Our Minneapolis dog bite injury attorneys are experts in dog bite cases. Unfortunately, dog bites and dog attacks are common in personal injury practice. Our personal injury attorneys are highly experienced in this area and have consistently obtained full, fair compensation for dog bite victims.
Dog Bite Legal Resources:
What are Dog Bite Laws in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, owners can be held strictly liable for the actions of their dogs. Pursuant to Minnesota law, “If a dog, without provocation, attacks or injures any person who is acting peaceably in any place where the person may lawfully be, the owner of the dog is liable in damages to the person so attacked or injured to the full amount of the personal injury sustained.” Minn. Stat. §347.22. The dog owner is liable for such damages regardless of whether or not the dog had previously shown any propensity for viciousness. The statute, which applies only to injuries by dogs, may be used to impose absolute liability upon dog owners such that proof of reasonable care or the animal’s prior good behavior are irrelevant as defenses to the claim.
What Damages Are Available For Dog Bite Victims in Minnesota?
Victims may be able to recover the following types of damages after a dog bite injury in Minnesota:
- Medical Bills: You are entitled to compensation for current and future medical expenses. This includes on-site treatment, ambulance services, emergency room treatment, wound cleaning, stitches, tetanus and/or rabies shots, surgical procedures, hospitalizations, medications to prevent infection, physical therapy, etc.
- Lost Wages: Any current and future lost income if you must miss work while you recover.
- Diminished Earning Capacity: If your injury prevents you from returning to work again or affects your ability to earn the same level of income as before your injury.
- Pain and Suffering: Compensation for the pain and suffering you’ve endured and any emotional distress.
- Property Damage: For the repair or replacement of personal items damaged in the attack (e.g., your phone, clothes, etc.).
There may be other types of compensation available, as well as punitive damages. However, punitive damages are reserved as punishment in cases involving a dog owner who exhibited extreme recklessness.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Dog Bite Injury Claim in Minnesota?
Dog bite victims have a limited amount of time to file an injury claim in Minnesota. Referred to as the statute of limitations, this law sets a deadline of two years from the date of the injury for a claim to be pursued. There are exceptions in some cases, but missing this deadline often means giving up your right to recover compensation.
What To Do After a Dog Bite Injury
If a dog has bitten you or a loved one, there are a few significant steps you should take:
Seek Medical Attention
Wash the wound with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection and seek medical attention right away. Medical documentation is critical, even if your injury is minor.
If the dog’s owner is at the scene, ask for their name, contact information, and the dog’s vaccination and rabies records. Also, find out who the dog’s veterinarian is to confirm this information. If the dog’s vaccinations are not up to date, get tested for rabies and other infectious diseases.
Report the Dog Bite
File a dog bite report with the local health department and animal control office. The owner may ask you not to do this out of concern for the dog, but it is vital if you must pursue compensation, whether through an insurance claim or lawsuit. In addition to the report serving as evidence for your case, it will prompt an investigation into the dog’s behavior, which may prevent a future injury.
Speak to a Dog Bite Injury Attorney
Consult a Minneapolis dog bite lawyer as soon as possible. They will advise you on your legal options and help you negotiate a fair settlement that completely covers your losses.
Our firm has handled a number of cases involving injuries caused by dogs. The firm has represented personal injury victims in Minnesota, ranging from children that have sustained significant scarring as a result of a dog attack to people who have lost partial function of their hand or foot as a result of a dog-bite. Contact us online or call (800) 292-1979 to schedule a free consultation today.