Contact a Knowledgeable Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are the victim of a dog attack and suffered injuries, you may have a valid personal injury claim. Gunther Law Office is able to obtain a quick and reasonable reward. We are determined to fully focus on your claim while you focus on recovering. Meet with a qualified personal injury attorney during a free initial consultation to discuss your claim. You will not owe any attorney fees unless you receive monetary reimbursement for your damages.