Dogs can be incredibly friendly and great companions, but like their human counterparts, they can react instinctively when scared or threatened, and that can lead to bite injuries. Thousands of Minnesotans are injured by dogs each year, but only a fraction ever move forward with a personal injury claim. There may be a number of different reasons for this, but we wanted to use today’s blog to answer some common questions about dog bite claims so that you can comfortably move forward with a claim if you are injured by a dog in Minnesota this year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Injuries In Minnesota
Here are a number of answers to common questions that we hear about dog-related injuries in Minnesota:
How long do you have to file a dog bite injury claim?
Minnesota law states that you have two years from the date of the incident to file an injury claim for a dog bite injury.
Can I get compensation if I was injured by a dog but not bitten?
Yes, you can file an injury claim if you were injured by a dog despite the fact that you were not bitten. If you were injured because a dog jumped on you, knocked you over or you suffered PTSD as a result of a dog attack, you may be eligible for compensation.
What elements are necessary to win a dog bite claim?
In order to win an award for a dog bite claim, a few certain factors must be present. You must:
- Be lawfully in a public or private space when the bite occurred;
- Be acting peaceably;
- Not have provoked the dog.
For example, if you broke into someone’s home, physically threatened a dog’s owner or hit the dog with a stick, you may find it hard to win a claim. You may also find it difficult to win an award if you had assumed responsibility for someone’s dog. For example, if you watched your son’s dog while he was out of state working, and you were bitten while it was in your care, it will be harder to earn a claim, but not impossible.
Does negligence matter?
Yes and no. For example, it doesn’t matter if the dog had no history of violence prior to the incident. The dog’s owner may not be deemed negligent in these instances, but that doesn’t absolve them of liability. You will still be able to collect compensation even if the owner isn’t found negligent.
That said, if the owner is deemed to have acted negligently, you may be able to earn a much larger award. If the dogs had a history of violent behavior and were unleashed in public, the courts may find that the owner acted negligently, and that can increase a potential payout.
What type of damages can I recover after a dog bite?
You may be eligible to collect compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Decreased future earning’s capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
- Punitive damages (in cases of negligence)
How can I win a dog bite injury award?
If you have been injured by someone else’s dog in Minnesota, your best chance at earning compensation is by connecting with a lawyer with experience winning these types of cases. In the greater Twin CIties area, we hope that you’ll connect with Dean Margolis and the team at Margolis Law Firm.
For more information about dog-related injuries and bite claims, or for help with a different personal injury or work injury issue, give Dean and his team a call today at (952) 230-2700.
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