According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the U.S. Eighty-one percent of all dog bite victims are children and 10 percent of total victims require hospitalization. While the statistics are quite alarming, knowing what to do from a legal perspective if you’re bitten can help if your case goes to court. Read our blog as we discuss personal injury liability rules for dog bites.
A dog bite victim may be entitled to compensation under a special statute and the doctrines of negligence under state law. The Minnesota dog bite law in Section 347.22 of the Minnesota Statutes states that an injured person can hold a dog owner liable for injuries caused by the dog if:
The law applies to any damages caused by a dog – attacks or injuries – including dog bites and other dog-related behaviors. For example, if a dog jumps on a person causing that person to fall, they could seek damages under the Minnesota dog bite law. They don’t have to prove the injury was the result of owner negligence.
Minnesota has a “strict liability” rule for dog bites. An owner can be held liable for injuries as long as the requirements in the statute are met (see above), even if the owner did not know or could not have known the dog would act aggressively, bite, or attack. Moreover, Minnesota doesn’t adhere to the “one bite rule” that requires that an owner know or have reason to believe the dog is dangerous before liability can be imposed.
Deadlines for filing a lawsuit for a personal injury case including dog bites are set by the Minnesota statutes of limitations. A person may lose their right to file a dog bite lawsuit in civil court if they do not file within six years of the date of the injury.
If you’ve suffered an injury resulting from a dog bite, there are several things you should do immediately afterward:
Barna, Guzy & Steffen has an outstanding team of personal injury attorneys available to talk to you about your specific needs. Contact us today to determine which services are right for you. We look forward to hearing from you.